Byron Kerman

February 21, 2002

Post #1452 – 20020221

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

I thought that a substance with the mythical powers ascribed to blue garlic was the stuff of fiction, but boy, was I wrong.

Please follow this link or refer to excised text below for real-life accounts of these cerulean nuggets of nuclear power:,3276,,00.html

    Q&A with the Food Network Kitchen Experts

    Q: I recently pressed fresh garlic onto a chicken breast and placed lemon slices on top. After baking, I peeled back the lemon to see that my garlic had turned blue! (I ate it and it was very good). Why does it turn blue?

    A: That’s an interesting, and rather timely question, because I recently had a magical blue garlic occurrence myself. The phenomenon inspired me to do a little research on the subject, so thankfully I have a very simple answer for you. My blue garlic transformation happened to occur with vinegar – I was making a pickling mixture. The common thread with our two stories, however: acid. And that is the culprit. I learned that garlic contains anthocyanins, water-soluble pigments that turn blue or purple in an acid solution. While this color transformation tends to occur more often with immature garlic, it can differ among cloves within the same head of garlic. The bad news is that the acid-soaked garlic looks like something a Smurf might serve at their dinner table. The good news is that the garlic flavor remains unchanged (except for the flavor of the acid) and is totally edible without bodily harm.

Is this the secret of the blue garlic? Is this knowledge forbidden? Am I in danger?


Byron Kerman

St. Louis

Daniel replies:

The polloi, the common throng, were never meant to know about this. I predict catastrophe. Meanwhile, plenty yummy good pizza!