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what it is, properties and uses in the kitchen

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Introduction

L’black garlic it's a'alternative to garlic classic, white, which has Asian origins but is also increasingly used in Western cuisines, especially Italian ones. The color and consistency, much softer than common garlic, are obtained through a fermentation process which makes it pleasant on the palate and easily digestible. This type of garlic, a fairly recent food because it was born in Korea only in 2004, has already spread rapidly, first in the United States and then also in Europe. It boasts many beneficial properties, and is suitable for the preparation of various dishes appreciated even by those who do not particularly like garlic.

Black Garlic: what it is, origins

L’black garlic, also known as black allium, it comes in dark brown and black segments, with a soft and creamy consistency (it is very simple to crush, just a light pressure is enough) and a pleasant aftertaste of liquorice, and sometimes of balsamic vinegar, on the palate . The flavor is much sweeter than that of common white garlic, and does not even have the spicy notes of the latter. It has no odor and does not even leave an unpleasant smell, which is why it can be safely consumed raw.

Black garlic is obtained from the fermentation of bulbs, left to ferment in an environment with controlled humidity and temperature – temperatures between 60° they 90° and with a rate of humidity between80 and the 90% – for a month, without any addition of additives or preservatives. After 30 days, another six weeks of oxidation will follow which will cause the garlic to blacken and soften.

Beneficial properties of Black Garlic

Black garlic is considered a super food, because it boasts beneficial properties for the body. Several studies conducted in Japan, for example, have highlighted how, compared to white garlic, it has double the anti-oxidants, including alkaloids and bioflavonoids. It is a food naturally low in fat, but rich in mineral salts, above all potassium, sulfur, calcium and phosphorus. The fiber and protein content is also good.

Among the beneficial properties of black garlic, we find:

Differences Black Garlic and White Garlic

Both types of garlic have obvious beneficial properties for health. Common white garlic is much older and longer-lived as a food. In fact, it has been used for centuries for healing purposes in popular tradition, especially for the treatment of infections and for the treatment of disorders such as arterial hypertension and intestinal worms. White garlic contains a greater amount of allicin, the main antibacterial component of garlic. Black garlic would therefore be less effective in treating bacterial infections, but it is richer in antioxidants (twice as much as common garlic), as well as phosphorus, calcium and proteins. Garlic contains more calories and carbohydrates than common garlic.

  • Calorie: 143 per 100gr (nero) vs 41 (bianco);
  • Carbohydrates: 16.8g (black) vs 8.4g (white);
  • Phosphorus: 80 mg (black) vs. 40 mg (white);
  • Calcium: 36.66 mg (black) vs. 5.0 mg (white);
  • Protein: 12.5 g (black) vs. 2.2g (white).

Black Garlic in the kitchen

L’black garlic it can be used in cooking both raw and cooked, as an alternative to white garlic, therefore as a true substitute. Ideal in the preparation of first courses (such as traditional spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli), soups, sauces, a base for browning green vegetables such as spinach, herbs, chicory, dandelion, or for cooking fish.

Where to find and how to store black garlic

In Italy, black garlic It can be found in large-scale retail trade, in oriental delicatessen shops and in organic food shops. Pay attention to the label: the derivation must be certified. Prefer whole heads of garlic (like those in the photo) rather than jars found on the refrigerated counter, with already peeled segments. Store in cool place and dry with little humidity. If you bought it in a jar in the fresh produce counter, it is advisable to place it in the refrigerator but in the door, not on the shelf because it is too humid.

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