Black Garlic - A Fermented Food and its Amazing Health Benefits
About Black Garlic
Just a little while back I happily purchased a bulb of garlic at a health food store. But once I got it home and peeled off the papery white skin - it felt soft and I saw it was black inside! I thought it was spoiled so I threw it out.
Fortunately, the store was too far away for me to march in and complain about selling me such spoiled garlic because I would have been embarrassed. The garlic was black garlic.
It was in a woman's magazine that I saw an article about black garlic and realized what it was. It is indeed very real. So recently I ordered some.
What is Black Garlic?
Black garlic is a fermented food created by fermenting whole bulbs at high temperatures. Fermentation is an ancient process that has been around for thousands of years. During fermentation the amino acids and sugars in garlic produce melanoidin which creates the black color.
Is Black Garlic Some Kind of New Invention?
It was created in early 2004 by Scott Kim, a Korean Inventor who then created his own company. This company, based in California, is the exclusive US distributor.
In Korea, It was introduced as a health product and is often considered a health supplement.
How is it Used?
Now in the US, it is becoming popular on a variety of chef shows and is used in high-end cuisine. It is also becoming a very popular trend and has been featured in a variety of magazines and newspapers - complete with recipes.
You can peel and heat black garlic and spread it on breads, add to pasta dishes or brush on fish, meat and poultry. Add it to soups and sauces, mix with rice, add to dips, salads, vegetables or spread it over pizza. In fact, wherever you use regular raw garlic you can use black garlic.
Black garlic is not as tangy as raw garlic which is part of its appeal. And because of its soft texture there is no need to crush it.
What Are the Health Benefits?
Black garlic has almost twice the disease-preventing antioxidants as raw garlic. It also contains a natural compound known as S-Allylcysteine - proven to be beneficial in the prevention of cancer. Black garlic is also said to cut cholesterol.
Note: S-Allylcysteine (SAC) is a natural constituent of fresh, raw garlic. The NIH (National Institute of Health) reports that garlic, through its oxidative properties, provides protection against damage to the body caused by free radicals.
What Does it Taste Like?
On the label of the black garlic I purchased it is described as rich, tangy, molasses like, savory and sweet, with tangy garlic undertones and a melt in your mouth texture.
What Do I Think of the Taste?
Would you believe I think it tastes like fig? It is also soft like a fig. I eat it raw because I am sure garlic of any kind is beneficial to my health and I need these benefits.
So I just got up, went to the kitchen, took one clove, peeled it and popped it into my mouth. There seems to be just a hint of tang way back there somewhere. What I do now is use the regular white raw garlic in cooking to reduce some of the bite and the black garlic I will eat raw.
I haven't yet cooked with it so I don't know if the flavor changes.
Why Pick Black Garlic Instead of the Garlic We All Know?
For many people, the pungent smell of garlic is just too much. Black garlic doesn't have this aroma. You can also eat it as is because of its soft texture. By picking black garlic you can still enjoy the many healthy benefits of garlic without the bite.
Looking For Other Fermented Foods?
See link below for Kimchi - a popular Korean fermented food with many healthy benefits, as well as the tea link for Pu-erh - a fermented tea from China.
- Probiotics and Other Health Benefits of Korean Kimch...
Kimchi not only provides the beneficial bacteria needed to help balance the body's microorganisms, but also a whole host of other healthy benefits. Kimchi also has the added benefit of providing probiotics through the use of plant food and not milk p
- Easy Korean Kimchi Recipe
Kimchi is a Korean staple filled with a multitude of healthy benefits. If you cannot find kimchi where you live you may want to try an easy recipe.
Fermented Pu-erh Tea
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