Explainers

What is black garlic?

A look at the Korean health product popping up in menus across Australia.

Tasmanian black garlic

Black garlic has been used as a health product in Korea for decades, but it's now a common addition to menus across Australia.

To make it, whole garlic bulbs are heat-cured over a period of weeks until the sugars and amino acids produce a substance called melanoidin, which renders the cloves dark, soft and almost chocolatey.

"It has a sweetness and natural acidity that's not too dissimilar to balsamic vinegar, but it also has quite a pronounced and strong savoury flavour," says chef Andrew McConnell of Melbourne's Cumulus Inc and Supernormal.

The team at Sydney's Moon Park pair it on their seed biscuit with spanner crab to lend an umami hit. "It's sort of like Vegemite on a Vita-Weat," says co-owner Ned Brooks. As for us, we think the cloves smell distinctly like Burger Rings.

Find organic black garlic from Tasmania at tasmanianblackgarlic.com.au