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 now-closed Moon Park paired it on their seed biscuit with spanner crab to lend an umami hit. "It's sort of like Vegemite on a Vita-Weat," said co-owner Ned Brooks. As for us, we think the cloves smell distinctly like Burger Rings.
You can find black garlic at theorganicblackgarlic.com.au