12 Apr Fermented Honey and Garlic
I haven’t done a whole lot when it comes to experimenting with fermenting, but this is one ‘recipe’ that I couldn’t let slide. And that’s for two reasons: 1. Its simplicity and, 2: Its delicious effect.
Fermented garlic and honey is probably the easiest and best thing you can do in your kitchen. There, I said it. It’s a classic example of ‘food as medicine’; well-renowned as an immunity booster and sore throat miracle cure. Personally, I can’t vouch for either of these things, but I just love it as one of the best condiments you can have on hand to generously drizzle over everything from pizza, to vegetables, to sticky rice and roasted meats (like this Slow Roast Leg of Lamb).
As far as the fermenting process goes, I will try and keep it short and sweet here. This is what happens inside this jar of limitless flavour: the honey’s antibacterial properties become weakened due to the moisture and juices released by the garlic. This wakes up all the yeasts, that then go to town on all the sugars in the honey, hence the fermentation.
It’s so simple, INCREDIBLY delicious…. and you absolutely must use raw honey for it to work.
I always keep a jar of fermented honey and garlic in my pantry. To me, it’s just as important to keep on hand as salt, flour or oil. It’s up there as one of my favourite staples because it is so robust and potent in flavour… and it’s perfect for a last-minute drizzle over so many dishes, for that awesome one-two punch of flavour we all crave.
Enjoy with gusto,
Fermented Honey and Garlic
2 cups whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups liquid raw honey (see note)
Slice the ends off the garlic cloves, and slightly crush them with the side of a knife, being careful not to completely break them open. Place the cloves into sterilised jar, large enough so that the garlic cloves fill the jar no more than two thirds.
Pour the raw honey over the garlic cloves, ensuring they are completely covered. Ensure there is at least an inch clearance of headroom from the top of the honey and garlic to the top of the jar.
Seal the jar and store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. The honey may begin to foam during the fermentation process, so you will need to ‘burp’ the jar daily to ensure gases are released and to prevent the jar from overflowing.
The garlic cloves will float for the first few weeks of the fermentation process. This is normal. To compensate, invert the jar daily, to ensure that each clove is sufficiently covered in honey. You may also use a spoon to push the cloves down into the honey each day.
After several weeks, the honey and garlic cloves will begin to darken in colour and the honey will become more fluid/watery. By now, you can discontinue ‘burping’ the jar each day.
Store at room temperature in a sealed container out of direct sunlight. Drizzle on meats or add to marinade for amazing flavour, or pop a garlic clove whenever you feel your immune system could do with a boost.
Choose a raw, unpasteurised honey – I cannot stress this enough. Raw honey has a pH ideal for preventing botulism (as it’s too acidic), and contains the natural micro organisms necessary for fermentation that manufactured honey just doesn’t contain. Ensure you’re your raw honey pours easily and hasn’t crystalised.
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