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Why Does Garlic Turn Blue and Is It Safe to Eat?

Author:

Sherri is an online writer with years of experience writing about cooking and recipe writing.

Shockingly Blue Garlic

This garlic turned blue in the home kitchen during a pickling process.

This garlic turned blue in the home kitchen during a pickling process.

The Blue Garlic Surprise

Perhaps you, as I, have been cooking with garlic for years, expecting garlic to remain a kind of off-white, uninteresting color throughout the cooking process. Then one day, the garlic turns a bright blue-green, even an aquamarine or turquoise color, transforming a familiar dish into an odd concoction of color accents that undermine the familiar tones we expect.

The visual impact of this changed dish can be likened to the colors of trees in autumn, with their red, gold, green, and dun colors, suddenly being splashed with fluorescent hues of blue and green reminiscent of the op art of the 60s. Autumn colors aren’t supposed to display this jarring contrast, nor is food. It’s unsettling.

If one day your garlic turns a shocking shade of blue, making your homemade pickles, pork roast, or pot of cabbage and kielbasa look strange and even poisonous, be assured that no matter how strange it looks, it hurts only your eyes, not your body.

My Blue Garlic Experience

This past Thanksgiving I volunteered to bring our family's traditional Polish kielbasa and cabbage dish to the holiday dinner. Ours is a simple recipe consisting of traditional Eastern European ingredients including onion, garlic, cabbage, sausage, black pepper, and apple. Our version of this dish is mild-tasting and slightly sweet, and we all love the recipe just as it is. But this year I decided to charge up the flavor a bit by adding sauerkraut to the cabbage, something I had never done before.

By early evening on Wednesday, my kitchen smelled heavenly from the onions, cabbage, apple, and kraut slowly simmering on the stovetop, from the freshly pressed whole head of garlic waiting to go into the pot, and from the thinly sliced kielbasa resting on the cutting board. It was a peaceful moment, leaving me with the feeling that all is well with the world.

An hour before the pot was to finish, I added the pressed garlic and sliced kielbasa and folded them in. Immediately, I began to see a few bright blue-green bits of color in the pot. As I stirred the pot, more began to appear. Soon, the pot contents were lavishly sprinkled with shocking, almost neon-like, blue-green, confetti-looking bits. I started picking them out and putting them in a small dish but soon gave up. It seemed the more I removed, the more appeared.

Aged Copper Sulfate

This copper sulfate is about 20 years old and just about a perfect color match to my blue garlic.

This copper sulfate is about 20 years old and just about a perfect color match to my blue garlic.

It took a few minutes for me to realize that the garish blue-green material was pressed garlic that had gone through a color transformation. Suddenly, a long-forgotten memory began to surface about making copper sulfate crystals in my high school chemistry class. The color sprinkled around the cabbage and kraut in the pot looked somewhat like the color of those crystals, only a bit more green, in fact, much the color of the corrosion that can appear at the junction of a car battery and its terminal.

Never in my cooking life had garlic turned blue-green, but never had I cooked my family’s original kielbasa and cabbage dish with sauerkraut, either. I suspected the color change had something to do with the acid in the kraut and whatever chemicals are in the garlic.

Garlic Turning Blue Is Sometimes Called "Greening"

This term is a misnomer because multipyrrole production in garlic, the process that turns garlic shades of blue and green, has nothing to do with restoring freshness, aligning with principles of the Green Movement, or exposing garlic to light.

If you would like more in-depth information on the chemistry behind garlic turning blue, read the excellent article written by The New York Times columnist Harold McGee, When Science Sniffs around the Kitchen. Scroll down to about the last third of the page.

How Does Garlic Turn Blue?

Studies prompted by the food industry as a result of increasingly occurring batches of accidentally colored garlic have begun to unlock the mystery of why garlic turns blue. These studies have found a number of complicated chemical processes responsible for garlic turning shades of blue, green, and even pink under certain conditions.

The colors occur when enzymes and amino acids present in garlic react with the sulfur compounds responsible for garlic’s pungent smell. The reaction causes different multipyrrole molecules to form. Different types of multipyrrole molecules are responsible for the different pigments. The multipyrrole molecule most familiar to us is chlorophyll, produced by plants in the presence of light; however, chlorophyll is not produced by the cooking or pickling processes that turn garlic blue.

If your answer is yes, please share your experience in the comments section.

Variables Involved in Garlic Turning Blue

Here are some of the factors that have an influence on garlic changing color:

  • Age of the garlic: Some sources say that newly harvested, unaged garlic (meaning garlic with a high water content), is more prone to turning color; other sources say the opposite.
  • Added presence of acid: It seems clear that the presence of acids such as lemon juice or vinegar can cause a color change, although not always.
  • Temperature: Garlic that is pre-heated may or may not react with acid to change color.
  • Color of garlic bulbs: Some garlic is pure white, some has tinges of purple or red; the colored garlic may be more prone to turning blue-green.
  • There is at least one place in the world where garlic is deliberately turned into a jade-green color. For centuries the Chinese have produced Laba garlic, a jade-green pickled garlic which is an important food accompaniment to celebrating the harvest festival of Laba. If the Chinese can perfect this color change in garlic, why do we have only “accidents”?

