Black garlic (food)
Black garlic is a type of caramelized garlic first used as a food ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is made by heating whole bulbs of garlic over the course of several weeks, a process that results in black cloves. The taste is sweet and syrupy with hints of balsamic vinegar or tamarind. Black garlic's popularity has spread to the United States as it has become a sought-after ingredient used in high-end cuisine. The ornamental plant Allium nigrum is commonly called black garlic, as also is a six-clove garlic grown in Taean and Seosan in South Korea.
In Korea, black garlic was developed as a health product and it is still perceived as health supplementary food. Black Garlic is prized as a food rich in antioxidants and added to energy drinks, and in Thailand is claimed to increase the consumer's longevity. It is also used to make black garlic chocolate.
It was written up in the Spring 2008 "Design and Living" special section of The New York Times as a "new staple" of modern cuisine (and incorporated into a recipe, "Black Garlic Roast Chicken"); the NYT author, Merrill Stubbs, noted it was being used by chef Bruce Hill of Bix Restaurant, San Francisco. Matthias Merges, executive chef at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, listed black garlic as one of his top five food finds in Restaurant News in December 2008. The rise of black garlic in the US was called "sensational," and other trade publications besides Restaurant News have noticed the trend.
It garnered television attention when it was used in battle redfish on Iron Chef America, episode 11 of season 7 (on Food Network), and in an episode of Top Chef New York (on Bravo), where it was added to a sauce accompanying monkfish.
In the United Kingdom, where it made its TV debut on the BBC's Something for the Weekend cooking and lifestyle program in February 2009, farmer Mark Botwright, owner of the South West Garlic Farm, explained that he developed a process for preserving garlic after finding a 4000-year-old Korean recipe for "black garlic."
It also was mentioned in the "Bob's Burgers" episode "Best Burger", in which Bob enters a best burger contest, but quickly realizes his secret ingredient is missing and sends his kids back to the restaurant to retrieve it in time for its preparation and inclusion in the burger.
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