Black Garlic • A delicacy with health benefits

Black garlic was unknown to many for a long time, but is now enjoying great popularity. The tuber has an exceptional taste and does not cause bad breath. In addition, it scores with lots of healthy ingredients. Find out here what makes Black Garlic so special.

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Origin and Production: What is Black Garlic?

Black garlic or Black Garlic is commercially available white or purple garlic that is fermented under certain conditions. During fermentation, the sugar and amino acids of the garlic are converted into nitrogenous, organic compounds that color the garlic black. Garlic has many ingredients that have a positive effect on health. Black garlic also has these health-promoting properties. However, with a decisive advantage over the conventional bulb: black garlic does not cause any annoying vapors through the breathing air and the skin. So nobody has to worry about bad breath when eating black garlic.

How is black garlic made?

Fresh garlic bulbs are used to make black garlic. These are exposed to a fermentation chamber, high humidity and high temperatures for several weeks: depending on the manufacturing process at 60 to 90 degrees with a humidity of 80 to 90 percent for 21 to 90 days. The amino acids and carbohydrates of garlic are converted into nitrogenous compounds called melanoidins. These ensure the black color and a soft, sticky consistency.

Where does black garlic come from?

Black garlic originally comes from Asia. In Korea and China it is a typical part of the regional cuisine. It is also imported to Germany from these countries. In Europe, Spain has also specialized in the production of the black tuber. The purple garlic grown there is said to be even more aromatic in fermented form than its white counterpart from Asia.

How Healthy is Black Garlic?

Garlic is a very old cultivated plant. There is evidence that it was used as a medicinal plant well before Christ to treat a variety of diseases such as Coughrheumatic complaints or lung infection to treat. And even today the tuber is considered healthy. Mainly because garlic is high in phytochemicals, especially allicin. This belongs to the group of sulfides and gives garlic its typical sulphurous smell. Sulphides are attributed certain health effects. They seem:

  • antibiotic
  • antioxidant
  • antithrombotic
  • hypotensive
  • cholesterol-lowering

Because of its ingredients, garlic and black garlic are known as natural blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol reducers. Studies show that garlic increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases because of its ingredients stroke or Heart attack and vascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis can reduce. Also for illnesses such as colds, Cancer, diabetes mellitus, rheumatism and Parkinson’s there are investigations. However, the effectiveness of garlic has not yet been finally clarified.

Fermented black garlic is also said to have even more health benefits than white garlic because it contains other secondary nutrients botanicals contains. Especially:

  • Polyphenols: have an anti-inflammatory effect and strengthen it immune system
  • S-allylcysteine: has an antioxidant effect and protects the cells from free radicals

However, the effects of black garlic are not as well studied as white garlic. This is mainly due to the fact that there is no standardized preparation technique for black garlic.

Black garlic as a remedy?

Although garlic is healthy, it is not used in modern medicine. White and black garlic are only used as dietary supplements offered in the form of capsules, juice or extract. As a dietary supplement, however, garlic has no pharmacological effect and may not be advertised as such.

How does black garlic taste?

Black garlic is so popular mainly because of its extraordinary taste. Unlike the classic white garlic, it is not pungent, penetrating and sulphurous. Instead, it tastes sweet, slightly like liquorice, prunes, balsamic vinegar, vanilla or caramel. The typical garlic taste is only slightly present. This is because the sulphur-containing amino acid allicin is broken down during fermentation. The consistency also changes: the toes become soft, jelly-like and sticky

How is black garlic used in cooking?

Black garlic is a versatile ingredient and can be used in many recipes: it goes well with pasta and rice dishes, with meat, fish and salads. It is also suitable for baking, desserts or smoothies due to its caramel and vanilla notes. If you like it pure, you can eat the cloves straight from the tuber or as a spread on bread. Black garlic is also available in dried form as a powder. Then it can easily be used as a spice.

Black garlic: buy it or make it yourself?

Fermenting garlic yourself is not difficult. All you need is a rice cooker or dehydrator and lots of garlic bulbs. However, the production is time-consuming and consumes a lot of energy because the proofer runs continuously for several weeks.

Alternatively, the tuber can also be fermented using other methods, such as classic fermentation in brine. In this variant, garlic is pickled in salt and lactic acid fermented for several weeks. The garlic does not turn black, but valuable ingredients such as lactic acid bacteria develop. These ensure a healthy intestinal flora and strengthen the immune system of the intestine.

If you prefer to buy black garlic instead, you can find this delicacy in delicatessens, organic markets and online retailers. Most of the products offered there come from Asia or Spain. However, since garlic is also grown in Germany, it is worth looking for locally grown black garlic.

What is there to consider when eating garlic?

Eating large amounts of fresh garlic can upset your stomach: heartburn, nausea, Vomit or Diarrhea can be the consequences of excessive consumption. The recommendation is no more than 5 g fresh garlic or 1.2 g dried garlic powder per day. There is also a recommended maximum amount for garlic preparations that are taken as a dietary supplement: no more than 12 mg alliin or 5 mg allicin should be taken per day. Incidentally, garlic during pregnancy is also harmless. If it is eaten in normal amounts, nothing stands in the way of enjoyment.

In addition, drug interactions should be considered. For example, garlic can enhance the effects of blood-thinning medication. However, it is not known whether black garlic can also have undesirable side effects or interactions.

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