Ail Shake is a family affair, explained Fanny Boutarin.
Her husband grows the garlic at their farm in the Drome region of south-east France and she transforms it into black garlic and
sells the whole bulbs. With the help of her brother who is a culinary chef, Boutarin wants to diversify Ail Shake's portfolio, making other products such as jams, chutneys, extracts – even chocolate.
Originating from Japan, where it is often eaten in supplement form for its health properties, black garlic is made by heating the whole bulbs for 40 days at a very low temperature in humid conditions to prevent burning or drying out.
The resulting small black cloves have a sweet, rich flavour, like chutney, Boutarin said.
“We decided to add value to common garlic. It’s a completely new ingredient, nothing like fresh or dried garlic. It undergoes a process a bit like the vinification of wine or ripening of cheese.”
“The allicin, the molecule that is responsible for the strong garlic smell, completely disappears during the production process and just leaves a rich, sweet taste high in umami flavour, which is ideal for chocolate. It would also work well brewed in beer,” she added.