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

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. | Source

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. | Source

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.

Have you been surprised by garlic turning blue?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

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 as yet has 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.”

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Comments 214 comments

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Fascinating. I've never had this happen before, nor heard of any such thing. Goodness-new surprises every day!

Thanks for sharing this very interesting bit of kitchen adventure. Voted up and interesting...oh, and it's kind of funny, too. ;-)

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Good to know if our food suddenly takes on neon colors due to the garlic turning different colors than expected. It has never far! Voted up and interesting. Thanks for this information.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I tell you, MsLizzy, this was a total shock to me. When I saw this color appear on the eve of my family's celebration, I was beside myself. First, I got mad and decided the kraut was bad...I was in a panic. But then I turned to the net (good for many things) and got my questions answered, more or less. The entire chemistry of the color change is still not completely understood, and there's some confusing information coming even from edu sites.

So glad you found this funny. I did too. :)

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Peggy, hopefully now you won't be as freaked out as I was if it happens to you. Now you just have to concoct your own "secret" to share if and when it does. LOL

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I'd never heard of garlic turning turquoise, or any other color for that matter! It had to be the addition of the sauerkraut.

The word "sauer" of course means "sour" and to make perfectly good cabbage "sour" is a complicated (but natural) chemical process in itself, one I try to forget when I eat kraut! Good for you for having the presence of mind to research the cause of the discoloration and decide the dish was safe to eat. I would've thrown the whole concoction out and never cooked it again. Well done, Sherri! ;D

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

TY, Joanna...I was for a moment or two on Wednesday night tempted to throw the whole thing out. But my mother was expecting this dish for the holiday meal, so at the very least I had to find a reason for what happened. I had no idea what doors that would open.

In this case, vinegar (kraut) is definitely the key, I'm sure, I think. :)

Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Wow - I had no idea that garlic could do that! That's pretty cool and also freaky at the same time! I'm glad to hear it was safe to eat.

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 4 years ago from India

I feel cheated! I add garlic to almost everything I cook and never have I watched it turn blue...or any other colour! :D

Only you could have taken the trouble to research the phenomenon, ST...I remember reading one of your earlier hubs on onions and wishing you would write one on garlic one day...and you don't disappoint!

Hope you had a wonderful did your family react to the blue bits by the way?

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

I was hoping for more drama with the dish, like you were so shocked you were afraid to eat it, or you brought it to your family's and they were all gasping how you totally rearranged the traditional dish...LOL

Seriously, I want to thank you for bringing this to light. I never experienced it before, but I assure you I would have gone to bed without dinner if that happened to me while cooking!

jenubouka 4 years ago

Excellent and so interesting! I have had the garlic begin to sprout but never turn blue, green yes but never blue. Great info I love how you said not to mention anything to the guests, I just can picture their faces when seeing the colors.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 4 years ago from Massachusetts

This is a neat thing to know (and interesting and useful Hub). (I've never heard of it before, and I've never had garlic turn color.) (Hmmm. I don't suppose something similar applies to the green that shows up on cheese and/or bread.... I didn't think so.)

Lynn S. Murphy 4 years ago

Interesting phenomenom. We use garlic all the time and never had it turn blue. I love saur kraut and I would have never thought to put the two together.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author


Definitely freaky! It's a real shocker when you're not expecting it. :)


Thank you so much for your awesome compliments. :) Yes, I remember your wishing for a garlic hub like the onion hub. That was a long time ago! There's so much more to be said about garlic, but this hub was driven by an immediate need to share this incredible surprise. Only one person in my family, a long-time, excellent cook (like you), told me she noticed the blue, but she told me only because I asked her if she did. She's part of that last bullet point up there under Blue Garlic Facts for the Home Kitchen. But you know, most guests had had a few drinks before dinner, so who knows what they saw or thought they saw? lol


The good news is that if it happens to you in the future, you can sleep easily knowing that garlic changing to blue while cooking is safe to eat. As for the drama that wasn't there, that's such an interesting comment. First, there was NO WAY I was going to dump two pounds of sausage, two pounds of kraut, a huge head of cabbage, a giant sweet onion, an entire head of fresh garlic, and a whole mess of apples in the trash if I could help it. That's what led me to find out what the heck happened. Second, I don't do drama well, and that's why I don't write fiction. :)

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 4 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

This is a first, I've never heard of that happening.

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 4 years ago from St. Louis

This was a total surprise to me too. I've never come across it personally, nor ever heard of the baffling blue garlic. Glad it was still good to eat, and apparently, you served it to your family. Although I wonder with so much contrary information you found about blue garlic, I wonder if it is, in fact, safe to eat. Maybe in a weeks time your family will turn into Smurfs!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author


Thanks for the good words! As for the faces of the guests at dinner, I had a few drinks, I wasn't paying attention. :)

@Lisa HW

You are right...the blue that shows up in cheese and bread has nothing to do with this process and is a sign of spoilage (mold), unless you are making the cheese and controlling the mold that goes into it, as in blue cheese.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

@Lynn S. Murphy

You are so right about not thinking to put sauerkraut and garlic together, something I never would think to do either, but what I did was to modify a family recipe (which included garlic) by adding kraut. Surprise!


Welcome to the club!


Smurfs. The almost perfect color! Is that how they were made, in a garlic reaction? lol I'll be watching family members over the next week looking for changes. Whether the garlic turning blue is a reaction between sulfur and copper, or one among the organic chemicals in the garlic, there seems to be no doubt that in the absence of signs of spoilage blue garlic is safe to eat. There is a third theory on the table having to do with anthocyanins, soluble glycoside pigments that produce blue to red coloring in flowers and plants. These compounds account for the purple in pansies, the deep red in new rose leaf growth, and the purple in some varieties of garlic, but I haven't found the connective tissue holding anthocyanins responsible for sudden changes in garlic color during cooking or pickling.

robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey

Garlic is amazing stuff-- I knew it was good for building the immune system and keeping away vampires if you wore it as a necklace-- but who knew it turned blue in the presence of sauerkraut? What wonderous alchemy is this? and what a wonderful hub you made of it-- I am going to try that family recipe of yours, ST-- but without the sauerkraut-- it sounds delicious.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Robie, alchemy! So why didn't this garlic turn to Au instead? I could use an infusion into my bank account.

