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I spent most of the day researching black garlic.

I'm going to take anything that's published about black garlic with a HUGE grain of salt!!!

Especially studies sponsored by food companies, as above.

 

There are a plethora of wild health claims, origin claims, processing claims, science claims (in terms of what makes black garlic what it is)...TONS of conflicting information.

Until I can find something concrete, I'm guessing that it's 'mostly' non-enzymatic browning....generally, slow 'Maillard' reaction.

I read the summaries of a couple dozen or so patents; there are literally hundreds of patents relating black garlic processing!

Pre-boiling, pre-freezing, pre-pressure cooking, bacterial fermentation before thermic processing, various additives in some cases....times, temperatures and humidity all over the place........

I'm not going to believe anything that's on a commercial black garlic label!!!!!!

 

At this point all I care about is the taste, and 'possibly' making decent black garlic at home. :smile:

 

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Were you addressing something I said, DDF? I am a bit baffled since that study was not on the label of any black garlic product and, as far as I can tell was done at/by a university and I have no knowledge that it was sponsored by a food company (though I guess it could have been ... who knows).

 

At any rate - you care about taste and a method for making it at home. So do I but I also care about a 'reason' (other than just taste) TO make it at home (and because for me that might determine what method I want to use). Different strokes for different folks. :) No one is wrong here.

 

 

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My comments have nothing to do with what you've said.

 

3 minutes ago, Deryn said:

I also care about a 'reason' (other than just taste) TO make it at home

 

Me too.

Cost is another good reason. :smile:

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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FWIW,

I found a couple pics of Hunter's black garlic as well as a pic of black ramps on his Instagram.

 

In the comments on the black ramps there's evidence that baking soda is involved.

Baked baking soda — sodium carbonate — apparently.

"I was at your talk at the MOFAD, I just tried following your method for black garlic on ramps this week myself, didn't turn out this nice. Should I have baked the baking soda longer for a darker color? And in was a bit damp but you wrapped yours in a damp towel in plastic wrap right?"

 

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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On June 23, 2016 at 1:12 PM, pbear said:

 

Finally gonna have time to give this a try and would like to check an important detail.  The easy way would be to use store-bought peeled garlic, but I've read the main weakness of the product is that it's blanched, which denatures enzymes.  That's relevant to its flavor generally, though IME easily overcome by using a bit more, but might be a process killer in this application.  What did you use?

Sorry - late to seeing this - used the peeled ones purchased from the grocery store - not  Christopher Ranch however.

 

 

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FWIW, 

Low-temperature Mailliard reaction....

Source: The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking, edited by César Vega, Job Ubbink, Erik van der Linden, pg. 95

 

low-temperature-mailliard.png

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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sx4FwSv.jpg

 

Three and a half days in a makeshift 'oven' — then dehydrated for about 3 hours.

 

Not the same as the RioRand black garlic that I recently acquired.

Not bad, just not the same — similar in some ways but a bit more 'garlicky', not as sweet, not as 'raisiny' as the RioRand.

I'll taste it again after it's rested for a week or two.

Given that they're not the same sub-variety or cultivar of garlic and likely not the same subspecies....there's no telling how similar they'd be even if the same process was followed.

 

Anyway, my garlic from the garden isn't ready yet, so — because I have the patience and attention span of a gnat — I asked the better-half to pick up some garlic on the way home from work.

Two bulbs of unequal size — one internally malformed.

I should have waited and selected some better stuff, oh well.

I soaked the whole bulbs in water for about an hour.

Wrapped each bulb in moist paper towel (about 3/4" to 1" thick.)

Then wrapped them fairly tightly with foil.

Poked a tiny hole in the foil top and bottom.

To smooth out temperature fluctuations, I put two 7 pound solid aluminum bricks in my small  electric smoker — no, smoke, of course. That's for another time. :)

The smoker was preheated to 185 to 190 degrees and stayed in that temperature range for the entire three and a half days.

I put the garlic in a clay flower pot flipped over on it's base which was set on top of the aluminum bricks.

I turned the garlic over every 12 hours.

I removed the bulbs from the 'oven' this morning at 5:00AM, pulled them apart and dehydrated them for about 3 hours.

 

Next I'll try the method (or similar) that Kerry posted about above.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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You tried .. beyond the call of 'duty', btbryd. Thanks. Not to worry. Although I know you want to try that technique yourself, I can wait.

 

In the meantime, DDF ... that seems quite a method you have devised! Or did you get all that from somewhere else? Sorry the outcome may not have been entirely perfect on this run ... hope it is useable nonetheless. Thanks for the report with picture.

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1 hour ago, btbyrd said:

No luck on this week's Cooking Issues. *sadface*

 

 Darn!!! :(

 

41 minutes ago, Deryn said:

In the meantime, DDF ... that seems quite a method you have devised! Or did you get all that from somewhere else? 

 

Loosely based on VilleN's blog post — translated via Google Translate.

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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The quick black garlic technique was briefly explained again at the tail end of today's Cooking Issues show.

Nothing about the sodium carbonate (soda ash) that was mentioned in comments on Hunter's Instagram. 

 

I tasted the black garlic that I made last week again today.

Still a bit more garlicky than the RioRand — seems slightly sweeter and a bit more raisiny tasting than last week.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Pressure cooker black garlic FAIL!!!!!!

Dehydrated to 60% of raw weight then pressure cooked for 6 hours in a Hawkins 3-liter SS pressure cooker @ ~15 psi.