If your garlic turned blue by surprise, you may have already researched this accident and found discussions about sulfur compounds in garlic reacting with copper present in water supplies, utensils, or copper-rich foods. There may be validity to this explanation, in which case the blue color indicates the presence of copper sulfate, not the presence of multipyrrole pigments.

Blue Garlic Facts for the Home Kitchen

Until more research is completed, here’s some helpful information to have when your garlic turns blue in your kitchen:

  • Absent any sign of spoilage such as foul smell or mold, your blue garlic is safe to eat.
  • There are so many variables causing accidental garlic color change that it may be impossible for you to duplicate this surprising event in your home kitchen.
  • No one has yet discovered how to turn blue garlic back to white, although continuing to heat the turquoise garlic may dull it down to a pinkish-brown.
  • When serving your dish that contains aquamarine bits of color, say nothing. Most folks, if they notice this color at all, will never ask, knowing that whatever you bring to the table is good to eat because you brought it. If someone does happen to ask why there are bright blue-green flecks of color in the dish, take them aside and tell them your secret and that you expect them to keep it: “The dish needed some color.”

© 2011 Sherri

Comments

Karan on August 18, 2020:

Its the chinese garlic isnt it ?

Jamie Lynch on June 16, 2020:

I minced about 10 bulbs of garlic in my food processor. I added olive oil as I always do to store in a jar in my refrigerator. For some reason I decided to add some lemon juice as a preservative and immediately it turned bluish green. I've been using it because I hate to waste the garlic. It definitely looks unappetizing!

Chris on June 14, 2020:

It happened to me and I checked the garlic origins. It was from China so probably had lots of chemicals in it. Do not use Chinese garlic if you care for your health. It’s like adding poison with garlic taste to your food.

Belmont on April 06, 2020:

During this COVID-19 period I have been making a mixture of garlic, ginger, lemon & honey in warm water everyday. I started noticing the garlic turning into a light blue copper sulfate-like colour after 2hrs. Your article is quite helpful. Thanks for the insight. It’s either the lemon or the hot water.

Migdalia Torres on April 03, 2020:

I disagree with the acid reaction. I bought 5-6 heads of garlic from the grocery store and used a food processor to puree the garlic with some olive oil. I then placed it in a glass bowl and filled the bowl with olive oil to cover it completely. I know the olive oil creates a barrier between the garlic and the air in the container. I covered it with its plastic lid and placed the bowl in the fridge. I kept it in the fridge for a week and noticed the turquoise color on the bottom of the jar. It had happened before but not this much. I'm a retired Science teacher and like experimenting. I kept a smaller jar with garlic from a different source (these come 4-5 heads in a mesh) and did used the same procedure. Nothing happened to the garlic in the small jar. It is like if I had done it the day before. My conclusion is that the temperature does nothing to do with the color change since they are both in the same fridge at the same temperature, one next to the other. I think it has to do with the garlic itself. The garlic cloves in the first set were bigger and pure white. The garlic cloves in the smaller jar were smaller, not purple neither pure white. Both were kept at the same temperature and same glass jar. Both were puree with the same blade and food processor. Both were covered with olive oil. Acid was not used here for preservation, that's why I think acid has nothing to do with the color change.

Michelle on March 08, 2020:

I roasted cauliflower florets with EVOO, lime juice, fresh minced garlic (white) and chipotle powder. It went into the oven looking “normal” and when I opened the oven door to turn the cauliflower florets to continue roasting, I noticed bits of a blueish green color on probably 1/2 of the florets. I quickly went on the internet to do a search while they finished roasting. The garlic was purchased a few hours before use. When mincing, I did notice that it was a very strong smelling garlic and while roasting, the garlic scent was very strong. Strong taste, too. I’ve been cooking for over 40 years and have never seen this before.

Ahmed on January 31, 2020:

I had placed hot peppers and a few pieces of garlic in vinegar added little ginger and noticed that the garlic turned bluish green. Your information was most helpful. It is save to eat.

AJ on December 22, 2019:

While I was fighting a sore throat, with a piece of fresh fish, a new bag of garlic, fresh lemons from a friend's tree, I set out to eradicate my bug.

Suffice to say after mincing the garlic and saute'ing it with lemon, I was rather disturbed when it turned a shocking, toxic-looking AQUA color.

Not wanting to throw away an expensive piece of fish, after some quick web-searching, I decided it was safe to eat. The result was tasty, even if it did look like a CG color-shift gone horribly wrong.