Try the recipe with the is amazingly delicious. And I also want to know if your garlic turns blue. TY for a super comment, as always. :)

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

Our family loves kielbasa and sauerkraut, though I've never had the experience of blue garlic! That would definitely be quite a surprise, and I'm glad to have a heads-up about it! Mmmm...I'll have to look up your recipe - it sounds like you've made a few tasty additions to the dish!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Wow, this is very fascinating. When I first saw your title, I tried to picture it but didn't think it could possibly be this blue! It looks almost like candy!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

@Stephanie, it makes me happy to learn of another kielbasa-loving family! I'm glad you now have the skinny on the possibility of garlic turning blue. :)

@Om Paramapoonya, it really is an amazing color, but when the backdrop to the color is kielbasa and cabbage, believe me, any association with candy goes away immediately. :)

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Blue food just does not seem natural. (That just ain't right!) Even blue berries are not blue. I cook the Thanksgiving meal these days and during those last fifteen minutes the hubster knows better than to talk to me or even look at me. Sherri, blue garlic would have sent me into a panic. Naturally, you kept your head and carried on. Bravo! And I loved your explanation along with the fabulous pictures.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

lol, Peg. I know that feeling toward the end...don't get in my way!!! Fortunately, I was cooking this dish on the night before, so at least I had time to investigate. If it had happened the day of, at my mother's where there's no internet, I'm not so sure I wouldn't have dumped the whole thing out. And you are so right that blue food just doesn't seem natural. But the odd thing is that this blue garlic really is natural. Thanks so much for leaving your cool comment. :)

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for giving so much information about garlick

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are so welcome, H,h...always so nice to see you. :)

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Neither did I. And thanks so much for the good words, TransferAmerica. :)

InTuneWithCooking profile image

InTuneWithCooking 4 years ago from Australia

I have never come across this before! Very interesting, thanks for teaching me something new. Voted up!

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

Amazing, and I have never heard of this before, let alone have it happen. Many thanks for this interesting info. And I shall try your tip of using some sauerkraut with the cabbage recipe. Glad you shared your experience.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

TY, InTune and frogyfish!

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

Sally's Trove, you are some kind of brave to have served the dish. I have garlic turn blue when I was scrambling it with eggs. I assumed it was just bad. Thanks for the interesting hub

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Tirelesstraveler, I agree with you about serving it...I didn't feel one bit brave eating it, because once I figured out what was going on I knew it was safe, but putting it out in front of others was another matter indeed!

Somewhere in my search for information I read an account of someone's garlic turning blue just by being sauteed in butter. As there are so many factors involved, it's hard to say exactly what was going on with your scrambled eggs, or their butter.

METPRP 4 years ago

Does blue garlic get served with red or black caviar?

A very interesting article. Nice image of a family get together with a unique twist.

Brings back fond memories of my own.


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

I have never experienced this myself. However, if it happens, I'll keep this in mind and hopefully, don't freak out.

Very interesting. I learned so much from this.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

METPRP, TY so much for reading and commenting. Our families always have unique twists. :)

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Good that you won't freak out, SanneL! This garlic turning blue doesn't seem to happen often, but when it does, it's a big surprise. Now you know what to do...make like it's the most natural thing, which it is. :)

dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Wow Sally, I have gained a lot from reading this hub. Thanks for sharing. Voting up. Blessings:)

Duchess OBlunt 4 years ago

One thing for sure, you added some colour to the flavour.

Very interesting information here. Who knew? Rated up and worth sharing. It's great you looked it up and shared this information. I'll never be afraid if it ever happens to me.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

@Daisy, so nice to see you! It makes me happy to know that I've written something wothwhile. Thank you so much for leaving all the good words. :)

@Duchess, wonderful to see you, too! It tickles me pink that I've been able to take one fear away. lol Now blue garlic is nothing you'll have to worry about. Thanks so much for the votes and the compliments. :)

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

This is new from me. I had never know about this before. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You're welcome, prasetio. And thanks for the vote!

CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 4 years ago from New York City

This superlative hub has taught me a very intrinsic lesson to learn, with your usage of chemistry to formulate a comparison to that of garlic I thought it was truly fabulouso.

I now understand why folks like yourself deserve to remain at the top, & literally untouchable to us newbies, and its primarily because of your writing style. Also your understanding of visual display of editorial content is beyond my scope of current skill level for sure.

I'm good with words but you have definitely showed me a pathway in writing I've yet to take, and I shall try to step up to the plate of making my hubs much more presentable in every way.

You used very little space, but made the points stand out, the imagery wasn't too much neither, and you even used your words just as people use images, now that is where I was blown away. I'm beyond impressed here your on that Elite status for sure & now I see why some fortunate hubbers have the 99,'s & 100 scores, this hubpages thing takes some serious dedication.

Thanks for sharing such a powerful hub a great presentation of unique creative writing. Voted up on every level I can. @ the one and only Sally's Trove

Val 4 years ago

While making pickled garlic tonight it turned blue. And that led me here I'm releived its ok to eat. Thank you for the info.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

@CloudExplorer, thank you so much for your positive comments. They affirm something I always strive to do in any article I write, which is to use layout, headlines, and images to give the reader a "map" or "quick tour" of the topic. When a reader knows where the article is going and why, he's more likely to have a good experience (and come back for more). I very much appreciate the time and effort you put into writing this comment.

