Posted: May 18, 2018

One of the emerging flavors on Kerry’s 2018 Savory Flavor Chart is black garlic. We’ve been seeing this flavor pop up over the last few months, so we did a little digging to dive more into this trend.
How is it made?
  • The common misconception is that black garlic is fermented, but black garlic owes its characteristic flavor not to fermentation, but enzymatic breakdown and the good old fashioned Maillard reaction. Processed at round 60 degrees Celcius/140 degrees Fehrenheit for a month to six weeks, it essentially gets a low and slow roast that slowly converts to sugar, turns the cloves black and creates a deeply caramelized garlic.
What does it taste like?
  • Black garlic has a soft, slightly chewy texture and a sweet flavor. It’s described as tasting like all sorts of things: figs, dates, molasses, balsamic, and garlic, too, of course.
  • Because of its delicate and muted flavors, a considerably larger amount of black garlic must be used in comparison to white garlic in order to achieve a similar level of intensity. Additionally, black garlic cannot be used in place white garlic. If a garlic flavor is desired in addition to the flavor of black garlic, then fresh garlic must be added.
  • One method to release the subtle flavors of black garlic is to knead a peeled clove between the fingers until its structure is thoroughly broken down and then to dissolve the resulting paste in a small amount of hot water. This produces a dark brown, coffee-colored suspension of the fibrous black garlic particles in a solution that carries most of its flavor, acidity, and sugar content. This liquid may then be added to foods that are otherwise neutral in flavor (like, for example, mashed potatoes) to better showcase the flavor of black garlic.
What would you use it for?
  • Black garlic is an umami bomb that you’ll want to start adding to all sorts of dishes. Slice it and use it in aioli, vinaigrettes, marinades or a savory crumble to sprinkle over roasted vegetables.
  • One of the 10 flavors to watch according to Datassential’s Foodbytes: 2018 Trends. “Judging by the popularity of garlic with consumers (it’s the second most-liked flavor overall according to our FLAVOR database), it’s almost suprising that this sweet, caramelized, umami-rich flavor is only just starting to appear more widely on U.S. menus.”
  • Black garlic has seen a 1 year growth of +36.7% and a 4 year growth of +137.5%
  • It is in the inception stage and is considered a premium ingredient that can be found on mostly fine-dining menus
  • 36% of the population knows about it, 16% have tried it, and awareness is highest with Gen Z and Asian consumers
  • Red’s Table in Reston, VA. serves buttermilk fried chicken, chicken leg,thigh and wing served with sauteed spinach, black garlic-miso aioli, a biscuit, maple-sriracha sauce, and bread-and-butter pickles.