Black garlic from Piacenza
We take an excellence of the Piacenza hills at km 0 and we value it, or rather, the Azienda Agricola La Radice does it for us.
Piacenza black garlic is excellent in a vinaigrette, in a risotto, in a butter cream or simply spread on toasted bread , black garlic is a faithful ally in the kitchen to ensure the surprise effect.
WHERE IS BLACK GARLIC BORN?
Kissed by the sun of the Arquatesi Hills, the garlic of the Azienda Agricola La Radice grows with a strong, elegant and pleasant aroma on the nose. The soil of the Alta Val d'Arda in fact, thanks to the high clay component, gives Piacenza garlic its characteristic scent. The soils of the lower Po Valley, which on the contrary are silty and sandy (in any case ideal places for garlic cultivation) favor the growth of the bulb in large dimensions, thanks to the softness and drainage of the soil.
Ilaria and Roberto de La Radice cultivate an ancient variety of garlic, Ottolini , selected and cataloged as early as the 19th century. Piacenza garlic has a pungent and intense aroma and is, for example, much more digestible than the Spanish one.
HOW DO YOU GET BLACK GARLIC?
Spoiler: Black Garlic is not born black!
In order to obtain the Black Garlic, the Piacenza white garlic cloves are sown from November to February March , depending on the weather and soil conditions (if you have managed to work it in time). When sowing in the fall the likelihood of garlic bulbs absorbing rainwater or snow is higher. It is very important that garlic receives water in a weighted quantity in the first moment of growth: an excessive amount would lead the garlic to rot, while a small amount of water in the growth phase would not allow the garlic to develop at its best.
Snow , more than rain, is the ideal ally for newly planted cloves of garlic, as it creates a protective barrier and when it melts, it gradually percolates into the ground. Thus he spends the winter and spring months in the growth phase.
In mid- July , when the leaves turn yellow, it is extracted from the ground and left to dry in the sun in those days, taking care to turn it twice.
Next, you clean and the bulb before placing it in small fermenters that hold about 1.5kg of garlic at a time. It is left at a temperature between 60/80 degrees for a period of between 7-10 days , depending on the freshness of the garlic.
Due to drought and climate change, fermentation does not last longer than 6 days, as garlic has already lost a lot of water before being harvested.
WHY DOES BLACK GARLIC NOT TASTE OF GARLIC?
During the oxidation phase, Piacenza garlic loses allicin (the active ingredient of garlic which gives the characteristic acrid smell) and acquires particular organoleptic properties - honey, cooked plum, mushroom, caramel, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, porcini mushroom- and it becomes totally digestible.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFICIAL PROPERTIES OF BLACK GARLIC?
It reduces cholesterol and blood sugar, protects against cardiovascular disease and hypertension , maintains its antibacterial properties despite the loss of allicin.
"We are in love with garlic and its transformation allows us to enrich or enhance many dishes while maintaining digestibility"
Ilaria and Roberto