At Home with Vicki Bensinger

In-Home Culinary Classes

More Spooky Foods

Friday I shared with you the Buddha’s Hand Citron that Frieda’s sent to me.  This fruit is so unique and creepy looking – I hope you seek it out and bring one home for your family to try.

Today I’m going to share with you the hottest chile on earth – Ghost Chile, Kiwano and Black Garlic that Frieda’s sent to me.  I blogged about Black Garlic back in 2009 when it first came out but the only way to get your  hands on some was to order it online.  Now Frieda’s is bringing it to the produce section of your supermarket.

Black Garlic is unlike anything you’ve ever tried before. It’s sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit.  It’s as delicious as it is unique.

Imagine garlic without all of the annoying stuff. Bad breath?  No!  Pungent odor?  No!  Acrid bite?  No! You know how a great wine gets better with age? That’s what black garlic is all about.

It’s said, black garlic is the anti-garlic. You don’t want to swap out all of the regular garlic in your pantry for the black variety – these are two distinct flavors. Continue eating regular garlic, but  pick up some black garlic to try – it’s unique.

In Taoism mythology, black garlic was rumored to grant immortality – although I can’t guarantee that. However, there’s no doubt that black garlic is great for your health—it’s loaded with nearly twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic. It also contains S-Allycysteine, which is fancy talk for a natural compound that has been proven to be a factor in cancer prevention.

Black garlic is all-natural. There are no additives and no preservatives.  In fact, there’s only one ingredient—garlic. It’s aged for a month in a special fermentation process under high heat, where it develops its darker color, softer texture, and sweeter taste. Amazing what a month can do.Here’s a recipe you might like to try with the holidays coming up.  Oh and your guests don’t have to worry about guzzling down Scope after eating it, because it won’t make your breath smell.

Black Garlic Dip


  • 1 tub of cream cheese
  • 1 small pot of soured cream
  • Half to one tablespoon of creamed horseradish (according to taste)
  • 2 cloves of peeled black garlic – chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh chives – snipped
  • Salt and black pepper


Place all the ingredients with the exception of the creamed horseradish and snipped chives, into a food processor. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the creamed horseradish according to taste. Stir in the snipped chives.

I think you'll enjoy this!



The next piece of fruit Frieda’s shared was the Kiwano (Horned Melon)

I have to say this was beautiful once cut into.  The exterior has orange and yellow tones with spikes or horns as it’s called.  The pulp is lime green, jelly-like and filled with tender, white edible seeds, similar to those found in cucumbers.  To taste it reminded me in some ways of kiwi and watermelon.  However, the seeds bothered me.  Although edible I didn’t feel comfortable eating them and kept wanting to take them out.  

I can see creating a wonderful smoothie or ice cream from this.  Definitely worth trying. It’s recommended to simply slice the Kiwano and eat with a spoon like you would grapefruit or slice into wedges and eat the meat.  

The skin on the Kiwano IS NOT edible and you should never refrigerate the whole melon – this will cause it to turn bad quickly.

The last item Frieda’s shared with me was the fresh Ghost Chiles.  Originating from the Assam region of northeastern India.  In 2007, Guinness World Records certified it as the world’s hottest chile pepper, with a Scoville Unit rating of about 1 million.  (The Red Savina Habanero previously held the title, with a Scoville Unit rating of 500,000) – so you know this is one HOT, HOT, CHILE!!!!!


It’s been said that the smaller a chile the hotter it is.  The Ghost Chiles are 2-3 inches long and 1 inch wide.   They are a bright reddish orange color and very fragrant.  Smelling them actually burns your eyes.  You definitely do not want to touch these with your bare hands and for heavens sake do not touch your eyes, lips or mouth after handling one.

My husband loves hot foods and couldn’t wait to try this so he took itty bitty bites and seemed to do fine.  However, I decided to go online to see what others had to say about the Ghost Chile and found numerous videos of people eating them in one bite.  Here’s a video of a man eating one whole – this will give you an idea of the heat and potency.  Amazing!

As I’m writing this, I have my Ghost Chiles in the oven at 120F degrees drying them out.  I plan to dehydrate them all day and then grind them up in my spice grinder.  Of course I’ll be sure to grind some bread in there afterwards and wash out as well as I can. Dehydrating and putting them in powder form will lower the heat slightly and I will be able to use them in dishes like Chili or wherever a hot spice is wanted.

Love to hear what you think of this video and all the items I shared with you in this 2 part series of Spooky Foods.

Don’t forget to check out all these amazing Spooky foods at Frieda’s and all that they carry.  With so many exotic produce items, you’ll want to be sure to check out the shelves in the produce section at your market for Frieda’s foods.

Yum     Pin It

16 Responses to “More Spooky Foods”

  1. Angie's Recipes — November 6, 2012 @ 5:20 am

    Exotic! I would love to try black garlic!

    » Reply

    • Vicki Bensinger replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

      You should pick some up its unique and tasty.

  2. Guru Uru — November 6, 2012 @ 9:31 am

    Spooky fruits and ingredients indeed especially that awesome black garlic :)

    Choc Chip Uru

    » Reply

    • Vicki Bensinger replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

      It is spooky when you look at it and you’re almost afraid to try it but very tasty. I hope you checked out the Kiwano and Ghost Chiles as well. Be sure to watch that video I posted.

      Thank you for your comment.

  3. The Café Sucré Farine — November 6, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    That black garlic has me intrigued as I’ve never heard of it before – thanks for the education!

    » Reply

    • Vicki Bensinger replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

      You’re welcome. I hope you check it out.

  4. Anne Regalado — November 6, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    That black garlic sounds really good ! It’s the first time that I’ve seen or heard that ! Very interesting post , Vicki !

    » Reply

    • Vicki Bensinger replied: — November 6th, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

      Glad you learned something. I hope you find some in your area to try, it has a great smooth flavor.

  5. Lizzy Do — November 6, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    You are featuring such cool, unique produce items! I saw something that looked like Buddah’s Hand at Fresh Market today…so maybe I’ll be able to find a few more of these products :)

    » Reply

  6. Amelia — November 7, 2012 @ 6:17 am

    Hi Vicki, thank you for sharing the interesting spooky ingredients. I’ve not seen all the above items. Glad to drop by your blog and learn something new.

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.

    » Reply

  7. Carolyn Jung — November 7, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    I love black garlic. It has this buttery, smoky taste to it. Perfect for so many dishes.

    » Reply

  8. qrops — November 7, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    nice pics

    » Reply

  9. uk pension transfers — November 7, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    nice written

    » Reply

  10. Eha — November 8, 2012 @ 12:51 am

    New, new, new to this garlic lover, but mean to make enquiries until I find some this side of the ocean :) !

    » Reply

  11. Kitchen Riffs — November 8, 2012 @ 3:58 am

    The black garlic sounds like fun. I’ve heard of it, but don’t believe I’ve ever eaten it, and definitely haven’t cooked with it. I’ll have to give it a try – thanks.

    » Reply

  12. Dee — November 24, 2012 @ 7:59 am

    I think I’ll be checking out the black garlic. I’ve seen it used on FoodNetwork, but wasn’t sure what best to use it in.

    » Reply

Leave a Comment