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Blue garlic

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Yesterday I set up my slow cooker to cook a chicken dish, starting at 11 a.m. I included skinless chicken thighs, chopped onions, a little sherry, a little lemon juice, black pepper, a little red pepper and a lot (ca. 20 cloves) of roughly chopped garlic.

When I got home at 2:30 the house smelled good. I peeked in the pot and was stunned to find that the chunks of garlic on top (not down in the cooking liquid) had turned bright blue! I stirred it down into the liquid and left it until 6. The garlic had turned back to a normal beige and all was cooked and tasty.

Any ideas why this might have happened?

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  1. After a quick google search I was able to find out that the acid from your lemons was the culprit. Apparently garlic contains, anthocyanins, water-soluble pigments that turn blue or purple in an acid solution. Very interesting...

    6 Replies
    1. re: panapet

      This is interesting. Thank you for looking it up.

      1. re: panapet

        but then why would it turn back to beige with a little more cooking? It didn't stay blue.

        1. re: Tamar G

          More research tells me that cooking can 'inactivate' the blueing process.

          1. re: panapet

            I don't know about that. In my experience, when I placedmy bowl of emulsified garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice in the microwave, it immediately turned blue. Last night I made it again, same ingredients, no heat, and this morning it is still whitish yellow.

            1. re: Wendy8869

              Now that I think about it--I mixed all the ingredients and put them in the crock insert the evening before, then into refrigerator. In the morning, normal color. I put the crock in the heating unit at 9 a.m. (all was cold, including the crockery insert) and set a timer to turn it on at 11. When I got home in the afternoon, blue garlic.

              1. re: Buttercup

                I have been having the same experience. I just want to know. Is this safe to eat? And I have been cooking with garlic and lemon, lime, or vinegar for years. Why is this just know happening to me now and only some of the time?

      2. This happened to me a few weeks ago. I attempted to imitate a garlic sauce that is sold at my local armenian restaurant. The owner said it was garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. I blended the ingredients up, and it was a little sharper than the one in the restaurant, so I decided to heat it a little in the microwave to try to temper it a little. What a mistake!!!! When it came out, it was this bright bluish-green pastel color. Just on the top but as I let it set to show my husband, the whole thing turned colors. I tried to figure out what happened. I guess the acidity of the lemon juice did it, but the heat must've had something to do with it to, becasue it was fine before the microwave!

        1. But how does blue garlic *taste*?