Inventor Scott Kim began developing the product in South Korea in 2004. His goal originally was to market aged or fermented black garlic as a super-food: Its patented, month-long heat-curing process creates a high level of antioxidants and a natural cancer-preventing compound. Forms of fermented garlic have long been eaten for health reasons in Korea and Japan. Kim formed a company called Black Garlic Inc. last year, bringing on John Yi, a longtime garlic producer. Based in Hayward, Calif., the company is the sole manufacturer and supplier in the United States. Heads of garlic grown on Jeju Island, South Korea, are used, but Kim plans to process California-grown garlic soon as well. A 1.27-ounce package costs about $3.50. To order, contact the company at 310-623-7063 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to http://www.blackgarlic.com for more information.
Black garlic is a secret weapon in the kitchen. It adds complex dimension to all sorts of dishes. I often use it in compound butters, in sauces as well as in desserts. It lends a perfect balance of savory and sweet with mellow garlic notes and a subtle fermentation character.