@Val, I'm so glad you found this article. Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience. :)

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

This is an excellent hub. you have done quite a bit of research. I have never seen garlic turn blue .It looks awesome.

Thanks for sharing and letting us know that if the food smells ok it's safe to eat.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thank you for the good words, Rajan. Your words are especially affirming given your background in botany, chemistry, and breeding.

Just one point to clarify in your may smell OK but still be tainted (such as when botulism, salmonella, or E. coli is present). Also, garlic may be blue but also show signs of spoilage such as mold growth or foul smell, too. So, blue garlic in the absence of any signs of spoilage is OK to eat.

Readers, there's a link to Rajan's hub on the nutritional properties of garlic and how garlic may be used in healing at the top of this article. Check it out. It's excellent.

NK 4 years ago

I came across blue garlic only recently. China is supplying all the world with its strange garlic. Obviously this is the result of contemporary use of chemicals or other unnatural things. Normally grown garlic is remaining white in food. At least from my 50-years old experience....

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

NK, your comment is very interesting. China is indeed the world's largest producer of garlic. I suppose it could be that something in the way garlic is grown or processed in China makes it more susceptible to turning blue than garlic grown in other parts of the world. We'll have to follow the research on that one!

rednickle profile image

rednickle 4 years ago from New Brunswick Canada

Hmm what an interesting piece of research you have done but i have not had the experience of the blue garlic.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

If and when you do, rednickle, you know you have company!

toni 4 years ago

it happened to me in just hot water. I was making a tea of chopped garlic and water and there it was. Blue. Yikes. I thought it was the water and that the garlic was sucking in all the minerals from the water. I love the internet. Thank you all for clearing this up

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

TY for sharing your experience, toni. I had read about someone simply adding minced garlic to hot butter, and the same thing happened.

NK's comment remains interesting.

thesingernurse profile image

thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

How this is very interesting... I wanna see a blue-green garlic one of these days! :)

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You just may have your chance, thesingernurse. According to the comments here, quite a few folks are being surprised by this color show. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

Michelle 4 years ago

I just had this happen! I was making a mexican chicken slow cooker dish and put the garlic in last and left it on top - went back about an hour later, lo and behold! blue garlic! ... I freaked out and scooped it all out - thank goodness I hadn't mixed it in or else I'd be going into full out panic mode before finding this info! I'm thinking it could have been the acid from the salsa/tomatoes and my keffir lime spice that the garlic was sitting directly upon in the dish.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Michelle, so glad you are sharing your experience here. It could be the lime spice or the tomatoes in your dish, both acids. The odd thing is that, for years and years, no one's garlic has turned blue until recently. I don't think this is cause for alarm, because the chemistry of garlic components reacting to other elements in their environment is sound, but I have to wonder, why now, why blue?

I'm glad you didn't have to totally freak out! And I'm betting your Mexican chicken dish was stellar.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Well this is a new one on me. As a total garlic nut, I've never had this happen before and if it did, I'd have a fit. Good to know that it's safe to eat. Voted up! How could anyone not vote up blue garlic!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL Dolores! If garlic turns blue for you one day, it will let everyone who comes to dinner know what a creative cook you are! The blue garlic thanks you for the up vote!

Keno 4 years ago

I grow my own garlic, completely organically and have for years. This year when I used the last of the July harvest in mid-January to make garlic paste it turned green. I've never had that happen in the last 10 years of growing garlic. I use no chemicals, no pesticides and cure my garlic well. I had no problem of this nature until the very last batch I did. None of the early garlic did it and I'll have to admit the older garlic was a bit spongy, not a lot but a bit. There were many cloves that showed bolting but I cut all of that out. We'll see what happens next year when I use all new beds.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Keno, your story is so interesting. There's been speculation in the comments to this article that garlic grown in China might be somehow different and more prone to turning color. But you've been home-growing your garlic for years. Puzzling. Please keep us informed of this next season's harvest. :)

RedSturtz profile image

RedSturtz 4 years ago from A land far far away....

WOW! I have never heard of blue/green garlic. I think I'm going to have to try making some now.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL Red Sturtz. If you get the recipe nailed down, please share!

chris 4 years ago

I have an extensive garden with 12 exotic chilli's, tomatoes asparagus, okra, unions, garlic, cilantro, and dill perfect for salsa. But when I pickled 10 jars with the same ingredients all fresh! The garlic turned turned blue immediately. Witch led me to this web site thank you for the information. I will let you know how they come out

MaryAnn from Pittsburgh, PA 4 years ago

Well, I just had garlic turn blue on me and was surprised to say the least. It is Valentine's Day and I was preparing a recipe of pork tenderloin in the crockpot - and it said to put the minced garlic on top of the pork. I added veggie broth, soy sauce, white wine, that I had added sauted onions and mushrooms and then poured over the tenderloin. And put the garlic on top. The garlic that did not fall in the liquid (on top of the tenderloin) turned a lovely shade of blue like pictured above. I wonder if it was the contrast of temp between the sauce and the tenderloin or if the wine caused it to turn blue - but it seemed like only the garlic on top of the tenderloin turned blue and I added it after I poured the liquid over the pork. The recipe didn't call for the sauted mushrooms & onions but I didn't have onion soup mix and I decided to saute' them before putting them in because the recipe only said to cook it for 4 hours and I wanted to be sure the veggies were tender. It is a small pork tenderloin. At least I won't be afraid to eat it. Thanks to your comments!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Chris and MaryAnn, thanks so much for sharing your experiences. It's beginning to look like garlic turning blue is more common than most people thought.

Chris, I'll bet those 10 jars of salsa are going to taste wonderful while they have a bit of an exotic look to them. :)

buddyok 4 years ago

Very interesting, at least it's good to know it's safe to use.

