Black gold from back soil – Eat Drink West
What is black garlic and where can you get it?
SPRINGMOUNT Fine Foods, run by the husband-and-wife team of Carmel and Brett Masterson supply specialty stores and wineries across Victoria with home grown black garlic, as well as their range of artisan products.
The business was created about six years ago with a focus on black garlic and since then the range has expanded.
“It began in 2015, with just black garlic,” said Ms Masterson.
“It all started when Brett and I heard about black garlic on an episode of Master Chef back in 2010. I was always curious, so in 2015 I threw in my job and we started to make it happen.”
Since then the Masterson’s have turned their curiosity into a thriving and award-winning business.
“Growing garlic was one of our passions,” Ms Masterson said. “But we have expanded to make a whole range of other products.
“In 2017 life came full circle and for a brief period we started supplying Master Chef with black garlic.”
Springmount Fine Foods grow their garlic on their farm, located just east of Creswick where the black soil is rich and fertile.
April is planting season for Mr and Mrs Masterson, and the fresh garlic will be ready for harvest in December.
Then the magic happens. To create black garlic, the bulbs are placed in a temperature and humidity-controlled oven for 40 days.
“It’s the natural sugars in the garlic that turn it sweet and sticky,” Ms Masterson said.
“The garlic is caramelised. It is both sweet and savoury. You have to taste it to get. It’s a really complex flavour, a mild umami taste.”
The end result can be paired with seafood and a range of meats, mushrooms, and accompany cheese platters.
“Black garlic has become a key ingredient in some of Melbourne’s top restaurants as well as venues in Daylesford and Central Victoria,” Ms Masterson said.
Yet it’s not just Springmount Fine Foods’ famous black garlic making waves as the Masterson’s have also won medals for their sauces, vinaigrettes, and fruit paste.
“We have won a total of 21 medals on our products, we have achieved a lot in the five to six years of operation,” Mrs Masterson said.
Springmount Fine Foods supplies boutique grocers in Ballart and several cellar doors in Victoria. Stockists and products can be found at springmountfinefoods.com.au.