What Is Black Garlic?

Black Garlic

Black garlic, otherwise known as fermented garlic, is a black, tar-like substance. It is made by heating whole bulbs of garlic (Allium sativum) at low heat over  several weeks, a process that results in black cloves. Its flavour is a little bit bitter and a little bit sweet, with hints of balsamic vinegar, molasses, licorice and tamarind. Its umami flavour works well in soups and sauces and seaweed-based broths, and in desserts it’s extraordinary. 

What Makes Black Garlic Delicious?

 Black Garlic is created through the enzymatic breakdown of a chemical in garlic, alliinase, and the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction is the chemical reaction that gives a uniquely delicious flavour to browned foods, such as roasted coffee, maple sugar, chocolate and the darkened crust of bread. The reaction results in hundreds of different flavour compounds, depending on the type of food. The flavour of black  garlic is similar to but distinct from other foods that have gone through the Maillard reaction.

Chocolate Artist Laura Slack made the Lestat Truffle—a dark chocolate skull filled with black garlic–infused salted caramel—at the Second Annual Toronto Garlic Festival. It sold out in two hours. Toronto Life included it as one of “50 Crazy Good Things to Eat and Drink” in 2013. Other black garlic delicacies featured at the Festival over the years include Black Garlic Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, Black Garlic Butter Tarts and more.