Peety 4 years ago

My garlic just turned blue! I always bake fish with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, and tonight when cooking for my parents I got a dish full of little blue bits. Luckily they didn't mind too much. Thanks for the information!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL, Peety. It seems like blue garlic is on the rise. I need to do more research here. Blue garlic is coming out from under the woodwork! Thanks so much for commenting.

najordan89 profile image

najordan89 4 years ago from Oklahoma

Wow! I've never heard of this happening before. So interesting to read.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Kind of crazy, isn't it, najordan89? Thanks for reading and commenting!

Jim 4 years ago

I cooked cabbage (without corned beef) with honey and mustard and it turned bright blue. I think it was the vinegar in the mustard that did it.

Strange color, but it was delicious.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Jim, are you saying the cabbage turned blue, or garlic that you cooked with the cabbage?

Sally 4 years ago

My garlic turned blue in a dish of fresh shrimp with artichokes (yes they were marinated artichokes). It was a surprise, but pretty...

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL, Sally! That must have been a sight to see. I've never heard anyone say that unexpectedly blue garlic was pretty. Thanks for sharing. :)

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Bobski606 4 years ago from U.K

I guess school science has been useful after all. I'm going to try making blue garlic the next time I cook with sauerkraut - might ask my Polish stepmum if she knows of any good recipes :-)

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Bobski606, please do! I have yet to repeat this surprise. Polish is good...we like garlic and vinegar. :)

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Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

Thank you! You have solved a mystery for me.

I have some garlic in my kitchen which suddenly started to display bluey-green spots. I was completely bemused by this and was trying to find out what may have splashed onto the garlic ~ assuming that it must have been something bluey-green.

However, after reading this, I am guessing that it might have been vinegar!

Thank you for helping me out with this mystery! :)

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

I so love all of you sharing your experiences. Blue garlic is more prevalent than anyone, I think, expected.

Trish_M, what were you doing to splash vinegar on garlic in your kitchen? Whatever it was, it must have been fun. :)

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Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Sprinkling the chips (fries) :)

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JerryJupiter 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Wow, I never even knew this was possible! I even kind of want it to happen now to freak out the missus! Thanks for sharing this Sally's Trove - I learn something new and amazing every day on Hubpages :)

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

If the missus isn't expecting it, a freak out is sure to happen! I haven't yet duplicated the garlic turning blue, but you could experiment with minced garlic and warm vinegar or minced garlic and lemon juice. Sounds like you have a great sense of humor...and I hope she does, too. :)

Linda 4 years ago

I just raw fermented garlic for the first time a month ago ... the directions warned me that it could turn the blue-green color, so I wasn't shocked when it did, but it is still a bit strange. Tastes great, though!

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Linda, thanks for sharing your experience!

Vera Bruty 4 years ago

I cooked mediterranean chicken chicken today. I put chicken pieces in a large oven-proof dish, drizzled with olive oil; threw over onions, cherry tomatoes and sprinkled over crushed garlic and herbs. When I took it out of the oven half-way through cooking I was shocked to see the garlic had changed to a horrible green/blue colour. I didn't want my guests to see this and scraped it all away. I bought the garlic a week ago and it was more expensive and, I thought, better quality than I usually buy. The colour-change is a complete mystery and I am interest to see that other people have had the same thing happen to them. It's a complete mystery to me. It's not nice!

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Wow, Vera, what an experience! It seems that no acid was involved, except the slight acid that might come from cherry tomatoes. Compared to vinegar or lemon, low-content tomato acid causing this color change is totally shocking. I'm beginning to think that there's a strain of garlic on the world market which is more likely to turn blue than earlier strains. More research needs to be done, and I'm keeping an eye on that research. Meanwhile, even though the color is shocking, it seems the garlic is still safe (barring other signs of spoilage). But that doesn't mean guests want to eat it! Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

Linda 4 years ago

Thanks soooo very much for this information on the garlic ..... I had this happen for the first time this year when I made refridgerator dill pickles ...... we went ahead and ate the pickles not really knowing .... I just assumed that they had taken on the coloring from the pickles or it was a chemical reaction ..... was kinda scary though!!!! Thanks again for your helpful information!!!!!

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Linda, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I'm so glad this article was helpful. :)

Nate 4 years ago

Freaked me out, to put it mildly...I was using a blue silicone spatula to make garlic butter for some green beans - after I added the necessary squeeze of lemon juice, the colour was amazing. I rented to blame the spatula! At first I thought it was green, but I think that was the yellow of the butter distorting things. Isolated, bright blue is definitely right. Think blue powerade, and you're on the right track. Thanks for letting me know it was perfectly okay. I think I'm going to try to replicate it, so I'm racking my brains for a dish that the blue would compliment. Any thoughts?

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Nate, what I love is that garlic turning blue is a surprise. That you thought the spatula color was the culprit is so cool!

The only thought I have about this blue complementing a dish is what I said earlier in the article: When presenting your guests with accidental blue garlic, just say, "The dish needed some color."

However, I would love to see a dish feature this blue color...sort of like a martini back-lit by a laser. LOL

Kristine 4 years ago

Two days ago I pickled vegetables for the very first time in my life. I was SO proud of my accomplishment and this morning I went to look at the jars ( I think all the different color veggies in the jar look so pretty mixed with the herbs) and all the garlic in the jars are bright blue!!! I almost cried! I thought I'd done something wrong. So here I am, searching on the Internet and I found this. What a relief my veggies are not ruined! I'm not sure if my husband will go near them now to eat them, but I'm curious to try it. I might have to pick the garlic out of his servings and just let it be "my little secret". I've been cooking for over 20 years and love garlic, but this is the first time I've ever experienced garlic turning blue. Thanks for this post I enjoyed your story.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Kristine, I'm glad you found this article. It is pretty shocking to see that blue garlic, isn't it? I wonder what your husband will think. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. :)

El 4 years ago

Hi, great story and how weird. I made pickles once that had bruised garlic cloves in them and they turned a bit blue inside but tasted fine. Go figure. I figured it was the fact they were purple stiff necked garlic and shrugged my shoulders lol :)

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

El, I love your approach! So, it turned blue. Still good to eat. Thanks for your awesome comment.

