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Black Garlic???

Does anyone (Sam, perhaps) know what the process is for turning ordinary garlic into delicious, umami-rich black garlic? I've been cooking with it a lot the last two weeks in preparation for writing about it for the local paper. My research has yielded wildly conflicting results.

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  1. The only thing I've been able to come up with is the Korean aged garlic. I haven't experimented yet but what I've seen calls for simply placing whole garlic heads into an earthenware container, setting that in a cool dark place like a cave or root cellar, and letting it set for a couple months until it turns black. The garlic may be suspended above aged soy sauce in the container.

    1. You've probably seen this site, but maybe you could ask them?


      1. Thanks, hanna and chocolate; your replies illustrate my dilemma -- completely opposing explanations. Maybe it's done differently in different countries?

        1. Although I have never done it myself I recently searched for the same answer myself. Aging, fermentation, and pickling has long been a difficult and mysterious trade. I believe that I found my answer here:


          It appears to be a patent for the preparation of the aforementioned item. I read the entire length of it and decided that it was probably perpetuated by the one distributor and possible inventor; a man who I believe goes by the name Scott Kim.



          1. hey, pikawicca, did your article get published yet? link?

            1 Reply
            1. I found an article for making black garlic:

              There are scientific publications about this process. It looks really simple. How someone can patent fermentation that just requires warming is beyond me.

              6 Replies
              1. re: brother bill

                Dang, it appears to be deleted now.
                Do you remember what the instructions were?

                1. re: AndrewK512

                  The link works again -- but all you do is put garlic in a clean glass jar in a single layer and keep it at 140 - 155 for 40 days. I've never had an oven that would keep that temperature that long, so I think you'd have to improvise something.

                  1. re: dmd_kc

                    Most decent food dehydrators are in that 140-155 F range. I actually am planning on getting a ton of garlic this weekend, and trying it out with mine. I couldn't imagine trying to do it in the oven, and not having access for a month+. Only downside with my dehydrator, is I won't have a way to put the garlic in a glass jar. I don't have high hopes for it, but I never use my dehydrator, and with how cheap garlic is, I'm going to give it a shot.

                    BTW, here is a link on a ton of dehydrators with their temp range. If you're serious about doing it yourself, and have a few bucks to spare on buying the right one for it, it might be worth giving a shot. Hell, you could probably make a ton at a time, and sell it for a decent amount of money at a farmers market, if that's your kind of thing.

                    1. re: RayPot

                      Hey RayPot,
                      did it work with your dehydrator?? just curious, i would like to try it.

                      1. re: RayPot

                        To save $$ and to also keep it at a constant temp, just put the container on top of your hot water heater tank and cover it with insulation. Do a test jar of water first and check it with a meat thermometer.

                2. It's been a few months and I'm curious.

                  Did anyone ferment their garlic? How was it?

                  1. I use black garlic in many ways, from vinaigrettes to ice cream! I LOVE the stuff.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: chefathome

                      chefathome, have you got recipes to share? this is interesting...black garlic. I'd like to try it.

                      1. re: mamachef

                        I really can't wrap my mind around this whole black garlic concept. It just does not appeal to me at all.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I want to see recipes and see if they're workable - have not ever seen one that looks like something I'd want to experiment with, but maybe chefhome has some.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            After my column came out two years ago, many people tried it, and many of them liked it, The cooking store that Candy manages always keeps it in stock as a result. Give it a try.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                A bit of info re black garlic and a few more recipe ideas here...

                                I'm looking for the black garlic ice cream recipe that is utterly mmmmmm!!

                                1. re: chefathome

                                  chefathome, i thought you said that you loved your black garlic ice cream (upthread).

                                  i for one and not enthralled with the concept of black garlic -- or any garlic -- ice cream. now a garlic cream sauce over a nice pasta -- i'm there!

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    I do love it! I had it written down on some random piece of paper that I cannot find. I am not a big fan of regular garlic ice cream but this one had that something special. Will post when I get a hold of that elusive sucker!