RICK on December 02, 2019:

TOO LUNG STORY!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 01, 2019:

What an interesting article!

I am trying out a number of vegan garlic recipes this fall and winter and will be alert to the presence of color changes while I cook with the stinking rose.

kumar M surinder on August 28, 2019:

Very good garlic blue color.we love this color.

LuckyDuck on July 07, 2019:

I'm in my 50's and never saw or heard of garlic turning blue/green. My mother was a phenomenal cook and I never saw this happen. I do quite a bit of cooking too. The other day however, I canned some pickled carrots for the first time that included sliced garlic. Guess what?! Taking the jars from the canner I'm seeing the garlic looking "moldy colored" :P I didn't know what to think but thanks to your great info here, now I do! Thanks!

B. S. Nila on May 20, 2019:

Raw garlic paste in curd rice changed to blue green in 4to 5hrs

Soby on March 16, 2019:

My wife was about to fry some garlic expecting a golden color. She didn't wait till it heated enough. She added lemon

Mary Phillips on March 06, 2019:

I was making a cholesterol tonic of equal parts of ginger juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinagar and garlic juice heated and stirred for 30 min. It first turned pink, and then blue and then Dark blue green.

rosemary on February 01, 2019:

I was cooking a chutney for the Country Market and to my amazement, as the fruit mixture began to simmer, small bright blue pieces came to the surface.(I have made many jars of chutneys and this has never occurred)

Looking on the web I found your posts. Thank you for explaining what had happened to the garlic. Needles to say I could not sell this chutney but I decided to complete the recipe for home consumption. I added brown sugar and continued to simmer for about 11/2 hours. When it was finished not a trace of blue garlic - has another chemical reaction taken place?

However I shall not be selling this chutney just in case there is some blue I've missed! A year's supply of chutney.

Alex on November 17, 2018:

I have been cooking for over 20 years (with heaps of garlic!) and never once heard of this until now. I made a simple pasta tonight that I've always liked with spiral pasta, fetta cheese, chIcken, snowpeas, lemon juice and zest, butter and olive oil, black pepper, and heaps of garlic, and as I ate saw this crazy blue-green take over my plate! I soon realized It was the garlic, I was convinced It was Ok as It tasted great and all natural trusted ingredients (not the culinary zombie apocalypse) but got on the Google anyway and saw all the results for copper-sulphate-garlic! Life never ceases to amaze...

rcokli on November 05, 2018:

i have been cooking for 50 years and yesterday made a lemon garlic chicken that i have made a hundred times. after baking a half hour i opened the oven to baste my chicken and to my utter surprise i had teal garlic. this has never happened to me in all my years of cooking. i freaked out but figured it was probably some kind of chemical reaction. needless to say, the dish was delicious and we all seemed to survive but at least now i know this is a common occurrence...

kivno on November 05, 2018:

Hello Sherri

I have just read your article regarding the blue Color Change in garlic and would be very interested in the literature references you mentioned throughout the article. If it is possible for you I'd be very thankful for a list of your science papers / Journals you cited.

I have just come across the garlic Color Change phenomena myself and am deeply interested in finding out more about the process.

Thank you for your informative post

All the best

Victor

jimweatherl101@g on November 04, 2018:

Recently pealed some garlic cloves, i put them in a glass jar and covered with ACV......and to my surprise they turned a light turquoise color.....glad to know they are safe, thanks for the post

Nadine on September 05, 2018:

I've boiled a few garlic cloves with the juice of lemons and the peels, ground ginger, cinnamon sticks, green teabags and diced cucumber in water in my attempt to shed a few pounds. While leaving it to cool down before straining i've noticed that there was turqoise pieces floating in this concoction, then i was wondering whether it's safe to drink. That's when i came to the conclusion that it must be the garlic turning colours when mixed with something acidic for instance the lemons in this case. But i thank you for sharing this info 'cause now i feel safer to consume this drink knowing that it' s normal for garlic to change it's "stripes".

Hector Sachez on August 23, 2018:

I had the experience of my diced garlic, with lemon and vinegar, turning beautifully blue. It concerned me a little but I used it without ill effects. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

Tamara on August 11, 2018:

After successfully pickling & using all our organic home grown garlic last year, I decided to try it again with a few cheap bunches marked as Product of China from the supermarket last week.....cue several bottles of brilliant cyan-aquamariney cloves in a smurf sea!

Maybe it was age, maybe some spray applied for storage & shipping.....maybe they were 'born with it'!

Maybelline jokes aside, we've decided to ditch the lot & start again, just as a precaution. But it made for an interesting fridge find!