Kristine 4 years ago

I'm another Kristine who had garlic turn blue while making pickles! I did a cold pack (one where the garlic was heated up in the pickling brine), and a fridge batch (where the hot pickling brine was added to the cukes/onions/dill/garlic). The only one that turned blue was the fridge batch - very shocking! I did notice the only part that turned blue were the "bruised" areas from when I used some knife blade pressure to loosen the skin for peeling the clove. The cloves that I peeled w/out a little crushing were fine.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Kristine, what interesting information. You have an eye for detail. I wonder if the difference was the speed at which the garlic was heated...possibly slower for the cold pack, faster for the fridge batch (given all other ingredients were the same). Thanks so much for the "report"!

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Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks so much for the information. I thought it was alright to eat but good to get confirmation. The first time I was faced with a blue garlic was one from a jar of pickles. Passing this on.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks so much for your comment, Gypsy Rose Lee. We're learning that blue garlic is more common than we thought!

dr fungus 4 years ago

garlic is a potent neorotoxin may destroy brain cells

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

What you may be referring to is botulinum toxin which has been found in garlic packed in oil as well as in other improperly canned or stored foods, such as green beans and chili peppers. The toxin is not a property of garlic, but the product of bacteria. You can refer to this document for more information:

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foodserviceguy 4 years ago from Canada/USA

Interesting article, have never had this happen to me before.

Mel 4 years ago

This just happened to me! I made a silverbeat dish which you boil the silverbeat then drain it and add olive oil, vinegar and garlic - when I took it out of the firidge this morning I had blue garlic through it and freaked out so turned to the web to see if anyone else had experienced this.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

@foodserviceguy, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Looks like we have some things in common. Welcome to HubPages!

@Mel, so glad you left your comment here. I'm glad you shared your experience with blue garlic, but also I learned a new term for an old favorite of mine--silverbeet! I know it as Swiss chard or Rainbow chard, but I never heard the term, silverbeet. I wonder if you are from Australia?

Randy 4 years ago

Just had it happen, with my garlic/pickle recipe! My wife wouldn't try them, thinking it was a mold. I just had to try them anyway, since it didn't scrape off like mold would. Then I looked it up, so I can tell her that they are still OK to eat.

Dawn 4 years ago

I am so relieved to read about this article. No joke, I spent $30 on hungarian hot wax peppers to jar hot peppers and every single one of my garlic cloves that started out being white, had some sort of tinge of the blue in them after the jars had suctioned off. I was so scared that the batch was ruined until my boyfriend brought up this article. I was so frustrated and upset when my mom told me that I should dump all 16 jars of peppers because they could lead to botulism. Well, well what did she know?! haha. Anyway, thank you for posting this article :) We will see how the peppers turn out.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

@Randy, it is pretty shocking when you see blue garlic for the first time. I don't blame your wife for her reaction! I'm glad you were able to get the information you needed. :)

@Dawn, it sounds as though you are very experienced with canning process and safety so you know that nothing you did introduced or encouraged a harmful bacteria bloom. I'd stand in line to try some of your hot garlic peppers!

Tim 4 years ago

Just Canned a batch of Pickles last night, when i woke up to ensure all had sealed properly, I noticed all of my garlic had turned Blue...quick call to my mom and she says throw them all away, that I didn't do something right and she seemed to think blue was linked to botulism..But I was soo certain I had done everything correctly, the only thing I did different this year was that I added a few cuts of Anaheim and poblano Peppers into the jars, my Uncle had made this exact version last year and the pickles were amazing.... So I come online to figure out why my Garlic turned blue and I see that it seems to be common, Im keeping my pickles now, thanks everyone for posting.. I wonder if the vinegar or the dill mix, or the peppers caused the garlic to turn blue...maybe the process, hot brine/jars and lids over cold cucumbers......... Interesting

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks, Tim, for sharing your experiences.

Ever since I wrote this article I've been on the lookout for new research results from labs that would be testing why garlic turns blue.

I'm hoping we'll get some new information soon. Your experiences, and those of others, surely add to the body of knowledge about why garlic does this.

I'll bet your pickles are fantastic tasting, if not a little odd looking because of the blue. You can tell your mom that the blue garlic is a lovely reflection of your unique personality. :)

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shai77 4 years ago

Wow-- never even heard of that one! Now I want to see it, ha ha! This is pretty interesting stuff, I will be prepared if my garlic ever turns blue now. I probably would have freaked out and dumped the whole dinner.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

shai77, it really is a freak-out when it happens for the first time. First the shock, then the denial, then the anger, then the sadness, then the, the grief process in a blue clove. I think I just cracked myself up. :) And as you say, you will be prepared. Thanks for leaving your cool comment.

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Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi Sally,

Bridget Jones would empathize with you--but don't worry, we love you just the way you are, blue kielbasa and all. =: )

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

K...thank you, Winsome. No worries.

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safety 4 years ago from Austin, TX

Wow. I have never experienced this, but find it fascinating. Now, I want my garlic to turn blue lol Thanks for the great information.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL, safety. I kind of want the garlic to turn blue again, too. I'll be cool, calm, and collected about it, but my relatives will probably freak out and I'll enjoy that. Thanks for reading, commenting, and leaving the good words. :)

Southernmapart 4 years ago

Thanks for writing. If my garlic turned blue, without having read this, I would freak out!

