January 15, 2012 by Benji
Traditional knowledge tells us that there are no blue foods. Blueberries are purple, blue M&M’s and Blue Powerade are dyes. Most other colors on the spectrum are represented but not blue. Last week I made some garlic and green onion flavored Vinegar and Garlic Flavored Olive Oil.
After a few days I noticed that the garlic in the vinegar turned blue! I was grossed out and curious, so I did what anyone in the 21st century does… I googled it!
This is what I found
The discoloration is due to pigments that form between sulfur compounds in garlic and amino acids. When the garlic tissue is disrupted, as happens in processing, an enzyme is liberated and reacts with it to form thiosulfinates compounds that then react with the natural amino acids in the garlic to form blue pigments. The age of garlic determines how much isoalliin there is in the first place, and the nature of the processing determines how much enzyme is liberated.
Fascinating… and it tastes GREAT. I ate it on salad last night.
I also learned that there is naturally blue corn and blue potatoes… Who Knew?