Black garlic: what it is, properties and uses in the kitchen

Black garlic: what it is, properties and uses in the kitchen


Black garlic is an alternative to classic, white garlic which has Asian origins but is also increasingly used in Western cuisines, especially in Italy The color and texture, much softer than common garlic, are obtained through a fermentation process which makes it pleasant on the palate and easily digestible . This type of garlic, a fairly recent food because it was only born in Korea in 2004, has already spread rapidly, first in the United States and then also in Europe. It boasts many beneficial properties, and lends itself to the preparation of various dishes appreciated even by those who do not particularly like garlic.

Black garlic: what it is, origins

Black garlic, also known as black allium, comes in dark brown and black cloves, with a soft and creamy consistency (it is very easy to crush, just a slight pressure) and a pleasant aftertaste of licorice, and sometimes of balsamic vinegar , on the palate. The flavor is much sweeter than that of common white garlic, and does not even have the spicy notes of the latter. It has no odor and does not even leave an unpleasant breath , which is why it can be safely eaten raw.

Black garlic is obtained from the fermentation of the bulbs, left to ferment in an environment with controlled humidity and temperature – temperature between 60  °  and  90°  and with a humidity rate   between 80 and  90  % –  for a month, without any addition of additives or preservatives . After 30 days, another six weeks of oxidation will follow which will lead the garlic to blacken and soften.

Beneficial properties of Black Garlic

Black garlic is considered a super food, because it boasts beneficial properties for the body. Several studies conducted in Japan, for example, have shown that, compared to white garlic, it has twice as many antioxidants, including alkaloids and bioflavonoids . It is a food naturally low in fat, but rich in mineral salts , especially potassium , sulphur , calcium and phosphorus . The fiber and protein content is also good .

Among the beneficial properties of black garlic, we find:

  • Reduction of cholesterol : the presence of a particular sulfur compound, called s-allylcycteine ​​(SAC), acts by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol .
  • Contrast of cardiovascular diseases (to a lesser extent than white garlic which contains more allicin ).
  • It supports the immune system : black garlic is a natural remedy to improve defenses  and  fight viruses and bacteria
  • Energizing : helps fight chronic fatigue . Especially recommended for sportsmen.
  • Antioxidant : helps fight free radicals .
  • Natural anti-aging : counteracts premature aging of cells .
  • Improves glucose metabolism (suitable for individuals with insulin resistance , diabetes ) .
  • Dermatological disorders : helps in skin disorders, such as dermatitis , acne , psoriasis or rosacea
  • Anti-tumor properties : Phenolic compounds in black garlic inhibit cell growth and promote apoptosis in several cancer cell lines.

Differences Black Garlic and White Garlic

Both types of garlic have obvious health-promoting properties. Common white garlic is much older and long-lived as a food. In fact, it has been used for centuries for healing purposes in popular tradition, especially for the treatment of infections and for the treatment of disorders such as arterial hypertension and intestinal worms . White garlic contains a higher amount of allicin, the main antibacterial component of garlic. Black garlic would therefore be less effective in the treatment of bacterial infections , but it is richer in antioxidants (twice as common garlic), as well as in phosphorus , calcium and proteins. Garlic contains morecalories and carbohydrates than the common one.

  • Calories: 143 per 100gr (black) vs 41 (white);
  • Carbohydrates : 16.8 g (black) vs 8.4 g (white);
  • Phosphorus: 80 mg (black) vs. 40 mg (white);
  • Calcium: 36.66 mg (black) vs. 5.0 mg (white);
  • Protein: 12.5g (black) vs. 2.2 g (white).

Black Garlic in the kitchen

Black garlic can be used both raw and cooked in the kitchen, as an alternative to white garlic, therefore as a real substitute. Ideal for preparing first courses (such as traditional spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli pepper ), soups, sauces, a base for browning green vegetables such as spinach , herbs, chicory , dandelion , or for cooking fish .

Where to find and how to store black garlic

In Italy, black garlic can be found in large-scale distribution, in oriental delicatessen shops and in organic food shops . Pay attention to the label : the derivation must be certified. Prefer whole heads of garlic (like those in the photo) rather than jars found on the refrigerated counter, with already peeled cloves. Store in a cool , dry place with little humidity. If you bought it in a jar in the fresh counter, it is advisable to place it in the refrigerator but in the door, not on the shelf because it is too humid.



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