The Daily Mail reports that an ancient kitchen standby, garlic, has been markedly improved upon. The trick is fermentation, which turns the cloves black, gives the stuff a sweeter taste, and makes it considerably kinder to the breath. (It also makes it into a marketer’s dream.)

Pushed in Britain by a marketing company called, naturally, Black Garlic (which charges the equivalent of $4 for a two-bulb bag), the stuff has benefits beyond its breath-saving properties, writes the paper:

“It enjoys twice the amount of anti-oxidants of the pale variety and can last twice as long on the shelf. And like all garlic it is good for your cardiovascular system, high in natural sugars and amino-acids and is low in fat.”

Worth noting: Before black garlic became trendy a couple years back thanks to the New York Times proclaiming it a new staple of modern cuisine and Black Garlic pushing it into high-end European kitchens, it was an old familiar standby in Asian cuisine. Which raises an interesting question: What’s the next new staple (or at least temporary craze) to spring forth from the almost limitlessly deep back benches of the Chinese or Indian cuisines?

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