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

LOL, Southernmapart! You don't have to worry about that now. :)

Astrid 4 years ago

I had made a pasta dish. raw garlic, spaghetti, raw tomatoes, balsamico vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper and fresh basil.

the day after, the garlic had suddently turned blue.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Astrid, thanks for sharing your experience. I think it's amazing that garlic turning blue seems to be on the rise. This is something I never heard of until in very recent years. I'm keeping my eye out for the latest research.

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rbm 4 years ago

How fascinating! I had no idea Garlic could turn blue. Nature never seizes to amaze us. :) Good to know that it's still safe to eat.

Great hub, voted up and useful!

japery 4 years ago

Thank you for the post! I peeled about two cups of cloves from a bag of roses I bought at Costco, with the intent of preserving them in Heinz 5% acid white distilled vinegar. There is a definite blue cast to the cloves, now, a couple weeks later...worrisome, until I read your experience.

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Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

@rbm, nature certainly has something to do with this...we haven't figured it out yet. Why does that garlic turn blue under what circumstances? Thanks so much for the votes!

@japery, what an experience! I've never prepared two cups of garlic at one time. (Please come and work with me in my kitchen.) I'm so glad you shared your experience...garlic cloves, vinegar, blue. More and more garlic seems to be turning out this way. :) I'm on that.

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Sparhawke 3 years ago from Manchester

Only reason why I came looking for this obscure topic is that I have just eaten garlic sausage that had turned green, and was wondering if I would be rushed to the hospital in the next 5 minutes with my stomach falling onto the floor lol

If I gave this my brother though there is no way he would ever eat it, he is very much one of those people who "if it doesn't look good, it will kill you"

Someone once put some black food colouring in his rice pud, he LOVES rice pud, wouldn't touch it.

People are funny lol

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Sparhawke, right you are about how some people won't eat food if it's not the "right" color. I, myself, wouldn't dream of drinking green beer , not even on St. Paddy's Day!

When you said "garlic sausage that had turned green," I'm hoping you mean only the garlic in the sausage, not the sausage meat itself. I'd be wary of any green meat.

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. :)

Carl De Merchant 3 years ago

Thanks for the info. we have had our first experience of our garlic turning blue in our dill carrots. Glad they are still good to eat.

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks so much for leaving your comment, Carl. I'll bet the dilled carrots with garlic are delicious!

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mommymaya 3 years ago from Arkansas

I am so HAPPY that I read this Hub before that ever happened to me. I would have been very confused and maybe even a little scared. I'm still not sure if I would feel comfortable eating it but I'm glad to know it's safe. Thank you for sharing this insightful post.

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Forewarned is forearmed! I'm so glad this article is making you happy, mommymaya. Not to fear. As long as the garlic bits are turquoise while there is no sign of spoilage in the food (odd foam, foul smell...), all's good. Thanks for your great comment. You are well-prepared for the blue shock, should it happen. :)

AnMa 3 years ago

I didn't know why there was little blue-green spots in my fish plate! I have made this meal several times already but, yesterday... it happened...

I made my fish like usual: Tilapia in some lime juice with ginger, garlic, eggs and sesame seeds. Put it in the oven for several minutes. Took it out... saw some blue-green spots in the juice! Me and my brother wondering: wth?? We didn't know if this was good to eat lol, so we just took the blue spots off and ate the rest, and we were fine.

So that is why I found your post, I googled: "cooking turns blue"

And here is the answer! The garlic is guilty! Thanks for that post and all the info! I know I can eat it next time :P

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

AnMa, thank so much for sharing your experience. Blue garlic can happen at any time to any of us, without any warning.

That tilapia recipe of yours sounds wonderful! Have you published it anywhere? I've never cooked fish with eggs, except for a salmon breakfast scramble (no garlic involved). I'd love to try yours. :)

kyle :) 3 years ago

i made cold packed hot n spicy green tomatoes, n the garlic cloves turned neon blue. looked crazy. i read up on here that it was safe to eat, ate some n im still kickin! so they are correct that its safe.

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

kyle, glad to hear you are still kickin! I'll bet those hot and spicy green tomatoes are absolutely delicious, even though they might look a little funny. :)

Voltroy 3 years ago

This happened to me yesterday for the first time, I did not get alarmed too much as I knew all the ingredients I used for the meal were fresh and safe to eat. The garlic turned blue and it actually looked quite nice. My shrimps tasted as usual with a bonus visual effect.

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Voltroy, your turquoise-flecked shrimp will be the "talk of the town." Love your spirit and attitude about this.

Deanna 3 years ago

I'm a vegan and my husband made me pasta with garlic toast using Earth Balance butter (100% vegan) and after we finished eating he said with a frown "I think your vegan butter turned the garlic blue.." I saw shocked! I thought he had put basil or oregano on the toast. So VERY weirded out I pulled up google and fell upon this! I am glad to hear it's safe and that my stomach can digest without fear :) Thank you for the great info!

Deanna 3 years ago

oops I meant to say "I was shocked" not saw.. but I guess "what I saw shocked me" is what I was thinking

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Deanna, thank you for sharing your experience which surprised me because garlic bread usually has no acid component. Then I looked up the ingredients in Earth Balance butter and found that it contains lactic acid. I'm not saying that lactic acid is the culprit (so many other factors can be involved), but it's an interesting thought.

Lucky you to have a husband who cooks for you! Just remind him to make sure there are no signs of spoilage when blue garlic is present.

Oh...I think you just invented a new expression, "I saw shocked!" I got it right away. :)

laarni v 3 years ago

My husband try to make a ginger pickle as what hes also doing to onions by marinating it with vinegar.But after few days the garlic turned green into blue and hes got surprised but also afraid to eat it for he thought if became poisonous.Now we now the answer thanks a lot lol.

