Black Garlic North America Blog
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“What is black garlic?” and other frequently asked questions!
Diced Black Garlic from Black Garlic North America
It’s been a while since we have done an FAQ! You have more black garlic questions, and we have more answers! Black Garlic can be a little confusing but once you understand this sweet ingredient, we hope that you will give it a try. Let’s break it down!
1. What is Black Garlic?
Black garlic is fresh garlic that has gone through a high-heat, long-duration fermentation process. That’s right, our Black Garlic is a single-ingredient food that is made from those white bulbs of fresh garlic you’ve undoubtedly eaten many times. You cannot buy “black garlic seeds” and plant them because black garlic isn’t a garlic plant variety, but we have seen some fraudsters on Amazon selling “black garlic seeds” and getting horrible ratings from unsuspecting buyers.
During planting season, we plant fresh “white” garlic cloves and grow garlic bulbs that will eventually become black garlic. After fermentation, the garlic is aged for a long period of time, which allows the sweet flavor to become richer. The garlic is fermented as a whole bulb, and when it emerges from the fermentation process it has changed color, texture, taste, and has completely different uses when compared to fresh garlic. In order to create our black garlic products, we do not add ingredients like water, oil, sugar or preservatives. Our only ingredient is garlic. Though, you should check the labels of your favorite black garlic brands as not all producers can make that claim.
2. What does Black Garlic taste like?
Black garlic is “Garlic’s Sweet Secret” TM. The flavor of black garlic is very complex and hard to describe but we would describe it as sweet, savory, and umami (meaty savory note), with subtle licorice, molasses, date and garlic notes. The mix of the chewy texture and flavor makes the product irresistible and we think that you will agree once you have tasted it! Don’t believe us? Check out what others have written about black garlic’s unique flavor profile:
From The Mancunion’s article “Fermented Foods Are More Than A Fad” by Milo Diduca: [black garlic] has a very mellow almost sweet caramel taste with none of the heat from regular garlic… Black garlic has a smoky, sweet caramelised flavour and a sticky almost spreadable consistency. Again, like most fermented foods, it adds a huge savoury, umami punch to pretty much anything it is used in. It is an incredibly versatile ingredient, but remember to use more than you would standard garlic as it isn’t quite as harsh.
From Edible Online’s article, “Chefs Are Going Crazy for Black Garlic (and You Will, Too): Funky black garlic has chefs practicing the dark arts” by Ariel Stanek: “Sweet, earthy, minus the allium’s characteristic heat—think of it as garlic’s umami-packed shadow. For in-the-know chefs, it’s the shortcut to adding intense “what is that?” flavor to everything from mayo to steak.”
Organic Peeled Black Garlic Cloves from Black Garlic North America; made with only one ingredient: Organic Garlic.
3. What makes Black Garlic chewy?
Black Garlic is slightly dried. Think about grapes and raisins; grapes are crisp and raisins are chewy. The same analogy can be used between garlic and black garlic.
4. Why is Black Garlic sweet?
During the fermentation process the stored carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars rendering a sweet flavor. Think about brown rice and brown rice syrup. Rice has no sweetness, but after a special fermentation brown rice starch is broken down to form a sweet brown rice syrup.
5. How is Black Garlic sold?
We sell our Black Garlic as whole bulbs, peeled cloves, puree, and black garlic powder! Some of our products are available in certified organic, and we will soon be offering more new products! This year, we launched our Black Garlic Powder and Diced Black Garlic but there are still more surprises to come!
The black garlic product that works best for you will likely depend on your taste or on what you will be creating. If you are mixing up lots of sauces and soups you may want to try our puree or powder. If you want to use the black garlic as a topping for one of the pizzas or salads on your menu then consider the peeled or diced cloves! Shop our Store to see all of our great options!
Do you have a commercial, retail, foodservice or distributor inquiry? Contact us.
6. Can I eat raw Black Garlic?
Black Garlic Cloves sprinkled on pizza.
So, you just bought black garlic for the first time. You opened the package, sniffed it cautiously and, just as you lowered your hand into the bag you paused and asked yourself, “Do I have to cook this first?” The answer is simple: Raw black garlic is entirely edible and absolutely delicious; you do not need to cook it before you enjoy it.
Aged and Fermented Black Garlic does amazing things to your dishes – from breakfast to dessert. It enhances the flavors without making a dish taste “garlicky,” and it is used in cooking at restaurants all over the world, but you don’t have to cook with it if you don’t want to!
Fresh garlic has many health benefits, but it is not a snack that most people munch on like popcorn, but black garlic is different. The taste and texture make it a lot easier to eat raw black garlic than it would be to eat fresh garlic without cooking it first. So, go ahead and snack on raw black garlic cloves in your salads or straight out of the tub, or add them to hot dishes if you prefer! There’s no wrong way to enjoy black garlic.
7. How is Black Garlic used in cooking?
Black Garlic shines in neutrally flavored food such as alfredo sauce or mayonnaise; the sweet and savory flavor makes dishes like macaroni salad go from simple to robust. Black Garlic is a versatile ingredients that can be used for all courses of a meal:
Mash and blend with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a wonderful vinaigrette salad dressing.
Blend into mayonnaise and dress your sandwich, burger or chips for something sweet and tangy.
Crush cloves and mix with maple syrup to serve atop vanilla ice cream.
Mix a bit of black garlic puree into your tomato sauces and create a delicious pasta sauce.
Stir 1/2 tsp into your soup and taste the magic!
