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Why Is My Garlic Purple? (Explained)

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Garlic is a common ingredient in the kitchen. It’s often used to prepare mouthwatering dishes. The scent and flavor of garlic are something you can use in different ways while cooking an exotic dish. 

Because of its several uses in the kitchen, many people buy garlic a lot. Since it lasts for a good time in the normal temperature you may have some in your store too.

While picking garlic for your next special cuisine you may have been confused by spotting the garlic in purple color. Some have purple skin or you might find the cloves pigmented. 

Garlic in purple color! It might seem unusual to you to own such pigmented garlic. So it’s obvious to assume those are rotten or bad garlic. But before you throw those up we’d like to share some reasons why your garlic is purple. Bear with us and take a look at the explanation! 

Why is my garlic purple?

Your garlic is purple in the outer part because it’s from a different variety called hardneck. This type of garlic has purple skin but white cloves. Another reason garlic is purple from the inside is the presence of anthocyanins. This pigment gets purple when exposed to acid.

Not necessarily purple garlic has to be the rotten ones. It may be some different chemical in the fruit that turns it purple.

However, garlic is responsible for making food delicious. And no sign shows that purple garlic fails to do it. But that doesn’t mean people are fans of purple garlic.

It is true that additional color makes it lucrative. Depending on the market and geographic location, this garlic can be bought cheaper or otherwise. But one thing is for sure, purple garlic is beautiful.

Now if you’ve spotted purple garlic let’s know what can be the reason behind the pigment:

Purple inside: 

Usually, purple cloves are white, but don’t get astonished if you find some garlic with purple cloves. The following are some facts that explain the reason behind purple garlic.

Presence of anthocyanins: 

Garlic contains anthocyanins which is a water-soluble pigment. It is totally safe to consume. Anthocyanins change their appearance and turn red or purple when they come in contact with acids. 

For the same reason, garlic becomes purple when they get acidic.

So, when you keep your garlic in utensils like aluminum, copper, tin, or iron, they turn purple. Besides, if you cook garlic with some acidic solution, like vinegar, lemon juice, etc., it will turn purple. 

Presence of alliin and alliinase: 

Alliin is a Sulphur compound that is present in garlic. Alliin turns purple if it gets in contact with acids. You will find alliin in garlic. For this reason, garlic turns purple sometimes. 

Another ingredient is alliinase which is known as an enzyme in garlic. It is responsible for the flavor and pungent taste of garlic. It is also responsible for garlic turning purple.

Purple Skin: 

You will often find some garlic with purple skin. The inner cloves might be purple as well or sometimes white depending on variety. The followings are some reasons behind purple tints of garlic-

A different variety: 

Sometimes you will find some garlic with purple-tinted skin. This is because of a different variety named hard neck garlic. The inner cloves are almost the same as white garlic, but there are some differences between white garlic and purple garlic.

Purple garlic is juicier than white garlic and sometimes a bit larger as well. Purple garlic has a mild flavor compared to white garlic. So, you can use them raw in salads and rub them on bread. It will never give off any strong smell.  

These are not always available in regular supermarkets, rather you will find them in special or farmer’s markets.

Geographic positioning: 

Different weather and atmosphere create a habitat to grow varieties of chemicals and minerals that turn garlic purple outside. The amount of sunshine, rain and fog can be held responsible for different variations of outside shells.

Regardless of the reasons, people find purple garlic to be a beautiful addition to their kitchen. Although there’s a little difference between purple and white garlic, you can get them as different ones.

Is it bad if garlic is purple?

Purple garlic is not bad unless it smells foul or tastes unusual. Among the few reasons garlic becomes purple one is because of a different kind of variety.

Purple garlic is a variety of garlic. It’s mostly known as hardneck garlic. Not only is it different in color, the taste is different than white garlic. This type of garlic has bigger and juicier cloves compared to white garlic. However, the smell of purple garlic is lighter. 

The inner part of hardneck garlic is not purple, the outer part is only purple in color. This type of purple garlic is absolutely safe to eat. They aren’t bad at all.

If the garlics are purple because of their anthocyanin reaction, that’s safe to have too. It’s just the properties in garlic that have changed the color due to some factors. It’s not bad.

Is purple garlic stronger than white garlic?

Yes, purple garlic is stronger than white garlic. It’s enriched in anthocyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant. 

Both white and purple Garlic in general contains calories, vitamin c, fiber, protein, carbs, and antioxidant properties. But along with these common nutrients purple garlic has a unique property that’s anthocyanin. 

Anthocyanin is a colorful property found in purple garlic. It shows the pigment is garlic when exposed to acid and turns the garlic purple. This nutrient is a powerful antioxidant and much more effective than the other antioxidant properties found in white garlic.

Due to the presence of anthocyanin purple garlic becomes more beneficial to health. Apart from this, purple garlic also contains an antiseptic called allicin. It helps to fight against bacteria, germs, and various health conditions.  

Some of the properties found in purple garlic are not common in white garlic. That’s why purple garlic is stronger. 

Where does purple garlic come from?

Purple garlics are unique and stand out in the crowd of regular white garlic. They are also known as hardneck garlic. Apart from the alluring color purple garlics are different in size, taste, and a bit in the smell too than usual garlic. 

They are full of healthy properties such as antioxidants. 

This variety of garlic has an interesting history of emerging. They came from northwestern Mexico. These species were first planted in a village in northwestern Mexico named Baja Peninsula.

It’s found that missionaries of Spain used to grow purple garlic to fulfill their wish to have colorful garlic cloves while enjoying wine. After the Spanish invented these varieties they organically expanded the farming of purple garlic. 

Besides the areas of northwestern Mexico, purple garlic was produced in northern Italy according to some experts. However, purple garlic is actually from the northern areas. 

How to tell if garlic is bad?

Garlic is one of the most flavorful spices we use. It can change the taste of any cuisine when used right. But similarly using garlic can pour water into your efforts if you use a bad one. 

Now if you don’t have an idea how to spot bad garlic we’ve explained the signs of bad garlic here:

Bad garlic has an unpleasant smell: 

The unpleasant smell of bad garlic is enough to alert you about its condition. Though garlic is famous for its pungent scent, bad garlic can smell really bad. It will then spread a foul, strong sour-type smell. If you find such a scent smelling of garlic, it’s definitely out of the game. 

It will have discolored areas and marks: 

A good and healthy garlic will be white in color and sometimes purple if it’s from a different variety. But none of these types will have marks, spots or even mold on the outer skin.

But if a garlic is inedible you can tell that by seeing it as bad garlic usually gets brown, yellow, black spots or it turns deep yellow or brown, even from the inside. That’s when you need to throw it. 

It will not be firm to touch: 

Fresh things are easy to detect when touched. Same goes for this popular spice garlic. A fresh and good garlic will feel firm and dry when you grab it. Even if you squeeze, raw garlic will not get smashed. 

But a bad garlic doesn’t feel firm when you take it in your hand. It’s unusually soft, and mushy. So if it doesn’t feel right in your hands, it’s a bad garlic. 

Final Thoughts

Garlic can turn purple from the inside when one of its properties anthocyanins reacts with acid. In such a case, you will find your garlic cloves in a purple shade. But when only the outer part is purple it’s because the garlic is not the usual one, it’s from a different variety.

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