Got nice and dark, smelled like black garlic, but, unfortunately, tasted quite bitter! :(

 

 

pressgarlic.jpg

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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  • 3 years later...
On 6/18/2016 at 8:42 PM, btbyrd said:

The 3-day black garlic technique was developed by Jonny Hunter and was discussed briefly at the beginning of Episode 231. (EDIT: It's actually Episode 237). They've talked about it a few times, but I'm not sure if they ever fully outlined the technique on the podcast. I know that Hunter presented the technique at a MOFAD event called pHDelicious that was about the impact of pH on cooking. So they may have tweaked the pH during the warming step to accelerate the process. I'll see if I can find out more.

 

What are people's favorite recipes/applications using black garlic? I have a big container of RioRand brand peeled black garlic cloves and am trying to think of new ways to use them. If you're in the market for pre-made black garlic, I highly recommend the RioRand products. The cloves are gigantic, and the fact that there's a pre-peeled option is great (peeling black garlic can be a bit of a chore since it's soft and sticky).

 

did you ever get to the bottom of this?

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There doesn't appear to be any pH tweaking going on in the Hunter-method, at least as it was described in episode 256 of Cooking Issues. Here's the quick and dirty summary of the method as described at the end of the show:

 

"Take the garlic (unpeeled, either single cloves or full heads) and wrap it in foil, then put a damp towel at the bottom of a crock pot and then another damp towel on top [with the garlic in the middle]. Then put the lid on the crock pot and wrap the whole thing in cellophane to keep everything sealed and put the crock pot on high (around 180F) and go for at least 24hrs, and maybe more.... you can test it periodically." 

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2 hours ago, btbyrd said:

There doesn't appear to be any pH tweaking going on in the Hunter-method, at least as it was described in episode 256 of Cooking Issues. Here's the quick and dirty summary of the method as described at the end of the show:

 

"Take the garlic (unpeeled, either single cloves or full heads) and wrap it in foil, then put a damp towel at the bottom of a crock pot and then another damp towel on top [with the garlic in the middle]. Then put the lid on the crock pot and wrap the whole thing in cellophane to keep everything sealed and put the crock pot on high (around 180F) and go for at least 24hrs, and maybe more.... you can test it periodically." 

Sounds more like caramelized garlic than black garlic

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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FWIW: See jhalter23's comment about soda ash on Jonny Hunter's Instagram. May 18, 2016

Jonny posted "Black ramps in 2.5 days"

 

soda.JPG

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Again, I've researched rapid black garlic production.

 

The look (like charcoal) of the skin of Jonny's black garlic, black ramps, and black onions coupled with jhalters23's comment above does seem to suggest that there is some pH tweaking going on.

I wasn't able to find any reference to the use of soda ash (sodium carbonate) for pH adjustment of black garlic in any patent or research paper.

 

What I did find that's interesting is this:

Effect of Freezing Pretreatment on the Processing Time and Quality of Black Garlic (emphasis added)

Abstract

Because freezing treatment can destroy the cell structure of garlic, we investigated the effect of freezing pretreatment on black garlic processing with the traditional processing method as contrast. Results showed that freezing for 30 h had the greatest impact on the reducing sugar content. The control garlic processing 21–24 days had the best quality. Freezing pretreatment can affect the black garlic quality through the browning degree, reducing sugar content, amino‐N content, total phenolic content and 5‐hydroxymethyl‐2‐furaldehyde (5‐HMF) levels. The freezing garlic had a faster color change than control samples. When the processing ended, the reducing sugar content, total phenols content and 5‐HMF content of freezing pretreated garlic were increased by 51.88, 58.54, 25%, respectively, compared with the control samples. The amino‐N content of freezing‐pretreated garlic decreased 50.97% compared with the control one. The results indicated that freezing pretreatment can promote the generation of functional materials.

Practical Applications
Although garlic has been used worldwide as food or herbal supplement, some people feel discomfort because of its strong pungent odor. Black garlic is one of the garlic‐processed products, eliminating its stimulating odor. However, the quality of black garlic products on the market is varied and the processing time is long. As is known, freezing is widely used to destroy cell structure. In the present study, the use of freezing pretreatment in black garlic processing can promote the generation of functional materials and significantly reduce processing time from 60–90 to 22 days. These provided potential method to the black garlic processing.

 

Any thoughts on the use of soda ash (sodium carbonate) as an accelerator?

Percentage of soda ash (sodium carbonate) to water? I'm thinking 2.5% to 5%!? 

Seems to me that it would be best to add the soda ash (sodium carbonate) solution before freezing then drain it off after thawing.

 

??? :huh:

 

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Another thought—some dehydration after freezing 'should' increase the percentage of reducing sugar.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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12 minutes ago, adey73 said:

would a lye wash do it?

 

I think that a proper lye (sodium hydroxide) solution would work.

So would pickling lime (slaked lime AKA calcium hydroxide.)

Soda ash (sodium carbonate) is the easiest and cheapest option for me.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Quoting Chris Young from the Chefsteps forum:

"I've been thinking about this a bit lately, and I'm eager to try pressure cooking for four to eight hours. I think it will create sonething like black garlic in a fraction of the time."

 

My first attempt at pressure cooker black garlic (noted above) was a failure—bitterness.

I'm going to try it again—incorporating a pre-freeze and cooking for ~2 hours.

 

I picked-up a couple heads of garlic at Wegmans yesterday.

 

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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6 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

I'm going to try it again—incorporating a pre-freeze and cooking for ~2 hrs

 

 

 

you going to do a quick sodium carbonate soak then freeze or after?

 

what temp is the C.S neutralised?

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Just now, adey73 said:

 

 

you going to do a quick sodium carbonate soak then freeze or after?

 

what temp is the C.S neutralised?

 

Just freezing and pressure cooking this time.

I'll try the freezing and soda ash (at a lower temperature) in a couple days.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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