I don’t know about you but, for me, the more hype there is around a movie, the less likely I am to see it – at least until it comes out on DVD. [And I am irrationally proud of the fact that I still haven’t seen Titanic.]
This is the way that I felt about black garlic and, for me, its ‘DVD time’ came about 5 weeks ago when I purchased my very own specimen from the Boatshed Market. At $2.99 for a single head of garlic, this was a luxury purchase.
Black garlic is no quirk of nature; rather, it is an Asian delicacy that has finally made its way to Australian shores. Whole websites are religiously dedicated to the glory of this recent culinary wonder [well, recent for Western palates; it was apparently introduced to Eastern tastebuds in 1997, although Wikipedia dates its inception to 2005] and I am sure it will feature more prominently on our menus in the future.
To make white garlic into black garlic, one must subject whole cloves of garlic to a heated ferment for 21 days. This effectively slowcooks the garlic to reveal a product that tastes sweetly pre-roasted. The end result is moreish and soft; the garlic threatens to break in your hands as you peel its shell away.
I converted my bulb into two very different dishes. First, I blended five of the cloves with freshly churned butter and spread it generously into a sliced loaf of bread. Black garlic bread. A milder take on the traditional version and a delicious novelty.
Even untoasted, this makes for a quick and tasty snack.
For the second recipe, I cut the remaining cloves (about 6) into thin slices and fried them lightly in a pan with macadamia oil. I then added tiny Swiss brown mushrooms and a good pinch of Maldon sea salt and cooked the mushrooms until they were glossy but not mushy. It was a simple and delightful dish that my tastebuds look forward to eating again soon.
My final verdict? Although far more expensive than regular garlic, I figured that this treat cost me less than a packet of rice cakes, hence I could easily justify it. If you come across it, I dare you to try it – and please do let me know your thoughts on this interesting innovation.