Over the last few years I have read about black garlic. Not only has it become an “it” ingredient for chefs around the world it has also being touted as a superfood. On a recent trip to Canberra I was lucky enough to visit the Capital Region Farmers Market and come across local producer, John Pye of Bredbo Black who finally gave me the chance to taste and smell this most intriguing product!
John grows his own garlic that is harvested and hung for a month before being fermented at a controlled temperature for about 40 days. During this time the garlic undergoes the most amazing transformation. The crisp, white, acrid cloves change to gelatinous black. The taste also undergoes a radical transformation becoming sweeter with a deep umami, balsamic, molasses flavour. The aroma is smoky, deep, slightly sweet and mildly garlicky.
- The flavour of black garlic shines when used with acids such as vinegar and lemon juice in vinaigrettes as it rounds out the sharp flavours. This will also make the flavour go a long way.
- Marinades will also show off the flavour on more delicate tasting meats and other proteins.
- Use as you would a black truffle, adding paper thin slices to salads, poached eggs, in hollandaise or with seafood such as scallops and salmon.
- Instead of fruit paste on a cheese platter.
- It has also been used in desserts such as ice cream and brownies for a more grown up, complex version of these favourites!