Despite the name, black garlic isn’t actually a different food than normal garlic — it’s simply regular garlic, aged under just the right conditions. This means storing in a lightly heated, moist environment for anywhere from two weeks to three months; essentially, “browning” via low-and-slow caramelization cooking taken to the extreme.
The culmination of this controlled aging process is a deeply colored, soft, and even somewhat gooey garlic with a sweet and caramelized flavor. Depending on the qualities of the garlic used, a mild tang may be present. The sugar content of the original garlic changes the final qualities of the resulting black garlic: a garlic with higher sugar levels will be especially soft with a rounder flavor, while a garlic with lower sugar content will have a bit of added acidity along with the caramelly sweetness.
The great thing about black garlic — besides being utterly delicious and decadent — is that its only real culinary limit is your imagination! It’s tasty as a spread or on or in endless dishes or snacks.
Uwajimaya has a handful of black garlic-based products including popular condiments, as well as heads of garlic in our produce department which you can use to make your own black garlic if you have the right tools (and patience) to create the necessary low-and-slow environment.