So last time, we covered fermenting Garlic in a brine. This time we're going to cover fermenting garlic in honey. Honey aging/fermentation has been around for quite a while. And you can actually ferment many different things in honey, not just garlic. Why are we fermenting honey in garlic? The insane taste. There’s a depth and richness to it that will blow you away. To get those amazing flavors, you need to have only one thing: Patience. Unlike normal Lacto fermentation, this type of fermentation doesn’t really start to develop those aromas and flavors till at minimum the 6th-month mark. Like a fine wine or a good scotch, the longer the better.
Fermented garlic honey is probably one of the easiest ferments you can do. You don’t even need an airlock set up for it. It’s virtually foolproof. So, what simple things do you need to get it started?
- Raw Honey: Why raw? Because it contains the natural yeast and enzymes processed honey doesn’t have, as well as ensures that your honey isn’t cut with corn syrup (a lot of them on the market are). The more microbial good guys we can start off with the better.
- Garlic: Please make sure it is peeled and in good condition. No rot, bruising or slime.
- Jar: Yes an ordinary jar. You can get one with a metal latch, a twist top, or a mason jar.
- Time: I promise your patience will pay off.
One thing I’m going to level with you on. This isn’t cheap. Getting good quality honey and garlic is expensive. But the quality is what matters. When you get this started it needs a little babysitting. For the first 20ish days you want to upend the jar daily and get the top garlic mixed in. This helps prevent any bad growth. As long as the garlic stays coated and mixed in honey, you’ll be just fine. You also want to release a little pressure from the jar daily as well. Don’t need to outright open it up, just enough to let any gasses escape and reseal. After around 20-30 days the garlic is going to start sinking down into the honey and darkening a little. It’s ok if it all doesn’t sink down, as the garlic has now been mostly preserved by the honey. It’s similar to a dry-aged steak having an outer crust, whereas the garlic just absorbed the honey and is now protected by the high sugar content and low moisture.
When your garlic honey is done (after a minimum of 6 months! No cheating!), you now have 2 amazing products to utilize in your kitchen. You have deeply rich and almost savory honey, that works amazing on charcuterie boards, in dressings, sauces, and marinades; And you also have edible sweet garlic that you can just pop right in your mouth for a treat! Or if you’re a culinarian like me, you can use the garlic in much more inventive ways. Slice them up and put them on a flatbread, add into your favorite stir fry, blend them with some soy sauce and make an amazing base for sauces or marinades, and mince them up in any dish for that sweet-savory flavor. The possibilities are endless.
Below Are some start to finish photos of a good garlic honey ferment.