Fermented Awesomeness! To be more exact, black garlic is plain old garlic that undergoes a long fermentation process. Whole bulbs of garlic are placed into an oven at about 140° F and left to sit there for 40 days. The end result is a fruity, sweet, and non-astringent garlic. After the fermentation process, the garlic also gains 2x the amount of anti-oxidants as found in raw garlic! Its consistency is the same as roasted garlic so it is great to spread, but a little pricey at $30 per pound. Is it worth it? A pound of garlic is about 12 whole bulbs so buying a smaller portion (ounces rather than pounds) may be more affordable.
Since I have used black garlic in the restaurant and don’t want to pay the hefty price for it, I decided to do a little research and make some myself. I picked up a mini fridge (it doesn’t need to work) and made a working Frankenstein warming cabinet. For about $200 I was able to get a thermostat that clicks on and off at controlled temperatures, a heat lamp bulb and socket, wiring, and some odds and ends to make the box airtight. I used the old hood for my stove and doctored up the fan housing to fit into the box so I could circulate the heat around more.