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

Updated on March 17, 2016

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?

See results

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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    • profile image

      John 4 weeks ago

      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.

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      Lux Ferre 4 weeks ago

      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.

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      Shani Clarke 6 weeks ago

      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

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      Bonnie Gensch 2 months ago

      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.

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      anne bates 4 months ago

      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.

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      Marabeth 6 months ago

      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.

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      Sandra Merriman 7 months ago

      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!!

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      Diego 7 months ago

      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?

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      Abu Bakari 7 months ago

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

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      Beshka 7 months ago

      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!

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      Rel 8 months ago

      Interesting stuff!

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      Louise Powles 8 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I've never seen this happen before!

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      rodnchance 8 months ago

      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.

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      Felicia 9 months ago

      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!

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      Hassan Bak 9 months ago

      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.

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      Aj 9 months ago

      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!

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      jas 9 months ago

      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.

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      hasam 10 months ago

      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

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      Dawn Ingalls 10 months ago

      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

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      J0b006 17 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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      sarimoha 18 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.

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      hoshiko80 21 months ago

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

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

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      katie 22 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.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

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

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years 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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      Simon 2 years ago

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

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      Helen 2 years 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!

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      Yasmeen 2 years 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.

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      Floyd Ballard 2 years 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.

    • jcsteele profile image

      Jelena 2 years ago from Florida

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

    • profile image

      Vivia Kho 2 years 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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      Long Nguyen 2 years 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!

    • profile image

      malliga 2 years 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

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years 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.

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      2 years 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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      linda clawson 2 years 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

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      2 years 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.

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      Aimee 2 years 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!

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      Nishaa 2 years 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 :)

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 2 years 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.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 2 years 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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      Janet 2 years 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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      Jasmine 2 years 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. https://misssparkle66.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/wan...

    • profile image

      Debbie 2 years ago

      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.

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      Danielle Martinez 2 years ago

      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. :)

    • profile image

      Ralph 2 years 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!!

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      June 2 years ago

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

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      Kenneth 3 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

    • profile image

      John 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      zjohndavid88@gmail.com 3 years ago

      If Garlic turns Blue it mean you have been cursed

    • The Chilli Geeks profile image

      The Chilli Geeks 3 years ago from Northants, UK

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

    • Shades-of-truth profile image

      Emily Tack 3 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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      Cynthia R 3 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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      Christine Rogers 3 years ago from Ohio

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

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      Kari 3 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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      Marina 3 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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      Hoodihoo 3 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.

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      sandy 3 years ago

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

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      Big Louie Red 3 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.

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      Electralily 3 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!

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      Lily 3 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".

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      Ali 3 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.

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      Denise 3 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.

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      CookingMoma 3 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.

    • testosteroneguide profile image

      Ali Kuoppala 3 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.

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      me trout 3 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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      Steph Broadbent 3 years ago from UK

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

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      Michelle 3 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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      kath 3 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

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      BristolBoy 3 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!

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      Deeps 3 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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      Maxine 3 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

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      Valene 3 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!

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      Miss Sarah 3 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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      Carmen 3 years ago

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

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      Megan 3 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.

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      anon 3 years ago

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

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      Valene 4 years ago from Missouri

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

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      Gary 4 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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      Crystal 4 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!

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      Bromine035 4 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.

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      Gail Tomas 4 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.

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      Wolfhound 4 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.

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      Jackie 4 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!

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      Marcy J. Miller 4 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

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      sealie 4 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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      eddie 4 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 supprise...glade to hear it wont hurt the pickles...

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      Christine 4 years ago

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

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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      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.

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      MoCoBeer 4 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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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      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!

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      ladyamyt 4 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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      Lillian 4 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!

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      Dean C Dao 4 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?

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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      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!

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      Anna 4 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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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      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.

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      laarni v 4 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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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      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. :)

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      Deanna 4 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