About a year ago I first encountered black garlic in a recipe that called for it and ever since I was intrigued. Eventually I was able to get a company in SA who import it and got myself a few bulbs to experiment with and I must say I am hooked on this mild black garlic with the sweet aromas of reduced balsamic vinegar. And the best part of it, that strong garlic pungent odour is absent.
Though not as well known as its white counterpart, black garlic is enjoying a rise in popularity in gastronomic circles and the alternative medicine field. Introduced to the health and food markets about 5 years ago by the Koreans, garlic becomes “black garlic” through a month-long process of fermentation under strictly controlled heat and humidity. The health benefits of black garlic are being touted by natural medicine practitioners and herbalists.
Recipe for Black Garlic Café de Paris Butter:
Makes about 300g of butter.
- 6-7 Black Garlic Cloves, crushed or mashed
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- ½ tsp Chopped Capers
- 1 Small Shallot Chopped
- 1tsp Chopped Chives
- 1 tsp Chopped tarragon
- 2 Anchovy Fillets (optional)
- 1 tsp Cognac
- 1 tsp Madeira
- ¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
- 200g Soft Unsalted Butter
- Place all the ingredients, except the butter and paprika in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and the paprika and allow to stand for 24 hours in a warm place to allow all the flavours to infuse.
- Using a wooden spoon, beat the infused mixture into the softened butter until well mixed.
- Once mixed, roll the butter mix in grease proof paper into a sausage shape, secure the ends and chill in the fridge until needed.
- To serve, cut a large piece of butter and place on the meat or fish. The butter will slowly melt over the food adding wonderful flavour and aroma to the dish.
More Black Garlic Facts:
- Cancer Protection and Cholesterol Benefits: – The month-long fermentation process in creating black garlic contributes to creating a kind of super-garlic. The compound S-allylcysteine, a natural component of fresh garlic and a derivative of the amino acid cysteine, was found in much greater concentrations in black garlic, and is thought to help lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of cancer.
- Infection Protection: – White garlic contains anti-microbial, antibiotic and anti-fungal agents in its active ingredient, allicin. In black garlic, S-allylcysteine assists with the absorption of allicin, helping it metabolize more easily which could offer boosted protection against infections.
- Disease Protection:- Garlic is also high in antioxidants. Black garlic has been found to have twice the antioxidant properties of conventional garlic. Antioxidants protect the cells from disease and are thought to slow down the aging process. Because black garlic is so potent, the heightened levels of antioxidants offering protection from free radical damage make it an ideal food for thwarting chronic disease. Free radicals damage cells leading to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, circulatory problems, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic diseases.
- Other Characteristics: –The fermentation that produces black garlic reduces the pungent odour and strong flavour, making it more palatable and appealing to some people. The taste of black garlic has been compared to that of a dried fruit, smoky, sweet and slightly chewy. Conventional garlic, even in freeze-dried capsules, emits a strong garlic odour that permeates the skin, causing objectionable body and breath odour in people using garlic as a health supplement. Black garlic has none of the strong odour of white garlic and can be consumed in large quantities without the olfactory effects.