The Truth About Black Garlic

Garlic is a pretty great ingredient on its own that can add some real flavor and aroma to countless dishes. That said, there's a way to make regular ol' garlic, as great as it is, even better — make it black. Yep, black garlic isn't some exotic garlic that chefs and foodies must travel to the ends of the Earth for — it's simply aged garlic. 

According to Bon Appétit, though, black garlic has a sweet and earthy umami flavor. It also happens to be rather sticky from the aging process and — yes, it is black. Here's the lowdown on this appealing garlic spinoff and how you can even make your own. 

It has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic

Black garlic might be having a bit of a moment in the sun, but that doesn' mean it's a new thing. According to Science Direct, it's been used in Thai, Japanese, and South Korean cooking for centuries, buthas only recently caught on with the rest of the world. 

The aging process, which involves subjecting full garlic bulbs to temperatures of 140 to 195°F and 80 to 90 percent humidity, does alter the contents of the garlic. Black garlic is much higher in antioxidants than in its regular form; nearly twice the amount. Science is even exploring black garlic's usefulness in fighting certain diseases and improving memory because of its high antioxidant properties.  

Making black garlic is wildly easy

If all this talk about the wonders of black garlic has you wanting to try it out for yourself, well, you're in luck. It's incredibly simple to make, so long as you have patience and a slow cooker that you don't plan on using for a few weeks. 

All you need to do is grab yourself a few garlic bulbs and gently rub off any dirt that's on them (this doesn't mean wash them — if the cloves get water-logged this could mess up the aging process). Set your slow cooker to warm (not low) and place those garlic bulbs inside. Lock'em up and wait for about three weeks. They can be aged longer, but three weeks should be the minimum (via The Spruce Eats). 

After that, you're ready to use your black garlic the same way that you would cook with roasted garlic. Enjoy that sweet DIY flavor.