The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

2009.08.05 The garlic turned black

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It started out with something I saw on a website. The Guardian newspaper from London has a great blog with several different topics, including Word of Mouth—all about food.

Last month there was a photo of something very strange, but very interesting. It was black garlic, something I’d never heard of.

I mentioned it on the Observer website and a couple of days later I received an e-mail from Hazel Kelly of Frieda’s specialty produce company in California. She offered to send a sample package of black garlic and I was quick to give her my mailing address.

The Guardian web page listed the 50 best gadgets and gourmet goodies as rated by the London Observer’s food taster, Caroline Boucher.

She listed items such as ginger biscuits and ginger beer, spelt flakes and seaweed, liquorice, peeled chestnuts and salted caramels. She mentioned chili jellies—ginger and lime, in particular—and the middle eastern spices sumach and za’atar.

She likes pumpkin seed oil (“fabulous dark roasted oil with a deep flavor”) and truffle oil (“a quick squirt from the pretty grey can adds class and pizzaz to pastas and casseroles”).

And then there’s black garlic, number six on the list of 50.

Boucher describes black garlic this way: “Terrifying to look at, but with a sweet and more rounded flavor than the white version when used in cooking.”

I did some reading about this taste treat and learned that it’s prized in Korea for its antioxidant and anti-fungal properties—double the amount as white garlic, and easier for the body to absorb.

I thought it was a different species of garlic, but I soon learned that it’s regular white garlic that’s been heated and then aged for a month. It’s fermented.

It turns soft. And black, of course.

The Washington Post recently described black garlic as the next “it” ingredient. It’s the big thing in hip restaurants. It’s a cult hit in California’s Bay area, etc.

My sample arrived late last week. The photo on the front of the package showed bulbs that look quite normal, although a little dark. Through a clear plastic window on the back side, a pair of bulbs could be seen and one of them looked as though it had a black smear.

I took the package home, cut it open and took a sniff. Oh. Wow. I don’t like that. I took out a clove, pulled off a clove and opened it. It looked a little worrisome, but very interesting. Squishy, sort of pasty. And very black. It resembled a thick miso, which is made from fermented soy beans.

I ate the thing and wasn’t all that pleased that I did. One of the companies that sells it suggests snacking on it like dried fruit. That’s not for me.

I thought back to Ms. Boucher: Terrifying, but with a sweet, more rounded flavor. There definitely was a sweet flavor to it, with a slight taste of the terrifying. It’s nothing like garlic.

The next day I decided to try it with dinner. I cut a clove into pieces and mixed it around in a bowl of rice and vegetables. Good stuff! I could get to really like this item. Especially free samples. I was beginning to feel like I was part of a cult hit.

I left it out of my second bowl of rice and vegetables and it tasted really bland. I should have fetched more of the black delight.

One description of black garlic that I read suggests it’s “creamy, with a tangy flavor like balsamic.” Maybe. I’m not yet able to put a tongue on that taste.

I’d like to share it with others, but it’s been more like cajoling others to try it. The name itself lacks appeal to many people. Perhaps the marketing department should have done better.

At a Sunday meal with relatives today, I discovered that broccoli overshadowed the taste. The same with roasted potatoes and quiche. Some experimentation is in order.

Nobody was too excited about the stuff and my wife still refuses to eat any, so I don’t think I have to worry about running out for a while. Those tangy little black cloves are all mine.

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