Wednesday, 1 June 2011

New month - new food experiment, Black Garlic

I came across an article on Black Garlic the other day which was a new concept to me but I soon became interested when I read about the health benefits of this matured and fermented garlic.

To give you a brief sum up, garlic bulbs are slowly fermented by continuous heating in a low oven for 40 days. When the garlic comes out, the individual cloves are black and almost fudge like in texture. 
The taste is supposed to be delicious, more mellow, sweeter and almost Marmite like without the garlic after taste so it is very versatile.
Black Garlic has all the health benefits of regular garlic and nearly twice the antioxidants and is good for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. 

It seems you can buy it at some of the larger Tesco shops and online but it is quite expensive due to the process.

This got me thinking as I wanted some, could you make your own? For anyone with a properly functioning oven this would be quite an expensive and possibly inconvenient experiment to commit to for 40 days.
However, as some of my friends will know, I have to cook on 'the Aga from hell!' This house has such a manky old Aga (no alternative cooking facility other than my camping stove) which is a solid fuel to oil conversion and it never reaches anywhere near the right temperature, even after a service. As I always say, good job I don't eat animals or I'd have food poisoning all the time! Anyway as with all bad there has to be some good and it does make great meringues. I thought this is the perfect opportunity to try fermenting some garlic in the porridge making oven.

I found these instructions on how to make black garlic, you can also see a pic of it on the link

I bought the best garlic I could find and a little glass dish to place them in and away we go for the next 40 days. Actually I 'm not sure if the oven is hot enough even for this as it is about ready for a service but I'm having a go.
I just need to be patient now but as that compartment of the oven hasn't been used for ages it should be ok.

All will be revealed on July 10th.


Anonymous said...

I have never heard of black garlic Sally, this is a new one on me. I have to be honest and say it doesn't look particulary appetising but I'm sure it tastes good! At least you have an oven you can dedicate to the process. My oven is a fan oven and it's not behaving either as it burns my cakes on one side which is very annoying!! If I put the garlic on the right side of my oven I could have black garlic in about 10 minutes!!!
Vivienne x

patty said...

It's odd looking stuff isn't it, I'm intrigued to try it if I get a result.
Your hot oven may burn the cakes a bit but I bet it makes a nice jacket potato, ... this oven never gets hot enough to do jackets (not without microwaving first and then leaving for at least an hour).

Gwen said...

Just came across black garlic and since I have an Aga, I thought I should give this a go. (I'm sorry your Aga is the Agafromhell - I LOVE mine!)

I've read several descriptions on how to make the black garlic. Most say to somehow wrap the container in something to keep the humidity in. I'm wondering - I have one of those glass jars with the rubber ring and the metal band on top that seals the jar really tight. I could put the garlic in there, right? There is nothing that would make the jar explode or crack, is there? I don't think the rubber ring would be a problem in heat so low. I'm just going to sit the jar in the bottom of the warming oven, which I guess you call the porridge oven, which sounds much more delightful! What do you call the other ovens?

How did your garlic turn out? I'm out of town but now can't wait to get home and start my black garlic.