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The Good Food Awards Show Some Love to Texas Black Gold Garlic


San Antonio-based gourmet food manufacturer Texas Black Gold Garlic was honored at the recent Good Food Awards. Its Texas Black Gold Garlic Purée won in the pantry category.

The Good Food Awards are considered the Emmys of the culinary world. When choosing the winners, the products are evaluated on flavor as well as their dedication to an authentic and responsible food system.

Not only does Texas Black Gold Garlic source solely from local Texas farmers, but chef ans owner Stephen Paprocki works directly with the farmers to ensure the garlic is grown with a respect for the land and the quality of the product.

Paprocki is also the president of the Chef Cooperatives, a non-profit group of local chefs that hosts pop-up dinners and assists in various San Antonio events that support local farmers, ranchers and vintners and other groups in need. 

Only 193 winners in 14 categories have been chosen out of a total of 2,059 companies across the country in this fierce competition for the best products and brands that are developing sustainable local food economies.

“This is a huge win for us,” Paprocki says. “We’re already receiving orders from around the country. Our biggest challenge now is growing enough garlic to keep up with demand.”

It takes months to grow the fresh garlic and another one to two months to ferment it to create this uniquely delicious and healthful product that has become a professional chef and home cook’s dream. It’s become such a passion for one Texas home chef, Ramona Werst, that she’s currently writing an entire cookbook that incorporates Texas Black Gold Garlic, in both savory and sweet ways.  

Texas Black Gold Garlic can be purchased online and at various places around San Antonio, including the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market and the New Braunfels Farmers Market. It’s also available wholesale and retail in places throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit texasblackgoldgarlic.com. For more on the Good Food Awards and other Texas winners, including The Jelly Queens from Dallas and Hops & Grain Brewery of Austin, click here.

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What’s Bugging You?


Savor a unique entomological culinary experience at the Witte Museum on Aug. 12 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. for Salud! Culinary Nights.

Sample three dishes made with insects at the Witte.

Sample three dishes made with insects at the Witte.

Chef Stephen Paprocki and Ernest Lopez, pastry chef of Eilan Hotel, are teaming up to cook a three-course meal using insects. Explore the untapped culinary potential of this global delicacy and learn about their inspiration with Dr. Harry Shafer, curator of archaeology at the Witte Museum, as he discusses how insects played an integral role in the people of the Pecos hunter gatherer way of life.

Meghan Curry, founder of Bug Vivant, will reveal how edible insects are used in kitchens around the world today and how they will sustainably feed future generations.

The menu will include a Spinach Salad with Goat’s Milk Ricotta, Roasted Beets, “Caviar” (mixed hymenopteran larvae) and a Balsamic Vinaigrette; Pizza Pissalediére (meal worm) with Texas Goat Cheese, “Black Gold” Garlic, local Olive and Truffle Oil; and Chocolate Cricket Cremeuex with “Fire Ant” Spicy Tamarindo Sorbet. Each menu item will be paired with beer from Karbach Brewery.

The program is set in the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio™ Demonstration Kitchen, located in the Witte’s H-E-B Body Adventure Powered by University Health System.

Salud! Culinary Nights continues the H-E-B Body Adventure’s mission to provide the community with healthy lifestyle alternatives through interactions with local chefs and a diverse array of cuisines and topics focusing on Health IQ, Empowerment and Wellness.

This special class is reserved for guests 21 and over and is limited to 60 guests. Tickets start at $50 per person, $45 for Witte members and include a souvenir wine glass. For more information, please call Witte Reservations at 210.357.1910 or visit www.WitteMuseum.org.

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Chef Hopes Black Garlic Will Strike Gold


In Texas, black gold has long referred to oil, but one local chef launched his own edible version of black gold.

texas black goldStephen Paprocki, executive chef at NuStar and an active member of the Chefs Cooperatives initiative, has introduced Texas Black Gold Garlic to the public.

What exactly is black garlic? The company’s website offers the following explanation:

While the origin of Black Garlic remains an enigma, in Asia, the naturally caramelized form of the bulb is a culinary delicacy that has also been used as an ingredient in Asian medicine for years. Black Garlic is growing steadily in popularity in the U.S. for its opulently layered flavor profile and for its potential health benefits.

Studies have shown black garlic is high in antioxidents as well as anti-inflammatory agents.

As for Paprocki’s history with it, the chef explains it this way: “I’ve been making it for about 8 months now for institutional use here at NuStar. Chef friends have been asking me to make it for them (Chris Cook, Jeff White and Tyler Horstmann), and they finally talked me into starting a company on the side to sell it.” 

Planting garlic beds for Texas Black Gold Garlic.

Planting garlic beds for Texas Black Gold Garlic.

How is it made? Texas Black Gold Garlic’s website offers the following explanation:

Once harvested, locally grown garlic bulbs are heated or “fermented” from one to two months at a constant warm temperature that causes certain enzymes and sugars in the cloves to break down naturally – nothing is added. The cloves inside the paper-thin white skins first turn a deep brown and once the process is complete, a soft black. The texture of the cloves changes, too – from shiny, firm, white meat to black, soft, sweet, spreadable cloves. The process also causes the strong flavor of the raw white garlic to melt into a mellow, sweet and addictive essence, ready to be used straight from the bulb or cooked into other dishes.

In order to live up to the Texas name, all of the garlic used comes from the Lone Star State. That means a somewhat limited quantity, Paprocki says, but he has Mesquite Field Farms growing bulbs especially for him and he’s in talks with other local farmers to bolster his supply.

In the meantime, he’s had to get all the legal paperwork for launching a business settled, get his website ready to take orders and get businesses to sell the product. On Black Friday weekend, you’ll be able to pick up Texas Black Gold Garlic at GauchoGourmet, 935 Isom Road.

So, perhaps the most important question is: What do you do with black garlic?

The website suggests using it in everything from salads to appetizers, entrees to desserts. “I use it in sauces, deserts, marinades, jam, spreads and, hands down, best black garlic butter wings!” Paprocki says.

Texas Black Gold Garlic is vegan and gluten-free. A serving of 5 to 6 cloves has about 40 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrates, but no cholesterol or sodium. Prices start at $4.95 for 2 ounces. To order, click here.

Five percent of sales will go to support Chefs Cooperatives efforts.

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