Hajera on May 20, 2018:

Thanks. , now I relaxed last night I did grind the garlic paste after few hours it turned to green

Anndysone on May 12, 2018:

Thank you so much. I had placed hot peppers and a few pieces of garlic in vinegar and noticed that the garlic turned bluish green. I was alarmed and tossed the garlic which looked toxic. Your information was most helpfu.

foodie2 on April 17, 2018:

I routinely get 4 strips of beautifully fresh garlic at Acme. Very white and firm, tight, no sprouts. The only ones that turned blue/green/grey of the 20 were the 3 I baked in aluminum foil on an aluminum pie tin. I cut the tops off like all the chefs say. There was a roast turkey in a separate roasting pan in the oven too. The garlic didn't soften in the 45minutes they say but they did turn grey/green/blue icky colors. I had to cook them an hour longer and they still weren't the proper gooey-soft. Besides the ugly color, they tasted terrible. They never became roasted-sweet and were inedible. They were not the golden-brown, soft-gooey, buttery garlic I had wanted to freeze & have on hand. All the top chefs make it seem so easy to just throw in the oven - never comes out bad. I don't use copper. Also in a separate pan was either a pre-brined turkey with stuffing or pre-brined chicken. Was it the moisture in the oven? Or because the garlic was so fresh? Why wouldn't any of the rest of the garlic turn in any other recipe? What made it turn? An ingredient in the brine or stuffing? Is there a list of metals & acidic ingredients' that do that? Copper, Aluminum, Onion, lemon, vinegar? Garlic is frequently with acids so that can't be it... A lot of times the chefs put the garlic in the oven alone - is this why? It seems a waste of energy to us. But is this for a reason? I just want to know how to prevent this. Does the garlic industry know about this? Does anybody know why baking it would turn it while stove-top or raw wouldn't? Thank you.

Phyllis on April 09, 2018:

I make this awesome germ killing concoction with chopped/crushed garlic in a jar with soft honey poured on top in keeps for months on end in the fridge.

Yesterday I made a batch of 3 pints. This morning all 3 jars are are very Brite Green. Scared the hell out of me. I've been working with garlic my whole of 50 years. 1st time ever.

I feel like I wanna throw them out and are tart over, but honey is expensive

Carol on March 29, 2018:

I just made a big pot of Slavonian sauerkraut and when I checked it after a few minutes, I was shocked to see pieces of moldy looking garlic. I thought it must have been color that came out of a bell pepper but this hasn't happened in 50 yrs of making the same recipe. I tossed the whole mess out and started all over again without the bell pepper this time. The same thing happened again. I'm seeing this does really happen! Now I'm not liking that my garlic is sprayed with stuff....would this happen if I used ORGANIC garlic???

Cyndi on March 06, 2018:

Making Curtis, Salvadorian pickled cabbage with garlic. Minutes later the garlic turned blue greeen.

caroloyl on February 02, 2018:

I encountered this phenomenon yesterday for the first time (in my 70+ years of life on this earth) when I made my third jar of refrigerator-marinated mushrooms using white buttons, white vinegar, virgin olive oil, Italian spices, pickling salt, hot pepper flakes, and crushed garlic cloves.

Before adding any raw garlic to the mix, I peeled four cloves and sliced off their rough "root" ends. All looked perfectly normal but I thought the cut ends smelled a bit "off." Unlike the fresh, pungent garlic odor I'm used to, these cloves were definitely "musty." Since it was the only head of garlic I had, I put the four cloves in the jar assuming my odor receptors were compromised by having just pre-boiled the mushrooms in stinky vinegar.

A few hours later when I went to shake up the jar, I was horrified to see the garlic cloves had turned cyanotic and I couldn't help but wonder if the head had been "treated" with something while growing. I decided I might have to toss the mess out and start over, but I'd first check online to find out if anyone else had had this happen--and I'm very pleased to have been shown to this page! Copper is mentioned here as a possible discoloring factor, and I read that copper sulfate--which can be toxic depending on how much copper it contains--is used in agriculture as a fungicide and that some fungi are capable of adapting to elevated levels of copper ions...

Though it seems it's safe to eat, I'm not real keen on putting the discolored garlic into my mouth or even leaving it in the jar--so I've picked it out and am thinking I'll replace it with a different kind to see if that makes any difference. The head that turned blue with pickling was a stiff-necked variety from one of Walmart's "loose" bins. It had no striping or other coloring and contained no shriveled/sprouted/browned or decaying cloves.

Mavis on January 24, 2018:

Is there anything that can be added to ground garlic to prevent it from turning blue

Nirmal Singh Keerka on January 11, 2018:

Garlic cloves were got peeled and were found to be sprouting and preserved by adding apple vinegar. After gap of 5 days, it has been noticed that the color has turned blue..... never imagined that food turned blue remain edible .......interesting!

