How is black garlic made?

One of the latest gastronomic trends worldwide is black garlic, so the question usually arises as to how black garlic is made: is it a natural process? or is it a different variety of garlic?

Originally used as a spice in Asian cuisine, especially in Korea, it has spread to North America and Europe. It is produced by exposing common garlic bulbs to heat for weeks in humid conditions, a process that produces black garlic.

It contains no microbial action and is a completely natural process. The garlic obtained is slightly smaller in volume than the common garlic from which it originates. The taste is slightly sweet, a little sour and very umami, with slight notes of balsamic vinegar.

How is black garlic produced?

The organoleptic properties of black garlic are the result of the changes that occur due to the heating process, called ageing, that fresh, common or white garlic undergoes. During this process, humidity and temperature conditions are controlled for a certain period of time, where physico-chemical changes occur in the fresh garlic.

The most characteristic feature is the change in colour to black and the change in texture and flavour, with the complete disappearance of the strong smell and taste that characterises white garlic.

The result is a black garlic with a soft, tender and chewy texture. It also has a sweet taste, as the natural sugar content is greatly increased, which makes it more palatable to the consumer. It also has a higher concentration of compounds of known bioactivity.

Therefore, the improvement of the sensory, nutritional and digestibility properties of black garlic allows a higher intake of this food. Thanks to this type of garlic, the heaviness or reflux that white garlic causes in some people disappears, so black garlic can be eaten more frequently.

In addition, the increased health properties of black garlic make it the ideal food to include in the daily diet.

Contrary to what many might initially think, black garlic is not an ordinary type of garlic, but how black garlic is made is when ordinary garlic itself undergoes a process called the Maillard reaction. For garlic to turn black, an enzymatic process takes place at about 70 degrees for 30-40 days under certain humidity conditions.

The process then requires an aeration phase for another 30 days. During this process, the garlic not only changes colour but also loses the characteristic pungent taste of white garlic. This means that the black garlic is not repeated when consumed and results in a delicate, sweet but slightly acidic flavour.

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