Croatian Black Garlic a Hit Among Connoisseurs

Total Croatia News

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Source: Facebook

The Black King brand was launched in 2015.

Samir Burnić and his wife Diana have created an unusual and profitable business out of producing garlic. They do not only grow it but ferment it in controlled conditions in a chamber which they have designed themselves. The black garlic, under the Black King (Crni Kralj) brand, has won over Croatian consumers and can now also be found on the shelves of specialised shops in Austria and Germany, reports on January 8, 2018.

Samir Burnić says that the path to success was not easy and it took them almost two years to develop a good-quality product. “After we inherited the land in Zagorje, we decided to plant garlic, since shops were overwhelmed with tasteless garlic from China. At the same time, Baldo Dragaš, our friend and business partner, came across an article about black garlic being a superfood, so we started designing a fermentation chamber in which garlic is stored under strictly controlled conditions, temperature and humidity, which is very difficult. Sometimes the garlic darkened too fast, or it was not sweet enough. That is why it took us two years to find an ideal combination of moisture and heat,” explains Burnić.

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Their products have been sold in shops since summer 2015, and the whole project employs family members and friends. In the first year, they presented their brand at agriculture fairs and came to an agreement on cooperation with several shops and a restaurant where the chief cook was Tomislav Špiček, a famous Croatian chef.

Today, they work with more than 50 healthy food stores, such as Grga Čvarak and Veronika, and many restaurants. They offer natural garlic and garlic in packages of three different sizes, 15, 30 and 200 grams, and their annual production is about 400 kilograms of black garlic.

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“We have about 6,000 square metres of land, but garlic has not been planted on the whole surface. We do not use any chemicals, pesticides or artificial fertilisers, but only natural products, prepared by my mother who grew up in the countryside and knows all production secrets,” says Burnić.

So far, they are not buying garlic from other producers, but they do plan it in the future because there are enough small producers of high-quality garlic in the Croatian market. “Our goal is to concentrate on the production of black garlic, so we will start buying fresh garlic and focus more on semi-finished and finished products, such as sauces and spreads in combination with other products. Consumers in Vienna love Croatian products and our black garlic. We cooperate with shops in Germany as well, and we plan to expand to all the neighbouring countries,” concludes Burnić.

Translated from


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