Saturday 8 June 2013

Black Garlic review

Being married to a Frenchman, I have wholeheartedly embraced the idea of using lots of garlic in my cooking. It was still a new one to me when I received a bulb of black garlic to try out though.

I initially (and wrongly) thought that it was some new variety of garlic to have been created, like black tulips, but it actually starts out as regular white garlic. It is gently heated and aged until it becomes dark and almost jelly-like. Visually, it reminds me of soft licorice, which is quite daunting ! The Black Garlic website explains : "This is achieved through the fermentation process only; there are no additives, but Black Garlic has twice the antioxidants of normal garlic, is low in fat, rich in natural sugars and leaves no smell or bad breath.
Black Garlic's sweet taste, with hints of balsamic and undertones of regular garlic, make it the perfect addition to a wide variety of recipes. It instantly brings a new depth of flavour to the dishes you already love, and can also inspire new recipes of its own. Its mellow flavour ensures that it is far more versatile than white garlic, and can even be enjoyed as a snack. Try it in roasts, pastas, sauces, stir-fries, salads, on pizzas and more."

Well, I don't dislike it but I can't say I really fell in love with it either, to be honest. I added some to my spaghetti bolognese sauce and it didn't give it the big hit of garlic flavour that I wanted so I still had to complement it with regular white garlic. I've decided that it shouldn't be used in place of white garlic but as a totally separate ingredient though, and this seems to work better. I sliced some and added it to risotto and it did add an interesting backnote of .... well, not really garlic but something sweet and woody almost like molasses.

I need to experiment some more with it to see what works and what doesn't. I really want to like it - due to its high levels of antioxidants, there is some evidence than it can help lower cholesterol, fight diabetes and even reduce the risk of cancer - so I'll keep being innovative and flinging it into different dishes.

If you're a black garlic fan, what do you do with yours?

star rating : 3.5/5

RRP : £1.50 for a 1-bulb pack

for more information :

Disclosure : I received the product in order to write an honest review.

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