One of the highlights of our trips to Japan has to be eating onboard Japan’s high-speed rail network, the Shinkansen. Our kids always look forward to purchasing new and unusual snacks from shops at the local train stations.
While visiting the Aomori Prefecture in Japan, we decided to pick up a few snacks before boarding the Shinkansen to Tokyo. Aomori is famously known for producing one of the world’s best apples, the Fuji apple.
However, unbeknownst to us, Aomori is also known for producing the Japanese Black Garlic.
Japanese Black Garlic
Aomori black garlic is known in the culinary world as being a sweet (not bitter) and sour delicacy. Many famous chefs use black garlic in sauces, dressings, or as a garnish to salads. It is also know to potentially fight cholesterol and high blood pressure, and considered by some to be a superfood.
Black garlic is made by aging whole pods of garlic over warm heat for weeks, even months at a time. This results in garlic pods that are black in color – they look burnt, but they’re not! Instead of ending up burnt, tough, and smelling acrid, black garlic ends up being soft in texture and tastes sweet and earthy, with hints of caramelization and balsamic vinegar. It’s hard to describe unless you try it for yourself!
Lou Lou came across a packet at the train station and wanted to try it, so we grabbed a bunch and headed to the cashier.
Once on the Shinkansen, the kids opened up the package and gave it a try. The smell was so intense, people sitting around us could smell it. Oops.
It had a strong odor of vinegar, nothing like what a normal, fresh garlic pod would smell like.
My kids being the adventurous kid-foodies they are, dove right in for a tasting. I have to admit that I didn’t, more like couldn’t get myself to try a clove.
We put the rest of the garlic back into the bag and kept it for later. It eventually made its way into my kitchen, in a nice Beef Bourguignon stew. It was so tasty and rich.
So make sure when you’re in the Aomori Prefecture to stop and get some Aomori Black Garlic, great for souvenirs and just to add to your favorite dishes.
More from our kid-friendly Japan series:
- Kid Foodie Fridays: Harajuku’s Kawaii Monster Cafe
- Kid Foodie Fridays: Japanese Toilet Candy
- Taiyaki: Japan’s Wonderful Waffle
- Gashapon: Japan’s Crazy Obsession with Toy Vending Machines
- Chitose Airport: The Most Family-Friendly Airport You’ll Ever Visit
- Japan With Kids: Go to a Japanese Sumo Wrestling Match
- How to Open Store-Bought Onigiri
- Kid Foodie Fridays: Japanese “Mini” Pizza Candy Kits
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