Pallin on December 21, 2017:

On Tuesday, I put together an infusion of vegetables and vodka for a “gourmet” Bloody Mary gift set im giving for Christmas, and I put garlic in the bottle along with onion, lemon, lime, dill, cucumber, and carrot. I stored it on top of the fridge because I missed the step of refrigeration on the recipe I was following. When I agitated it tonight, I noticed my garlic was turning blue from the inside out. I freaked out for a second, then investigated the smell, which was good (actually surprisingly pleasant, being this was the first time I’d smelled it), then looked closer at the garlic and saw there was no mold “hair” on the cloves. I then immediately put it in the fridge and searched until I found this post. It’s put my mind at ease a bit. I’m still nervous it’s going to affect the look, but I’m straining it anyway. Just hope the vodka won’t turn blue. :/

Thomas Perumpallil. on December 11, 2017:

I made a garlic and ginger paste, but forgot to store in the fridge. The next day I noticed it turned to a bluish hue. I googled and found it is ok and safe to cook. It turns green even in fridge.

Crystal T. on December 01, 2017:

Thanks to everyone for sharing their interesting adventures with blue / green garlic. Two weeks ago, I decided to make some pickled cabbage, carrots, and root vegetables and added fresh whole garlic cloves for flavour. To my surprise, after about ten days, the garlic started turning a green-blue colour. My brother volunteered to eat a clove and declared it tasted like "pickled garlic" but I kept a close eye on him for the next day, thinking about treatments for food poisoning, but thankfully not needing to implement any of these treatments

Susan on November 26, 2017:

Just happened to me! I was making tea with fresh garlic, fresh ginger and lemons. I went to the store to get honey for my tea and when I returned, looked in the pot I saw the glue garlic. Decided I would Google before tossing it...glad I did!

Rhonda Stratton on November 07, 2017:

I've been cooking with garlic for many years, and I experienced this for the first time tonight. I was making a Blue Apron recipe that included a garlic cheese bread. I drizzled extra virgin olive oil on the cut sides of a small baguette, spread some grated garlic over that, then topped it with shredded lamb chopper cheese (which I had never heard of or used before). I put it in the oven to toast, but it was set to bake, not broil, so it never got really browned on top. It looked normal when I took it out of the oven, but a few minutes later it had developed bright green spots. I thought that must have been some really weird cheese...until I researched it.

John on September 20, 2017:

This just happened to me. I'm making fire cider and went to shake my jars this morning. Looked in the bottom and saw blue garlic cloves! First time I've ever seen this. Been cooking with garlic all my life. Glad it is not spoiled. Hate to throw away $40+ worth of ingredients.

Lux Ferre on September 19, 2017:

Happened to me when I had the idea to put garlic in cider vinegar.

I knew it wasn't spoiled since the acid in vinegar prevent any bacteria to grow.

Shani Clarke on September 07, 2017:

I chopped up a heap of garlic all bought from the same store to put into a jar so its easier to use, took me over an hour to chop up, when I went to the fridge the next day the whole jar was blue! had no idea why and threw the whole lot out, now reading this is it harmful lol

Bonnie Gensch on August 05, 2017:

This happened to me for the first time when making garlic dill pickles. I thought now this batch will have to be thrown out. Read this story on line and glad to know the batch is not spoiled.

anne bates on June 09, 2017:

Thanks so much. Just cooked a pickled pork with vinegar, water, peppercorns etc and the garlic turned aqua. So googled and find your site. Thank you so much from Australia.

Marabeth on April 17, 2017:

Have cooked with garlic my whole life. Two nights ago making a lemon garlic sauce for an asparagus pasta dish and when I added the lemon the garlic turned a tourqois color. I was horrified. Picked out as much as I could and prayed no one would become ill. All the time thinking something was wrong with the garlic. That was a first for me. Glad to find out it is not harmful.

Sandra Merriman on March 15, 2017:

This happened to me last night! I was sautéing some asparagus real quick-- I used my Copper Chef pot, added EVOO, a bunch of asparagus, salt, pepper, a few cloves of pressed garlic, and I squeezed half a lemon over the top... just a few minutes later I started to notice the blue and started picking it out. I thought a scrap of paper or something got in and the blue ink tinged it, or a thread off my shirt, or something! I thought something foreign got in but didn't know what! I ate a few stalks but I rinsed them off because I was weirded out. I'm glad I Googled blue garlic!! From this article a few things could have caused it... 1) new garlic, 2) lemon juice 3) copper pot... very interesting!!

Diego on March 09, 2017:

Boy, today this happened to me!, that is why I am on this page. I was cooking some lentils and, suddenly, after one or two minutes of heat, the garlic is there, looking at me with a very fearsome blue color. I immediately called my mom for advise and she told me that this had happened to her a few months ago!. What are the odds for two events in such a short period of time?

Abu Bakari on March 07, 2017:

10 years i've been cooking i've never had garlic turn blue on me until today.

Beshka on February 28, 2017:

Wow, this happened to me this morning, and thank you so much for posting this! I ate my green eggs & onions & garlic with pleasure, knowing now that it was safe! Hope to recreate this, as aqua is one of my favorite colors! Have a wonderful day! The sun is out again in San Diego!

