Are you wondering, Why Is My Garlic Purple? Here is a quick and easy guide explaining why and which is better, white or purple garlic?
Garlic gives every dish a boost in flavor, and should be the staple ingredient to almost everything.
This means that garlic is popular, and over 400 million pounds of garlic is produced every year in the States. It’s also easy to grow, so anyone can grow it in their garden or even indoors!
Garlic also has natural antioxidant and antibiotic properties, so as well as tasting good, it’s actually good for you too. Garlic is pretty versatile, and it can grow in different forms and places. Sometimes, the skin of garlic is purple rather than white.
This is totally natural, and can vary from bright white to a slightly reddish purple! This is normal, and is where the garlic holds acid and can differ among garlic cloves in the same bulb.
So, if you’re wondering why your garden-grown garlic is turning purple, keep on reading!
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What Is Garlic?
Garlic is a bulbous flowering plant in the genus allium, which is closely related to onions, leeks, shallots, and chives. Garlic is native to Central Asia and Iran, and has been used as part of cooking and seasoning for centuries. Egyptians used garlic, and it has been widely used for its medicinal properties.
It is widely produced in China, as it grows easily in Asia. Garlic is actually a perennial plant which can grow as high as 3 foot.
In Summer months, garlic might produce pink flowers in the Northern Hemisphere of the world. It is extremely versatile and has been proven to be excellent for its medicinal properties.
Consuming garlic reduces blood pressure, as well as reduces your chances of digestive and stomach cancer by a significant proportion. It also reduces the risk of prostate cancer, cures colds, and can be used as a natural insecticide.
Is Garlic A Vegetable?
Garlic is botanically considered a vegetable. Even though it is a perennial, flowering plant, it holds the characteristics of a vegetable.
These characteristics are defined by a bulb, a taller stem and long leaves and flowers. Even though garlic is a vegetable, it is used more like a herb or seasoning addition.
It is strong, so cannot be used in salads or a side dish (unless you want awful breath!), so it is added to dishes to enhance flavors.
Why Is My Garlic Purple?
Contrary to popular belief, purple garlic is not garlic that has gone bad. Purple garlic is actually a different variety of garlic. White garlic is the most common type of garlic, and is found in all stores.
It is a variety of ‘soft neck’ garlic, which means the stalk does not grow through the bulb. The stalk is usually flexible, hence why the cloves grow close together. It has a long life, and a classic garlic flavor.
Purple garlic, on the over hand, has a purple streaked hue and is white underneath this purple skin. It comes from ‘hard neck’ garlic, so you will notice there is a hard woody stalk that grows through tghe center of the bulbs. This is the biggest difference between white and purple garlic.
Of course, they are slightly different in flavor. Purple garlic tends to be juicy, with bigger cloves, but is less strong and peppery. White garlic is pungent and strong to taste. The two types are very similar, and can be used for cooking in the same manner.
Garlic may also turn purple if its anthocyanins/pigments are exposed to acid. There is not much research about this, but it is safe to eat and has just been exposed to more acidic conditions. If the garlic is soft, it is not good to eat.
Is Purple Garlic Better Than White?
I think so YES! But it really depends on your preference.
Purple garlic is not a strong in odor and taste compared to white garlic and some purple garlic even have a sweet tang to it!
Also, purple garlic retains it’s taste longer, even after cooking but doenst store as well as white garlic.
Note- If you are looking for a quick way to remove garlic odour, you can try this.
How Can You Tell If Garlic Is Bad?
Garlic typically lasts a long time! If you keep garlic in the fridge, it can last for up to a month. If you store it away, it will last a few weeks. You can visually tell if your garlic has gone bad if it starts to gain brown spots, or turns yellow.
Also, if there are green roots forming in the middle of the clove, it means there are new roots sprouting. This is not harmful, but means the garlic is sprouting, like potatoes do, and should just be removed if the rest of the clove looks fine.
If your garlic starts to lose its punchy smell, it is likely that it has gone bad. If garlic is squidgy and soft, it is definitely bad.
What Are The Benefits Of Garlic?
Garlic makes all food taste better, and gives most dishes an earthy, deeper flavor. Garlic has lots of medicinal properties too. This includes, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, supporting your immune system, reducing blood clotting, and acting as an antioxidant.
It has been used this way for thousands of years, and has even been proved to have anti-cancer properties.
Is Purple Garlic Better For You?
Purple garlic has the same medicinal properties and benefits as any garlic, and is not proven to be particularly better or worse. It is slightly milder, but has all the same properties as white garlic. White garlic typically has a better storage life, yet purple garlic holds its flavor more.
How Many Types Of Garlic Are There?
There are two types of garlic, those being ‘hard neck’ and ‘soft neck’. Within the soft neck variety, there is silver skin and artichoke. These are common types of soft neck garlic. Artichoke garlic has many cloves in a bulb, which gives it the appearance of an artichoke.
Some artichoke varieties include: Galiano, Polish Red, California Early, Applegate and Italian Purple. Some silver skin varieties include: Polish White, Chet’s Italian Red, and Kettle River Giant.
The most common type of hard neck garlic is called ‘Rocambole’, which has large, easy to peel cloves and has a smoother flavor.
Some of these varieties include: Chesnok Red, German White, Persian Star, Purple Stripe and Porcelain. Garlic has been heavily cultivated because it is so easy to grow, meaning there are many varieties, but soft neck and hard neck garlic at their most basic are the most common types of garlic.
What Is The Strongest Garlic?
Chesnok Red is known to be the strongest garlic, and it is pungent and has very large cloves.
Garlic is one of the most popular vegetables (or herbs if you prefer!) and is used in most dishes around the world.
It is helpful to know whether the purple garlic you have in your cupboard is bad, or if it is just another variety of garlic. Garlic has so many great properties, as well as tasting great, so it is beneficial to know your garlic! Garlic bread, anyone?