Black garlic

Black garlic is a type of aged garlic that is colored deep brownish-black. The process is of East Asian origin. It is made by placing garlic (Allium sativum) in a warm, moist, controlled environment over the course of several weeks, a process that produces black cloves. Black garlic is used in a wide variety of culinary applications.


Black garlic is produced when heads of garlic or separated cloves are aged in an environment of controlled humidity (80 to 90%) at temperatures ranging from 60 to 90 °C (140 to 190 °F) for 15 to 90 days (typically 85% humidity at 70 °C for 40 days).[1] No additives or preservatives are used and there is no burning of the garlic, with the dark color arising from a long-term, low temperature Maillard reaction.[1] The cloves turn black and develop a sticky date-like texture.[1][2]

Bacterial endophytes capable of fermentation and with strong heat resistance have been identified in common garlic and black garlic.[3] These may have relevance in black garlic production.[3][4]

Black garlic is different from black garlic oil (māyu) which is raw garlic cooked in oil on a stove.[5]

Flavor profile

In black garlic, the distinct pungency of fresh garlic is softened such that it almost or entirely disappears, and the garlic develops notes of licorice,[6] tamarind and molasses.[7] Its flavor is dependent on that of the fresh garlic that was used to make it. Garlic with a higher sugar content produces a milder, more caramel-like flavor, whereas garlic with a low sugar content produces a sharper, somewhat more acidic flavor. Burnt flavors may also be present if the garlic was heated for too long at too high a temperature or not long enough: during heating, the garlic turns black in color well before the full extent of its sweetness is able to develop.

Culinary uses

Black garlic can be used alone, on bread, with cheese, red wine or dark chocolate, in soups or sauces, with meat or fish, crushed into mayonnaise, added to a vinaigrette, or with a vegetable dish.[citation needed] The cloves may also be crushed.[6]

In popular culture

It gained USA television attention when it was used in battle redfish on Iron Chef America, episode 11, season 7 (on Food Network), and in an episode of Top Chef New York (on Bravo),[8] where it was added to a sauce accompanying monkfish, tilefish, risotto or chicken.[6][9]

In the United Kingdom,[10] where it made its TV debut on the BBC's Something for the Weekend cooking and lifestyle program in February 2009,[11] farmer Mark Botwright, owner of the South West Garlic Farm, claimed to have developed a process for preserving garlic after finding a 4000-year-old Korean recipe for "black garlic".[12]

In season 5, episode 5, of the animated television show Bob's Burgers ("Best Burger"), the main character, Bob, enters a cooking contest and plans to make a burger using black garlic as the special ingredient. But his son, Gene, accidentally forgets and then ruins the black garlic and Bob's children race around town trying to buy a replacement in time to save the day.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Kimura, Shunsuke; Tung, Yen-Chen; Pan, Min-Hsiung; Su, Nan-Wei; Lai, Ying-Jang; Cheng, Kuan-Chen (5 December 2016). "Black garlic: A critical review of its production, bioactivity, and application". Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 25 (1): 62–70. doi:10.1016/j.jfda.2016.11.003. PMC 9333422. PMID 28911544.
  2. ^ "Chefs Are Going Crazy for Black Garlic (and You Will, Too)". Bon Appétit. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  3. ^ a b Qiu Z, Lu X, Li N, Zhang M, Qiao X (February 2018). "Characterization of garlic endophytes isolated from the black garlic processing". Microbiology Open. 7 (1): e00547. doi:10.1002/mbo3.547. PMC 5822338. PMID 28990361.
  4. ^ Qiu Z, Li N, Lu X, Zheng Z, Zhang M, Qiao X (April 2018). "Characterization of microbial community structure and metabolic potential using Illumina MiSeq platform during the black garlic processing". Food Research International (Ottawa, Ont.). 106: 428–438. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2017.12.081. PMID 29579944.
  5. ^ "Mayu (Black Garlic Oil) for Ramen Recipe". Serious Eats. 28 November 2022. Retrieved 2024-02-16.
  6. ^ a b c Fabricant, Florence (2008-10-07). "Garlic, Either Sweet or Squashed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  7. ^ Balla, Nicolaus; Burns, Courtney (2014). Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes. Chronicle Books. p. 39. ISBN 1452132356.
  8. ^ Benwick, Bonnie S. (2009-02-25). "Black Garlic, the Next 'It' Thing". The Washington Post. p. F04. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  9. ^ Nerenberg, Kate (2009-02-05). "Top Chef Recap: Return of Ripert". Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  10. ^ "Zwarte knoflook zonder vieze adem". HLN. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  11. ^ "Black Garlic Hits UK Market". Freshinfo. 2009-02-26. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  12. ^ Edgar, James (7 May 2014). "Ancient "black garlic" recipe found by farmer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 September 2014.