                          2. re: mamachef

                            It's wonderfully mellow and smooth. Sort of like roasted garlic but better! Lots of these are divine including the risotto, scallops, pork fillet recipes.


                            Black garlic vinaigrette...


                            And a few more...(some are doubles of the first website

                            1. re: chefathome

                              Thank you. Please (!!) be sure and let us know if you find the garlic ice cream recipe?

                        2. I just finished making my own black garlic by sealing 6 whole heads in a vaccuum bag and submerging it in a water bath at 140F for 40 days. The garlic is nice and black now but I have not yet opened the bag as I am a bit concerned about safety. I believe that having cooked at that temperature for that length of time the garlic should be pasteurized. Does anyone know how I should store them?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: nextguy

                            I don't know enough about the invisible monsters in our food to give reliable advice about how to store your black garlic without making it poisonous. I wait with mounting curiosity to hear the results of your experiment tho.

                            (The results in terms of taste. I hoping it's tasty, I'm not hoping you kill your guests.)

                            1. re: Altarbo

                              I am planning on giving it a try tonight so if I don't write back someone please call 911 :)

                              1. re: nextguy

                                How was is it? Tasty? Not tasty? Hopefully not deadly.

                                1. re: Altarbo

                                  I am still alive :)

                                  I thought it was ok. I need to buy a commercial one to compare the flavor. In the end though, losing my immersion circulator for 40 days was tough so I am unsure if I would repeat this process.

                          2. I am totally intrigued and am going to try to make some myself. My plan is to put 2 or 3 heads of garlic into one of those glass canning jars with the rubber ring and metal clasp so that it's sealed really tight, since sealing in the humidity seems to be key. Then I'll put it in my Aga's warming oven for the requiered 40 days. I'll prolly purchase some online as well so that I can compare the taste of mine when it's done with purchased.

                            This seems like a really great use of the Aga's warming oven, since it's already turned on all the time.

                            1. Has anyone experimented with an inconsistent heat source, like a water heater or other warm spot? Maybe a sunny windowsill (like for Indian pickle), but foil-wrapped?

                              1. I took fermented black garlic aka aged black garlic from 11/10/12 through 2/20/13 and updated my blood test to see how the fermented black garlic worked. Compared to my blood test from 9/11/12, total cholesterol changed from 214 to 151, TC 57 to 54, HDL 67 to 59, LDL 135 to 81, Glucose 105 to 76. I was very pleased with the change and I want to share how to make this wonderful fermented black garlic at home.
                                1. Buy 15-20 bulbs of organic garlics (I used organic garlic from California). USE ONLY ORGANIC GARLIC.
                                2. In a electrical rice cooker that has cooking and warming settings for 10 cups, place the basket vegetable steamer at the bottom of the rice cooker. Place the garlic about 15-20 bulbs in an upright position in the rice cooker.
                                3. Spray the garlic with draft beer (I used Asahi Japanese beer) lightly.
                                4. Closed the lid and plug the rice cooker, set it at warming. I recommend keeping the rice cooker outside. It smells really strong. I kept mine on the deck under the patio table to keep the snow and rain out.
                                5. Leave it alone for 14 days. DO NOT OPEN PRIOR TO 14 DAYS.
                                6. Take the garlic out and place them on a tray and let it dry for 14 days in a cool dark place. I dried mine in the garage.
                                7. Put the garlic in a ziplock bag and store in the refrigerator.
                                8. Peel one bulb at a time and eat 2 cloves with food three times a day.
                                9. Drink plenty of water.
                                10. For further info on the fermented black garlic, check http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic...

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Naturalremedy

                                  FWIW, someone tried this and documented the process on youtube. it did not seem to work.


                                  1. re: barryc

                                    I bought the TJ black garlic but have not yet had the gumption to open/try it. Garlic in regular form has health benefits. I wonder if comparative studies have been done to determine whether Naturalremedy's results differ from those of persons who ate equivalent amounts of raw, or conventionally-cooked, garlic for the same period of time.

                                2. Trader Joe's now sells Black Garlic. I was just added this month as new item

                                  1. Bought some black garlic. I will give them a try and update soon. Looking forward.