Rel on February 11, 2017:

Interesting stuff!

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 03, 2017:

I've never seen this happen before!

rodnchance on January 24, 2017:

My garlic's were all out of the ground for 5 months give or take a few weeks.

The 3 types I canned all turned blue within a few days. The Georgia Crystal went first then the Chesnock Purple follow by the Georgia Fire. I was going to pitch them out but thanks to this article I will keep. Next time I will can sooner and see what happens.

Felicia on January 22, 2017:

This happened to me last night while making shrimp scampi. Shouldn't be anything unusual there, just some butter, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and shrimp. Must have been lemon juice, but wait, I've made that dish many times in my life! So, why this one time? Must be some other reason like the freshness of either the garlic, lemon, or butter and how it all combined. Thank you for your article!

Hassan Bak on January 20, 2017:

Very informative news. I searched the internet and read one comment that it could be due to fertilizers and pesticides that have copper. The user was advise to use garlic to reduce High Blood Pressure but to the contrary, it was increasing. After lab test they found copper in garlic. this color could be due to oxidation. I think we need further investigations.

Aj on January 03, 2017:

We just pickled several large jars of garlic over the holiday using an apple cider vinegar/lemon juice recipe, and this color change occurred! We used two varieties of garlic, mixed in the same jars together, and they reacted differently. The fresher garlic (elephant garlic) from the grocery store became turquoise and the aged garlic (smaller, from the garden) did not change.

What a relief! Thank you for the info! So glad to know it will turn out ok!

jas on January 02, 2017:

My grandmother fried peppers in oil, put them in a canning jar, added a sliced clove or two of garlic and covered all with vinegar. Very often the garlic has turned blue - did it again this year when I fixed the peppers! This is the first time anyone in our family noticed.

hasam on December 10, 2016:

From my personal experience produces this color If we add private lemon or the fruit acid to garlic and I think t he acids interact with copper or sulfur

Dawn Ingalls on December 06, 2016:

I have never heard or seen anything like this before, I made homemade garlic bread and grated the garlic clove on top of my butter bread, when I took bread out of oven I was shocked to see my bread was a bright greenish looked moldy so after reading these helpful comments I knew I coyld still eat it, but I just couldn't do and I believe I had to much on it, I did take one bite i do believe the sight of it made me not like it. Crazy I know but they say we eat with our eyes first

J0b006 on May 06, 2016:

I made two jars of apple cider vinegar and garlic with the same garlic and same vinegar, one turned blue and the other stayed white... I think it's because of the metal in the lid from the other bottle

sarimoha on April 10, 2016:

It happened to me because I had two heads of garlic but was going on holiday for two weeks so I minced all the garlic in my blender and froze the minced bits. I came back and put the container in the fridge and it started going blue! I had heard of this before, but i just salted them to preserve them. I think if you are aspiring to get blue garlic, just chop them then freeze and defrost in the fridge.

hoshiko80 on January 21, 2016:

I have proof to show that my garlic jiuce has turned into BLUISH Green.

http://makinggif.tumblr.com/post/137784870109/the-...

katie on December 19, 2015:

Yes, I have had bright green garlic color change happen. We recently moved to Costa Rica and my supply of dried garlic was running low so I spent quite awhile peeling and chopping up a ton of fresh garlic some of which was the tinted reddish purple which has a great flavor fresh. I popped 2 trays into the dehydrator, switched them every 45 minutes. When I went to rotate them the 3rd time an entire tray had turned bright green, the color of poison so I thought it had gone bad due to new condistion (high humidity, and the dehydration process) so I threw out all the green tinted. I didn't think to check the web and since there was long term storage involved could not risk a contaminated food. Might have to try this again and see if I can repeat the results.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on October 15, 2015:

I always throw away when garlic turns color, but this is news to me

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on September 23, 2015:

Interesting, first time I have heard of garlic going green, hope it never happens to me, but if it does I won't be throwing it out now I know.

Simon on September 15, 2015:

That's Why I hate Garlic, it has cheated me too...

Helen on August 29, 2015:

I was catering my parents 60th wedding anniversary celebration and was totally freaked when I saw my gorgeous cous cous salad with blue flecks, I was frantically busy and didn't think to send someone to look it up - no one else thought to do it either so it got chucked. Now cross about the waste but relieved, in future if it happens it will be a feature!

Yasmeen on August 29, 2015:

I am so happy to have found this page. I puréed my garlic and my onions placed them over heat and came back to find the whole once white puréed mix had turned easter egg blue. It actually scared me. I had no idea that was possible. I sense from what you have said above it was the water from the puréed onions and the heat that did the trick.

