Black garlic has long been prized by Asians for its health benefits, but it became widely available in Western markets only a few years ago. The black bulb is created by fermenting raw garlic through prolonged exposure to heat and humidity, giving it a sweet, mellow flavor and an inky hue. In addition to the sulfuric compounds that provide garlic with its heart-healthy and anticancer benefits, the fermented cloves are a source of important probiotics. “Fermented foods help stabilize our intestinal flora. When the intestine is in good shape, it strengthens our immune system,” says Bellatti. Black garlic has been increasingly sought-after in high-end cuisine, and it is often used to make sauces, dressings, and dips.
Available at health-food stores and online; try thespicehouse.com.