Serious Eats posed the same questions to creative professional chefs. Read ideas from Executive Chef James “Mac” Moran, Chef Robin Song, and others in, ““Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Black Garlic?” By JACQUELINE RAPOSO. You will read about Dressings, Sauces, Vinaigrettes, and even Ice Cream with Black Garlic!
8. What is the history of Black Garlic?
Since Black Garlic is such a distinctive and delicious product it seems that everyone would like to take credit for its creation. There is literature that says China or Korea were the original countries of origin. There is also literature out there that says Black Garlic was noted in the “Tao Te Ching.” Whatever the origin one thing is certain Black Garlic is a delicious addition to any pantry worldwide.
9. How is Black Garlic made?
There are many ways to make Black Garlic from specialized and automated commercial equipment to artisanal methods using clay pots in the hot sun. The principle is sound. It takes high temperatures for long periods of time to change the garlic from off white and odiferous to black and sweet. Our process is completely artisanal. We utilize smell, visual and flavor cues during the fermentation process to make the best tasting product available on the market today.
10. Does all Black Garlic taste the same?
Does all cheese taste the same? No! Black garlic from each manufacturer will have a different flavor profile completely dependent upon all the variables of the fermentation and aging processes. We know that you can not rush a good thing, so we don’t. That is why our black garlic has a flavor all it’s own.
11. What makes Black Garlic black?
During the fermentation process melanoidin is produced from chemical reactions between amino acids and sugars. This results in a color change in the garlic.
12. How should I store my black garlic?
Black Garlic can be stored at room temperature in an unopened package until the stamped expiration date. Once opened Black Garlic can be stored for 3-6 months in a refrigerator. Black Garlic can also be stored for up to one month at room temperature.
13. Why do the bulbs look different throughout the year?
We ensure one thing with our Black Garlic which is that we use the highest quality and freshest garlic available. There are hundreds of sub-varieties of garlic throughout the world; each one is a little different in looks and flavor. In North America garlic is seasonal, grown from Mexico all the way into Canada each year. The harvest starts in the far south in January and continues all the way into September in the northern growing climates of Canada. Each temperature zone will favor one garlic species. Thus, as we go through the year we will utilize the garlic that is freshest, which means we will use many different varieties all of which look slightly different throughout the year.
14. Do you import garlic from overseas?
No, we only produce our black garlic from garlic grown in North America. Currently we use garlic from Mexico. The remaining product is grown in the United States (California and Wisconsin). Currently all raw garlic is fermented in Wisconsin.
15. Why not use garlic solely from the US?
We use garlic from Mexico for a short period of the year because it is the freshest, most delicious garlic available during the early part of the year.
16. What are the health benefits of Black Garlic?
The fermentation process changes many of the chemical components within raw garlic. The chemical reaction renders high levels of S-allylcysteine. The oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) value is approximately twice that of fresh garlic. According to some research, black garlic has been show to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and help with insomnia. To read about even more of the health benefits of black garlic, check out our Health Benefits page.
17. Why should I buy Black Garlic from Black Garlic North America?
Black Garlic North America is an American company that makes all of its product right here in America.
The garlic is grown in North America and fermented in Wisconsin. What’s more is the business members of Black Garlic North America have more than 60 years of experience in the food industry. We know what it takes to consistently exceed industry standards, which translates to exceeding customer expectations the first time, each time, every time.
Not sure where your black garlic brand comes from? Check the label, and read more about black garlic sources on our blog post: “No Amazon, No Problem for Black Garlic:”
Many black garlic brands source their garlic from China and Korea and produce their black garlic outside of the United States. According to MW Polar’s Amazon seller page, their black garlic originates in China, as does OneTang brand. RioRand brand black garlic is possibly made from garlic sourced in Korea, according to an article on BestProducts.com, and stickers on their products read “Made in China,” according to many surprised Amazon reviewers. As of yesterday, I was no longer able to shop the Organic version of RioRand black garlic on Amazon. Other brands of black garlic produced in the UK, such as Balsajo black garlic and The Original Black Garlic brand are made from garlic sourced from Korea, according to Amazon Seller Pages and the website Natural-Grocery…
We provide certified products.
Black Garlic North America creates Certified Organic Products, Kosher-certified black garlic, and undergoes rigorous annual audits from Safe Quality Foods (SQF) where we are Certified Level 2 to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
We offer an ever-growing array of products.
At Black Garlic Northe America you can choose from Whole Bulbs, Peeled Cloves, Diced Cloves, Pureed Black Garlic and even Black Garlic Powder! And the list is about to grow as we have many product launches coming in the near future. Shoppers can get all of their black garlic favorites in one place, at Black Garlic North America.
18. What is the minimum Wholesale order of black garlic?
Commercial, Distributor, Retail and Foodservice inquiries can be sent to [email protected]
19. I have seen some of this exact information on a competitor’s site, what’s that about?
Unfortunately, a black garlic competitor recently plagiarized our FAQ page, word for word, on their website FAQ page. We have made some adjustments to our page but they are misrepresenting their brand.
20. How much will I pay for shipping?
Shipping is free and fast, and there is no minimum order on our black garlic products in our online shop! Want a better idea of how long it will take your black garlic to arrive? View our SHIPPING TIME MAP.
21. Do you ship to Canada?
Currently, we do not ship our retail products to Canada, but we are hoping to change that soon!
What is Black Garlic? What does black garlic taste like? How do I use black garlic? Where can I buy black garlic? We’re here to answer all of your burning questions about this curious little black clove!