Blue Funk

So, I started a batch of pasta sauce. A little olive oil in the pot & some onions to sweat on low heat. Added a bit of salt (NOT Iodized salt). After the onions got nice & translucent I added the garlic. I usually buy peeled garlic clove & these were chopped & added to the pot with the onions. And… Voila!! Blue onions!

I have to say the picture does not reveal the true color of these blue onions which is somewhere between Teal & Aqua. A bit of research reveals that I have inadvertently bought garlic from China. So - I wonder what they treat that garlic with to maintain its freshness on it’s long journey?

The onions, garlic & I will be making a visit to my supplier in the morning. No doubt to hear some ridiculous explanation.

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This link seemed to explain: The colors occur when enzymes and amino acids present in garlic react with the --[copper] sulfur compounds responsible for garlic’s pungent smell.

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”?

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Chemical reaction. Not uncommon.

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OY! More reasons not to buy stuff from China?

I haven’t had it happen with just onions but I have made garlic butter (heated and then cooled in fridge overnight) and it has turned that color for sure. It is one heck of a surprise the first time no doubt.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold