It’s time to revisit a tried and true axiom – beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This fermented, aged and funky-looking version of a culinary staple is reputed—in Taoist mythology—to grant immortality. Its immortal reputation might just be a myth, but there’s no doubt that black garlic is loaded with superfood goodness.
For starters, it has nearly twice the amount of antioxidants as regular old garlic, which has plenty itself. It also contains S-Allycysteine, a natural compound that is well known to prevent cancer.
In addition, it strengthens and restores age-damaged skin, and contains anti-bacterial compounds.
The fermenting process which turns the garlic black intensifies the original trace elements and nutrients of regular garlic. This means, for example, that allicin (garlic’s main ingredient) and Vitamin B1, combine to control such things as blood sugar, which in turn can boost energy.
This unusual bulb is well-known in Korea and other parts of the Orient, but is now making in-roads into North America. Loblaws and Whole Foods are in talks with the Korean-born American owner of Black Garlic Co. to bring this health food into Canada. So keep an eye out for it in stores.
How does one create this odd-looking health food? Take organic garlic, deposit it into a special fermenting machine for three weeks and voila! The cloves begin to produce a substance called melanoidin and turn black.
How do you use it? Eat it raw or mash and stir into spaghetti sauce or into bruschetta. Or, try topping cream cheese with sliced black garlic for an umami-rich flavour. Be prepared for a soft dried-fruit like taste.
Actually, you can substitute it for regular garlic in most recipes. But be forewarned—it is much more expensive.
And best of all, black garlic comes without garlicky breath or a sharp taste.
No shades of grey here, wellness warriors.