I’ve really started to embrace DIY fermenting and pickling, to the point where I’m pointing out things that aren’t popularly known as fermented goods at the grocery store and restaurants. I’m driving everyone around me crazy with my “Hey did you guys know Sriracha is fermented?!” No one gets it, and I’m starting to see why the community of Sonoma County fermenters are such good friends. 

Fermenting garlic showing blue discoloration

I went a little pickle crazy the other day and started four ferments in one day: kombucha, pickles, garlic and jalapeños. Within 24 hours, I noticed that my garlic had turned blue! Not totally blue, and not all cloves were affected, but the edges of several cloves have a light, bright blue tinge to them. Being a novice, I was afraid they  had gone bad and looked it up online. Turns out this happens all the time! According to MotherEarthNews.com, “when acid from the vinegar is exposed to the garlic, it ruptures the cell membrane, causing amino acids and sulfur compounds present in the garlic to mix, resulting in blue pigments.” Garlic can also change colors if its exposed to radical temperature changes or sunlight. It’s completely safe to eat and very common. 

I live chatted with Eve, at http://www.culturesforhealth.com

She also explained that the blue color is very normal. She said that sometimes veggies will become slightly lighter in the pickling process, or lighter colored veggies like cauliflower can gain a slightly reddish tint, which it totally normal too, as long as they aren’t slimy, and the batch smells and tastes good. 

So if you are like me, and you are new to DIY fermenting and pickling, don’t panic when your product does something weird. Fermentation itself is weird, which is why it’s so cool! Consult some experts before you throw your project away.


  • Jim landis says:

    Hello- fermenter— my question is — why do u not need to”hot bath ” beets when u can them ?? I cook beets till fork tender ! Heat jars ! Bring to a boil my brine-( 1 cup water-1 cup vinegar- 1/2 cup sugar – fill my jars with beets — pour brine in jars — use 2 piece lids — that’s it — no where do I read that it is safe to do this -_ I guess my question is – have u ever tried it ? And I never gotten sick or any of my friends ! also this has been done for years in my family !! Thanks for listening—JIM

    • Emily Somple says:

      That’s interesting Jim, I’ve always thought that the hot bath was a necessary step in proper canning. I’ve never not done it so I couldn’t tell you. Thanks for your interest in Spoiled To Perfection and we hope our posts will continue to inform you! Cheers.

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