Monday, August 17, 2009

Black garlic

Black garlic is amazing looking, but even more amazing tasting. The shiny ebony cloves are sweet and sticky and garlicky, but in an only mildly spicy way. It tastes like what roasted garlic wishes it could be when it grows up.

The garlic turns dense and black during a month-long process that slowly, slowly caramelizes the garlic's natural sugars. There are no colorants or additives of any kind. It's just garlic.

The real question is, how do you use black garlic? I think, because it's an interesting blend of sweet and savory, that it would work in savory dishes where you might have used either raisins or sun-dried tomatoes. I think it could be nice as flecks in a fennel bread. It would be great with broccoli rabe, or in homemade sausage, in guacamole, or tossed with pasta. But on a website called Black Garlic (home of the company started by Scott Kim, the "inventor" of black garlic), you'll find a small collection of recipes, including the following, which is something that I would never have come up with, but absolutely intrigues me:

Baked Bananas with Black Garlic

1 Cadbury's Flake chocolate bar
1 peeled clove black garlic, minced
2 teaspoons runny honey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 banana, skin on
2 tablespoons brandy or dark rum
Vanilla ice cream for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Mix together the candy bar, garlic, honey and sugar.
3. Place the banana on a piece of foil. Make a slit along the top of the banana through the skin and half way through the flesh. Stuff the mixture inside the slit. Pour the brandy on top.
4. Seal the foil around the banana and place in a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Remove from the foil and serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

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