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

laarni v, I love accounts such as yours. Garlic turning blue happens to a lot of us. Who knew that blue/green garlic could be OK to eat? Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

Anna 3 years ago

This happened to me tonight while roasting cauliflower and broccoli in a lemon/garlic dressing. I pressed most of the garlic, but left a few cloves whole. For some reason, only the whole cloves turned blue?? I was definitely puzzled, and thought maybe the broccoli had leaked onto the garlic. Then I came across your blog and feel very enlightened and happy to eat my blue garlic. Thanks!

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Anna, thanks for sharing your experience. Why and how garlic turns blue is still quite puzzling. I'm intrigued with your pressing some of the garlic and leaving some whole with only the whole garlic turning blue. BTW, your roasted cauliflower / broccoli dish sounds wonderful! We're big fans here of combining cauliflower and broccoli, but we've never roasted it in garlic lemon dressing. We're definitely going to try it!

Dean C Dao 3 years ago

I pickeled two fresh garlic jar then leave them in the refrigerator, within 10 days both garlic jars turned Blue/Green! I ask a friend at work because he know how to pickling almost anything, he is the one search this info and sent it to me. I don't know what I did wrong?

Lillian 3 years ago

I had never heard about garlic turning blue. I use garlic in almost everything! This time I thought to save time and puréed an elephant garlic bulb and placed it in a Tupperware container and then in the fridge. Two days later it was turquoise!!!! I was afraid to eat it although it smelled ok. I threw it out. I'm still not sure about eating blue garlic!

ladyamyt 3 years ago

I've never heard of this but I'm glad I didn't throughout the garlic yet. I took a 2lb bag of garlic cloves (purchased at Costco) & minced it in the food processor and then put it all in a big jar. I thought this would keep better than the whole cloves in the bag as we've had some go bad in the past. A day or 2 later we noticed that it's turning a light green color. We thought it had spoiled at first but it still smells & tastes normal. Thanks for this blog/hub post! Fascinating!

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thank you all for sharing your experiences with garlic turning blue. It seems to be happening more frequently than I thought when I first wrote this article!

MoCoBeer 3 years ago

Just had this happen for the first time. Making Pilbil I marinaded overnight pork butt in orange juice, lemon juice, garlic (smashed and broken rather than minced or processed), red onion, habanero, cilantro, annatto, and home made dried chili mix in slow cooker insert. Removed the insert from the fridge and allowed to warm about a half hour. Then began the slow cooker on low. About two hours in while rotating the butt, I noticed the bright blue broken cloves. I'm made the dish before but have processed the majority of the marinade and never had this happen. Thanks to your piece and others I've read I'm not worried, but I was very surprised. Don't know which if any of the steps/ingredients caused the reaction.

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Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

MoCoBeer, thanks for sharing your experience with blue garlic. Your pilbil sounds wonderful, and I'm so glad you found the information needed to allay your concerns.

Christine 3 years ago

My garlic turned blue and that's how I found your site.

eddie 3 years ago

just finished cannin some pickes..added fresh garlic..after the boilin water bath noticed the garlic turned green...never had that happen before... what a to hear it wont hurt the pickles...

sealie 3 years ago

i just prepared a garlic butter dressing with vegan olive oil spread, Sicilian lemon juice and organic garlic cloves and it turned turquoise.... I was rather discombobulated but the ingredients were perfectly fresh and of good quality. I checked on the internet, and found your post -- very informative, and the garlic was delicious.

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MJennifer 3 years ago from Arizona

This was so interesting! I have had garlic go blue in the past and figured it was just listening to too much sad country music while I was cooking. Now I'll be on a quest to see if I can, indeed, turn my garlic blue on purpose. Beautifully done.

Best -- MJ

Jackie 3 years ago

You just saved me from trashing a whole batch of pickles! Thanks for the new knowledge about garlic, it has certainly staved off a pickle-induced panic attack!

Wolfhound 3 years ago

I just got a cast iron enamelled pan out which had been in the dishwasher, and started making the base for a curry. I put in the chopped onions, blended garlic and ginger together, and put everything in the pan with water and started to boil. For the first time it has turned bright greeny-blue. At the same time I was also cooking the base for a Bolognese with the same garlic bulb and the same batch of onions. The Bolognese is fine and the garlic has not changed colour. Perhaps the ginger has changed it in this case? It was also a shock for me and I was thinking I might have to chuck it - but I couldn't think why 3 ingredients so basic would have any impact on each other. Very odd.

Gail Tomas 3 years ago

Just finished pickling and saw the garlic turn greenish blue. First time this has ever happened. I have a little theory. I used loose garlic and none of that turned color. The second batch of garlic was packaged in a cloth mesh and it was that garlic that turned color turns out it is a product of China. Obviously a different strain.

Bromine035 3 years ago

I found my first blue garlic today. I canned a few quarts of dill pickles using elephant garlic. I noticed one jar had a brass lid and the garlic in that jar was much more deeply blue than the others that had a steel based lid. I also used sea salt instead of table salt. I planned to eat the pieces of garlic just like the peppers and pickles so I am glad to hear they are edible even if cyanotic. When you think about it, there are very few blue foods. Blue was a traditional color of poison identification and many bottles sold in the past were blue...some even with ridges to help identify them in low-light conditions. Thanks for your research.

Crystal 3 years ago

This totally happened to me while I pickled all my banana peppers the other week from my garden! I was SO mad and thought all that work was for nothing, but figured I'd look if up to see if it was still safe to eat before tossing! Good to know!

Gary 3 years ago

I also used elephant garlic for the first time when pickling peppers.I also used regular garlic in the same jars with white onions and undiluted white vinegar.

