It really changes everything, It's not big and bitey like normal garlic. It's sweet, soft with a umami flavour, and spreadable like paste. It's sweet at the beginning and then there are soft garlic notes.
Sweet, caramelised, soft.
It doesn't sound like garlic, but that's because it isn't. It's so much more than that.
Just ask Jenny Daniher and Cathy Owen, from Garlicious Grown, because they work their magic to turn the simple garlic into something dark, mysterious and delicious.
The Braidwood co-founders came across black garlic after they met on the sideline of their sons' football field.
Jenny is a fourth generation farmer with a cropping background, while Cathy was a rural doctor.
When they heard about black garlic, they had a vision of creating this gourmet product using local garlic crops. They put their heads together, including their scientific backgrounds, and refined a special, secret technique to create the delicacy. And it is quite a process.
Cathy and Jenny grow their own garlic, as well as sourcing it from local growers. They use purple Monaro garlic to create their black garlic.
"It has the highest natural sugar content of garlic varieties, and therefore brings the sweet, molasses flavours forward," Cathy said.
They create the black garlic on-farm, with the help of three employees, with a month-long low, slow cook with high humidity to create the amazing superfood, producing about 450 kilograms a month. "It really changes everything," Jenny said. "It's not big and bitey like normal garlic. It's sweet, soft with a umami flavour, and spreadable like paste. It's sweet at the beginning and then there are soft garlic notes."
"It's not an alternative to fresh garlic. It is a completely different ingredient."
And the best part?
"You don't get garlic breath," Jenny said. "Black garlic has 10 times the antioxidants of normal garlic. We have clients who buy it just to eat a clove a day purely for their health benefit."
The excellence of Garlicious Grown's black garlic has turned plenty of heads, including winning a bunch of awards, such as Sydney Fine Food medals, an Australian Food Awards gold medal and being named as a finalist in the delicious Produce awards and Google Regional Heroes.
Jenny and Cathy have also partnered with a number of top chefs, including Christine Manfield, Tony Panetta and John Leverink.
- Visit garliciousgrown.com.au for more information
Clove creation causes culinary commotion
Garlicious Grown was already attracting plenty of attention, but since Smart Farmer caught up with its creators three years ago, the business has evolved even more.
Braidwood's Jenny Daniher and Cathy Owen have taken their gourmet black garlic to a whole new level, supplying a number of different markets, both in Australia and overseas.
They have created mouth-watering new products, including black garlic white balsamic dressing, black garlic aioli, and a black garlic paste.
They are supplying more than 100 gourmet food stores across the country with their products, including Ritchies Fine Food Stores.
Their products are also available to individuals through their website.
As well as their products featuring on plates in a number of high-end restaurants, Cathy and Jenny have exciting new partners which they supply wholesale with black garlic.
The most recent is to Peace Love and Vegetables, Byron Bay, where the black garlic is an ingredient in an immune-boosting kefir they produce.
Cathy said their black garlic features in a Hunter Belle Cheese brie called Black Magic, and in a black garlic-infused honey from Hum Honey on the Sunshine Coast.
Garlicious Grown black garlic appears on the menu for the Hello Fresh Recipe Box.
This means when the black garlic recipe is made available and ordered, between 7000 and 8000 households receive a 10-gram tub of black garlic in their meal box.
Cathy and Jenny also export their black garlic, selling it to Asia and the Middle East.
Cathy said they recently sent a pallet of their dressing, aioli and paste by sea to Hong Kong. "That is a real milestone for us," she said.
Jenny said a recent NSW Government grant to assist with export marketing and access was a massive help to increase the potential to export their black garlic.
But the passion they both have is sharing their love of black garlic with customers, what it is and all the wonderful things it can be used for.
"We want people to understand why they should be excited about it," Jenny said.