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Unlocking Umami: What Does Black Garlic Taste Like?

What exactly is black garlic? It would be your first thought since most of us are familiar only with the term “garlic”.

And followed by what does black garlic taste like, or is it edible?

Lots of questions and doubts ensue, which is only natural and valid.

Black garlic is simply aged garlic.

It goes through a fermentation process to age and is then used in various recipes.

This post will reveal what black garlic is, its taste profile, and how to cook it.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

What is Black Garlic?

As mentioned above, black garlic happens due to fermentation.

This process originated in East Asia and was first carried out in Korea and has gained massive popularity in recent years.

Some might be wondering how garlic turns black.

Here the raw garlic is kept in a temperature-regulated room with humidity.

It allows the garlic to undergo heat for a few weeks and lets it oxidize for several weeks.

People who see black garlic for the first time may probably think it’s burnt.

But what one doesn’t know is the natural fermentation process it follows.

Here raw garlic goes through a Maillard reaction where the enzymes break down.

Note that when food is exposed to heat, sugars and amino acids form complex molecules, and those molecules produce more.

Black garlic goes through this process and thus resulting in comprising multiple flavors.

It’s free of preservatives and additives, allowing various nutritional benefits.

What Does Black Garlic Taste Like?

Now that you know what black garlic is let’s get to know what it tastes like.

Raw garlic has a crisp texture, but black ones are spongy and soft, like a marshmallow.

The flavor is milder than white garlic, with a smokey note and tangier.

Since black garlic is fermented, expect a pungent taste.

Additionally, it’s caramelized and mild flavored, unlike raw garlic.

Black garlic would be better if you don’t prefer the intense aroma of regular garlic.

It may be slightly tangy because of the fermentation, but it tastes good regardless.

The smokey flavor, along with sweetness, works well in multiple recipes.

It also makes an excellent add-on in salads, stews, and soups.

Note the smoked and black garlic are not the same.

The taste of black garlic is relatively different from white garlic.

In contrast, the smoked garlic taste profile doesn’t change drastically, allowing you to get a hint of white garlic still.

The flavor of the black garlic depends on the white garlic you use for fermentation.

For instance, if the white garlic has high sugar content, the aged one will have a caramel flavor.

Garlic, in general, has multiple health benefits as it contains various medicinal properties.

Some may wonder if the fermentation process might eliminate all these healing properties.

However, it’s quite the opposite.

Black garlic is rich in antioxidants and is a good source of amino acids, which are known for building proteins in your body.

Also, black garlic reportedly has anti-aging properties.

How to Cook and Serve Black Garlic?

Black garlic may be described as a natural flavor enhancer. It adds sweetness to your foods.

You may use it as a sweetener in pasta, salads, and pizza.

Some people add black garlic to their energy drinks to give a unique taste and for health benefits too.

If you have ice cream, you may improvise by using it as toppings which is better and healthier.

You may prepare black garlic in different ways, including:

  • Roasting.
  • Sautéing .
  • Pan-frying.
  • Grilling.
  • Braising.

Just because it’s black doesn’t mean you have to limit its usage.

In fact, use it like white garlic or use it as an alternative if you prefer a mellow flavor.

It complements rich flavored dishes like red meat and goat or blue cheese.

You may also create a sauce for chicken dishes, pork chops, steak, and beef stew.

We suggest you add black ingredient at the end of cooking since it has a soft texture and prevents overcooking.

Because of its multiple health benefits, some people use black garlic instead of onion and white garlic.

You may switch to this aged garlic if it’s available near your local grocery store or prepare it yourself at home.


Black garlic might sound foreign to many, but it is popular in East Asian households.

Its unique flavor enhances the dish allowing you to enjoy the meal overall.

The taste profile of black garlic is quite distinct compared to white garlic, but both are essential ingredients in recipes.

You may use this aged garlic in most recipes or rich-flavored dishes, as it blends perfectly because of its mellow and sweet flavor.

If you haven’t tried this garlic yet, give it a shot, as it’s worth trying.

It provides multiple health benefits besides enhancing the flavor of dishes.

What Does Black Garlic Taste Like? Does It Taste Good?

Andrew Gray
Curious about the taste of black garlic and whether it's appetizing? Let's delve into its flavor profile and whether it's considered tasty.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


  • Black garlic
  • Ingredients from your favorite recipes


  • Depending on the ingredients used, the cooking method, and the type of dish, the taste of the food can vary greatly.
  • Make sure to select a recipe that will elevate the food’s original flavor, and enjoy experimenting with different recipes!
Keyword What Does Black Garlic Taste Like
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