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Black garlic

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Black garlic

Black garlic is a type of aged garlic that is colored deep brownish-black. The process is of East Asian origin. It is made by placing garlic (Allium sativum) in a warm, moist, controlled environment over the course of several weeks, a process that produces black cloves. Black garlic is used in a wide variety of culinary applications.


Black garlic is produced when heads of garlic or separated cloves are aged in an environment of controlled humidity (80 to 90%) at temperatures ranging from 60 to 90 °C (140 to 190 °F) for 15 to 90 days (typically 85% humidity at 70 °C for 40 days).[1] No additives or preservatives are used and there is no burning of the garlic, with the dark color arising from a long-term, low temperature Maillard reaction.[1] The cloves turn black and develop a sticky date-like texture.[1][2]

Bacterial endophytes capable of fermentation and with strong heat resistance have been identified in common garlic and black garlic.[3] These may have relevance in black garlic production.[3][4]

Black garlic is different from black garlic oil (māyu) which is raw garlic cooked in oil on a stove.[5]

Flavor profile[edit]

In black garlic, the distinct pungency of fresh garlic is softened such that it almost or entirely disappears, and the garlic develops notes of licorice,[6] tamarind and molasses.[7] Its flavor is dependent on that of the fresh garlic that was used to make it. Garlic with a higher sugar content produces a milder, more caramel-like flavor, whereas garlic with a low sugar content produces a sharper, somewhat more acidic flavor. Burnt flavors may also be present if the garlic was heated for too long at too high a temperature or not long enough: during heating, the garlic turns black in color well before the full extent of its sweetness is able to develop.

Culinary uses[edit]

Black garlic can be used alone, on bread, with cheese, red wine or dark chocolate, in soups or sauces, with meat or fish, crushed into mayonnaise, added to a vinaigrette, or with a vegetable dish.[citation needed] The cloves may also be crushed.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

It gained USA television attention when it was used in battle redfish on Iron Chef America, episode 11, season 7 (on Food Network), and in an episode of Top Chef New York (on Bravo),[8] where it was added to a sauce accompanying monkfish, tilefish, risotto or chicken.[6][9]

In the United Kingdom,[10] where it made its TV debut on the BBC's Something for the Weekend cooking and lifestyle program in February 2009,[11] farmer Mark Botwright, owner of the South West Garlic Farm, claimed to have developed a process for preserving garlic after finding a 4000-year-old Korean recipe for "black garlic".[12]

In season 5, episode 5, of the animated television show Bob's Burgers ("Best Burger"), the main character, Bob, enters a cooking contest and plans to make a burger using black garlic as the special ingredient. But his son, Gene, accidentally forgets and then ruins the black garlic and Bob's children race around town trying to buy a replacement in time to save the day.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kimura, Shunsuke; Tung, Yen-Chen; Pan, Min-Hsiung; Su, Nan-Wei; Lai, Ying-Jang; Cheng, Kuan-Chen (5 December 2016). "Black garlic: A critical review of its production, bioactivity, and application". Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 25 (1): 62–70. doi:10.1016/j.jfda.2016.11.003. PMC 9333422. PMID 28911544.
  2. ^ "Chefs Are Going Crazy for Black Garlic (and You Will, Too)". Bon Appétit. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  3. ^ a b Qiu Z, Lu X, Li N, Zhang M, Qiao X (February 2018). "Characterization of garlic endophytes isolated from the black garlic processing". Microbiology Open. 7 (1): e00547. doi:10.1002/mbo3.547. PMC 5822338. PMID 28990361.
  4. ^ Qiu Z, Li N, Lu X, Zheng Z, Zhang M, Qiao X (April 2018). "Characterization of microbial community structure and metabolic potential using Illumina MiSeq platform during the black garlic processing". Food Research International (Ottawa, Ont.). 106: 428–438. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2017.12.081. PMID 29579944.
  5. ^ "Mayu (Black Garlic Oil) for Ramen Recipe". Serious Eats. 28 November 2022. Retrieved 2024-02-16.
  6. ^ a b c Fabricant, Florence (2008-10-07). "Garlic, Either Sweet or Squashed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  7. ^ Balla, Nicolaus; Burns, Courtney (2014). Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes. Chronicle Books. p. 39. ISBN 1452132356.
  8. ^ Benwick, Bonnie S. (2009-02-25). "Black Garlic, the Next 'It' Thing". The Washington Post. p. F04. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  9. ^ Nerenberg, Kate (2009-02-05). "Top Chef Recap: Return of Ripert". Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  10. ^ "Zwarte knoflook zonder vieze adem". HLN. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  11. ^ "Black Garlic Hits UK Market". Freshinfo. 2009-02-26. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  12. ^ Edgar, James (7 May 2014). "Ancient "black garlic" recipe found by farmer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2014.