This surprising condiment from South-Korea is obtained by placing fresh garlic heads in ovens at controlled humidity and temperature. The pods are slowly comfited, turn black, and develop a delicious flavor and active substances with many therapeutic effects. The process is completely natural.
Garlic loses its characteristic aggressive smell and acquires an enveloping and disconcerting softness with a sweet taste reminiscent of prune, accompanied by a succulent balsamic acidity. The soft, caramelized texture of candied fruit enhances the umami taste of whole pods.
Used for a long time in Korean cuisine, it is relatively recently introduced in Western recipes. Puréed with olive oil or thinly sliced, black garlic accompanies fish, white meats, tomato sauces or dips. It delicately flavours a mushroom risotto or a simple salad. Its consistency allows it to be used practically as a paste condiment.
Very digestible and unloaded from the disadvantages of fresh garlic, black garlic is a health asset well known to Koreans and Japanese. Its antioxidant and cholesterol-regulating effects are recognized.