Floyd Ballard on August 18, 2015:

I have veggies every day for lunch: Celery strips, Bell Pepper slices, slice of sweet onion, Pepperoncini's, Olives and 3 gloves of Garlic. I usually buy a bag (6-8) garlic heads. I then peel them and slice the bigger ones and put them in a jar. I pour White vinegar over them until they are covered. They are White for about a week, then you notice they are changing colors until they become a nice Blue. I keep eating them and I'm still here.

Jelena from Florida on June 12, 2015:

I so didn't know that it makes me want to find out for myself.

Vivia Kho on May 09, 2015:

Glad it is safe to eat. I told my flatmate that I used to chop a lot of garlic, then stored them in refrigerator, just for the convenience for cooking for the whole weeks. Then she decided to try it on, but preserve it as garlic-in-oil because we think oil might help the preservation better than chopped garlic alone. This morning, we almost throw everything away because it turned green. Thanks for the good article!

Long Nguyen on May 01, 2015:

Thanks for this web site and Google search engine! I was panic and intended throw away my bottle of garlic. It's safe to eat!

malliga on April 15, 2015:

Your Comment.. I soak garlic with apple cider vinegar it turn into some places of garlic turquoise colour. I was confused. After check this site I got better knowledge about garlic chemistry

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on April 04, 2015:

I like your hub about garlic. I cook garlic with some of my food. I glad that I was eating a lot of garlic. I need blue in my body because I am allergic to red. I love garlic. It makes me feel good. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. You are fantastic.

C on March 04, 2015:

This happened to me soon after I moved out and started cooking for myself. I had loved experimenting with complicated and new recipes and had had good success. Then this happened and I was shaken! What had I done, am I poisoning me or anyone else? The garlic wasn't even a complicated step. I think we ate the dish, but I was nervous til I knew there was no food poisoning. On another note, I remember my mom altering her chicken soup recipe once and it tasted cheesy...we had no idea why since she couldn't remember what she did differently (no cheese). It was so unpleasant, it ended up in the trash. I may be weird, but I hope to someday accidentally reproduce that accident just to have the cooking chemistry answer!

linda clawson on March 03, 2015:

I use lots of garlic never had that problem mine is okra it seem to turn purplish grey when added to my veg soup could it be spices that clashes with okra it stay pretty and green until I add it to soup I guess I just have to play with it and see its so strange

J on March 01, 2015:

My garlic and shallots turned green last night as I made a lemon butter sauce. I was cooking them down with lemon juice and wine before adding butter. The introduction of the acid and heat turned them green-blue. Thankfully, after the sauce was mounted with butter, I could just strain them out.

Aimee on February 18, 2015:

I had the same problem. I had some pickle juice left over from some gerkins and put in some garlic cloves to see what they would do. I'm colourblind and didn't realise that they'd turned blue until my partner started laughing about them as I was cutting them up!

Nishaa on February 11, 2015:

I usually use ginger -garlic paste for my dishes. Yesterday, wen the paste got over, I thought of making it fresh. I kept the leftover in the fridge n by night it turned green !!!! Just the garlic paste n not ginger.. That was the first time it happened to me. N thanks to the article.. Now I can go back n use it without any worry :)

DLeighAlexander on February 11, 2015:

This is fascinating! I have cooked with garlic for years and never knew it could turn turquoise. I would love to see it turn this beautiful color (especially since it's safe to eat that way). It could really enhance some foods and it too is my favorite color. Thank you for sharing this amazing information! And nice to meet you--I'm fairly new to Hub Pages.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on February 05, 2015:

I cook with garlic all the time and have never had this happen. Maybe it's because I use it in mostly Italian dishes. Still tomatoes are acidic. I am fascinated by this and would love to make it happen.

Janet on January 27, 2015:

I made my "flu" shot remedy. Apple Cider Vinegar, honey, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and I normally press the garlic...traveling without my garlic press. I pressed a whole glove between two spoons and dropped it in...within 24 hours I thought I was seeing things... a beautiful turquoise clove of garlic... thanks to your article I will know I can safely continue my healthy remedy.

Jasmine on January 09, 2015:

it's not blue garlic, it should be green, and you can follow this article to learn how to make this kind of unspicy green garlic. https://misssparkle66.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/wan...

Debbie on December 24, 2014:

Hi,

First time blue garlic experience happened today.

I put together a concoction to cook my beef in a crockpot.

Combined vegetable stock, seeded mustard, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and of course, chopped garlic.

Let it sit there while I browned the meat. Poured the liquid over the beef and left it to cook. Low and behold, a little while later I checked it and noticed the garlic was blue.