I was also quite upset thinking I had wasted time and ingredients,(over half a five gallon bucket of peppers).I thought it strange that only the elephant garlic changed colors.Started to throw all of them out so thank goodness for this website.I give them away as gifts and will take the advise I learned and make people think I did something special this year.

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Valene 3 years ago from Missouri

Wow, I never had this happen to me nor have I heard of it, but how fascinating!

anon 2 years ago

so this happened when i was high on shrooms.....

Megan 2 years ago

Just an anecdote re: blue garlic. When I was a peace corps volunteer living in a small eastern european village, I frequently cooked with garlic and it turned blue EVERY TIME. In the U.S., I've never had this happened.

Carmen 2 years ago

Hmmm will this make my pickles blue? My garlic turned blue while making the brine.

Miss Sarah 2 years ago

This happens every single time I make my bulk garlic mince for home cooking. It's easy, loads of garlic blitzed in a food processor with water, white vinagar and salt. Not too much of any ingredient except the garlic, the process lightly pickles it and the flavor is soo good after a week and keeps getting better :-)

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Valene 2 years ago from Missouri

Oh man, I just experienced the blue garlic phenomenon! I was eating some leftover pasta today to which I had added some raw garlic a few days ago. Today the garlic is bluish-green, like cooked broccoli!

Maxine 2 years ago

I purchased a jar of garlic in brine a while ago they were so good I ate the entire jar. I have not been able to find them lately, so I decided to make my own, I found a recipe on line and decided to give it a try, well I soaked the garlic to remove the skin once I cleaned them up I put them in a glass jar and filled the jar with apple cider vinegar, I sat the jar on top of the frig. when I happen to to look at it 3 days later every one was green, bright green, The recipe said to let them set in the vinegar for 3 to 4 weeks,but once they turned green the thought of eating them frightened me, I wonder if the will turn a deeper green within the next two weeks? guess I'll just wait and see. I'll have to take pictures and post them on you tube or face book, lol

Deeps 2 years ago

My husband and I were cooking a garlic and rosemary chicken dish.. when i took the chicekn out of the oven, the garlic had a strange teal/aquamarine color.. freaked both out. I've never known garlic could have that reaction to acid.

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BristolBoy 2 years ago from Bristol

I use garlic a lot in recipes but have been fortunate enough never to get unusual colour garlic. However, I am now informed and if I ever experience funny coloured garlic I will think back to this hub and remember not to panic!

kath 2 years ago

just finished some dill pickles and the garlic has turned a beautiful teal blue. Astonished I am, the fresh garlic had a hint of purple in the skin, I had kosher salt and vinegar in the recipe. The blue color occurred in the canning bath. These pickles will not be given away, excepting my oldest son, since people will think they are bad. They have no unexpected flavors. Good luck to all

Michelle 2 years ago

Just had this experiece yesterday. I was going to marinate chicken with some leftover of ginger garlic paste that i made one day before. I kept it in refigerator. but when i took it i was shocked! it was blueish green! i trashed it right away and i grated new garlic and ginger. I didn't know it wasn't dangerous! :))

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pobblethecat 2 years ago from UK

How fascinating, never heard of that. A well written piece that leave me wanting to play kitchen chemist!

me trout 2 years ago

Well written. I've had this happen when making a dipping sauce for lobster that consists of lemon, pressed garlic, white wine, butter, and pepper. The garlic often turns a nice turquoise colour when simmering (probably the acid in the lemon and wine). But I strain the mixture before serving, so the blue gems stay in the kitchen . . .

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testosteroneguide 2 years ago from Kokkola, Finland

Well and for one, there might be unwanted pesticides in the garlic itself that react with the naturally occurring acids - as I recently found out that most of the chinese garlic is fertilized with human waste.

That's one of the reasons why I only eat organic foods these days.

CookingMoma 2 years ago

Shame I didn't read your article before chucking my food. I was in total shock after my garlic mixed with ginger and lemon juice turned this poisenous looking blue ! It really does not look edible.

Denise 2 years ago

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

Ali 2 years ago

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.

Lily 2 years ago

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".

Electralily 2 years ago

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!

Big Louie Red 2 years ago

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.

sandy 2 years ago

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

Hoodihoo 2 years ago

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.

Marina 2 years ago

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?

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Relationshipc 2 years ago from Alberta, Canada

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?

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Miss Muse 2 years ago from Ohio

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

Cynthia R 2 years ago

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!

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Shades-of-truth 2 years ago from USA

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!

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The Chilli Geeks 2 years ago from Northants, UK

This happened to us when we first made Scotch Bonnet pickled garlic ... manged to make pink shallots too! 2 years ago

If Garlic turns Blue it mean you have been cursed

John 2 years ago

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

Kenneth 2 years ago

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

June 23 months ago

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

Ralph 23 months ago

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!!

Danielle Martinez 22 months ago


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. :)

Debbie 22 months ago


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.

Jasmine 21 months ago

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.

Janet 21 months ago

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.

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LiteraryMind 20 months ago from Connecticut, USA

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.

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DLeighAlexander 20 months ago

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.

Nishaa 20 months ago

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 :)

Aimee 20 months ago

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!

20 months ago

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.

linda clawson 20 months ago

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

20 months ago

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!

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erorantes 19 months ago from Miami Florida

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.

malliga 18 months ago

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

Long Nguyen 18 months ago

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!

Vivia Kho 17 months ago

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!

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jcsteele 16 months ago from Florida

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

Floyd Ballard 14 months ago

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.

Yasmeen 14 months ago

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.

Helen 14 months ago

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!

Simon 13 months ago

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

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Elsie Hagley 13 months ago from New Zealand

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.

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peachpurple 12 months ago from Home Sweet Home

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

katie 10 months ago

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.

hoshiko80 9 months ago

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

sarimoha 6 months ago

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.

J0b006 5 months ago

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

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