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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

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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