Danielle Martinez on December 20, 2014:

Hi,

Well, my father makes garlic pork every christmas and lo and behold I walked into the kitchen to find him removing these little turquoise cloves of garlic from the jars of marinating pork. He saw me and asked why his garlic had turned blue and then informed me that he was goin to replace them with new garlic. I quickly googled blue garlic and it took me to your page. I wish to thank you for your informative explanation and for sharing your experience. We will not be throwing out our garlic and instead relishing this lucky opportunity to play a prank on our family members. :)

Ralph on November 16, 2014:

I chopped up about 6/8 heads of garlic, minced it with sea salt and olive oil and vinegar ( small amount of vinegar more as a preservative than for flavor) , next day opened the fridge to a pastel blue minced garlic, immediately went online searching and found several sites covering the subject, yup, it is safe to eat. I took the extra, added a little citric acid, heated it and put in small mason jars to seal for future use. Looks great in stir-fries, soups and multi veggy omelets!!

June on November 12, 2014:

It happened when I was cooking broccoli with garlic in the airfryer. First time this has happened to me.

Kenneth on October 12, 2014:

I just cooked a roasted pig stewed with vinegar and the garlic went blue. I was shocked and I thought something weird was going on. Did I put some chemicals or what? Good thing this article shed a light for me. It was all completely safe.. Glad I had this experience :D

John on October 06, 2014:

If garlic turns blue at yor home it mean yor house is haunted or you have been cursed

zjohndavid88@gmail.com on October 06, 2014:

If Garlic turns Blue it mean you have been cursed

The Chilli Geeks from Northants, UK on September 28, 2014:

This happened to us when we first made Scotch Bonnet pickled garlic ... manged to make pink shallots too!

Emily Tack from USA on September 27, 2014:

I have eaten so much garlic in my lifetime, that I am surprised I don't look like a garlic clove.

Like so many others commented, I have had garlic turn blue, too! I canned a lot of garlic about a year ago, and many of the bulbs have turned blue. It is actually a gorgeous color, and quite an improvement over their natural color, I might add.

Great information here. I already knew it was safe, but your in-depth explanation is wonderful!

Cynthia R on September 22, 2014:

My cousin and I just did our first canning experience, and canned 7 quarts of dill pickles. We used grandma's old vinegar/salt/water recipe and packed fresh dill weed and whole garlic cloves in each quart along with the cucumbers. Almost immediately after sealing, we noticed the 4-6 cloves in each jar were turning blue....almost neon. We were freaked out thinking something went wrong. Never heard of this! But found out it is okay and safe to eat. The pickles were awesome btw!

Christine Rogers from Ohio on August 15, 2014:

I have never seen garlic turn blue! I'm glad you made this Hub so I know what it is.

Kari on August 14, 2014:

I cook with garlic daily, and I have never had this happen. Now, I almost want it to happen! Very interesting, will share on Pinterest. I wonder how many foodies have had this happen to them?

Marina on June 10, 2014:

I can't help but wonder if different types of garlic are more prone. I bought some garlic recently, but was subsequently warned away from it by a friend because it was imported from China. Even so, I cooked it (a recipe I'd made many times before, without any alteration but the Chinese garlic), and it turned turquoise. Is it possible that the people who manufacture the garlic in China use some pesticide or fertiliser that would cause this to happen? Or is it just a coincidence that the first time I made the dish with this garlic was also the first time it turned turquoise?

Hoodihoo on June 04, 2014:

I always put a whole garlic sliced in half with a halved lemon inside my chicken before I roast it. Garlic turns blue every time.

sandy on June 01, 2014:

please tell me if it is safe to eat, thank you

Big Louie Red on April 30, 2014:

I decided to make some Giardiniera, and added some garlic to it. Within 48 hours, the garlic started to turn a pretty shade of blue. I thought I had done something wrong in the pickling process and was ready to chuck a whole gallon. I decided to try to find the reason for this, and found this blog. Saved me a lot of money and peace of mind, knowing they garlic is safe to eat. Also learned why when I put garlic in the cavity of a roast chicken along with lemon same thing happens. And I get to impress family and friends with my knowledge of chemistry in explaining how and why the change in color occurs.

Electralily on April 08, 2014:

Eek! this just happened to me while making pulled pork in a ceramic slow cooker. A lot of the possible causes/combinations mentioned by others were involved: vinegar, pork, ginger, low temperature cooking, onions, etc. No Chinese garlic though -- it was local & organic, finely chopped. Thanks for letting me know I don't have to toss this dish which has filled my house with a wonderful scent!

Lily on April 03, 2014:

This start happening about 10 years back. The garlic I mashed did not touch water or metal and still became blue in less than an hour.

I looked on the packing label: "Made in China".

Ali on March 26, 2014:

This just happened to me- sliced some garlic, put it inside a trout with some preserved lemons, put the trout in the oven, and 45 minutes later out comes the trout with neon blue garlic slices inside! Considering the amount of garlic I've eaten in my life, I'm astonished it's taken me this long to experience this phenomena. Pleased to learn that I (probably) haven't poisoned myself by eating it.

Denise on March 26, 2014:

I was making barbecued pulled pork and had this happen. Almost threw it all out. Then read this. Still feeling uneasy about eating though.