27

I've heard it claimed that there are no naturally blue foods and that blueberries don't count, because they are more purple. However, I have a hard time believing such a blanket statement so I want to ask this here.

If you count foods that are blue in nature, but not blue when prepared, is this statement false?

Are there no foods, in the state that we eat them, that are naturally blue?

In terms of a definition for food, it would be something that is not only edible, but is commonly eaten by any group of people. So, something that is edible, but not commonly eaten by any group of people would not be considered.

Blue is a light wave having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 440–490 nm. Defined specifically by Wikipedia

  • 6
    Please define words "food" and "blue". At which point is something considered food and at which point is something considered "blue"? – AndrejaKo May 19 '11 at 20:55
  • 3
    @Laura But the according to your definition, blueberries do count, since they are blue. :) – AndrejaKo May 19 '11 at 21:24
  • 2
    Pretty sure the origin of this meme is a George Carlin bit, FYI: youtube.com/watch?v=OtwIcSYP7Ec – Ryan May 20 '11 at 15:22
  • 3
    Does blue cheese count? – Mike Speed May 25 '11 at 13:33
  • 3
    Does the blue whale count? – Andrew Grimm Sep 12 '13 at 13:57
45

Blåbär (Common Bilberry)

I come from a berry obsessed culture that every year consume a wide array of different berries. One of the most common ones that are native to my country is Vaccinium myrtillus more commonly called blåbär in Swedish which literally means blue berry. They aren't the same as the American blue berry (Vaccinium cyanococcus) that George Carlin most likely made fun of.

enter image description here

Blue Crawdads

Crawdads are sometimes blue, but they turn red on cooking. I'm not sure if that would count under your criteria, but people certainly find them appetizing enough to try to cook them.

enter image description here

Atlantic lobsters

Homarus Americanus are also blue until cooked.

enter image description here

Starflowers

Borago officinalis is sometimes eaten fresh and apparently has a cucumber-like taste. It grows in Asia and the middle east.

enter image description here

Indigo Milk Cap

Lactarius indigo, commonly known as the indigo milk cap, the indigo Lactarius, or the blue milk mushroom, is a species of agaric fungus in the family Russulaceae. [..] It is an edible mushroom, and is sold in rural markets in China, Guatemala, and Mexico.

Source Wikipedia

  • FYI, in Russia, it's usually Vaccínium uliginósum (Bog Bilberry) instead of Vaccínium uliginósum. +1 for great answer! – user5341 May 20 '11 at 5:04
  • Having never eaten any of these, my primate instinct told me these plants/animals appears poisonous. Is it just me that feels this way? – Lie Ryan May 23 '11 at 15:43
  • Blue specimens of the lobster species pictured (Homarus americanus) are rare: marinebio.org/species.asp?id=533 (I do not believe any lobster species is commonly bright blue.) – Larry OBrien May 24 '11 at 10:42
  • Just adding a blue mushroom, edible. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactarius_indigoa – npst Sep 13 '13 at 9:24
  • FYI, we have the Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton in some area of Quebec which is also blue and commonly referred as a blueberry (despite being much smaller and much tastier). – Zonata Mar 23 '16 at 6:17
21

One example of a blue food would be Prunus spinosa.

Here's a picture:
enter image description here

Here's a source that mentions word "blue" in description of the species: http://hedgerowmobile.com/blackthorn.html

Another would be Prunus domestica subspecies insititia

Image: enter image description here

It is commonly eaten fresh, so the blue color remains. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find a source which actually describes blue as of of the colors of the subspecies.

  • 3
    This looks shopped. I can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time. :-) (just kidding) – Lagerbaer May 19 '11 at 21:09
  • 1
    @Lagerbaer: you looked too much at fashion magazines – Lie Ryan May 23 '11 at 15:46
  • 1
    @Lagerbaer The tone curves and saturation in the first image has definitely been altered, but such edits aren't going to change the color, just make them more vivid. The hue doesn't appear to have been changed. Second image appears unaltered. Images in the accepted answer also have similar alterations, but more subtly so. – travisbartley Aug 8 '13 at 3:06
  • It's pushing it a bit to describe sloes (the berries of the blackthorn) as food. The biggest, fattest, ripest ones are just about edible. the blue is actually a bloom on the surface. If you rub it off, the berry itself is purple-black. – Simon B Aug 29 '16 at 21:22
  • @Simon B Well that's culture-dependent. In my country, it's considered completely normal food. – AndrejaKo Aug 30 '16 at 8:24
15

I can't believe no one mentioned blue corn:

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 11
    Despite the names, though, neither of those appear to actually be blue. They are more purplish/black, at least on my monitor. – pkaeding May 26 '11 at 18:05
10

The place I would look to find a counter example would be edible blooms.

Some possibilities:

  • Lavander (which is usual more purple, but some varieties are bluish)
  • Blue nasturtium
  • Snapdragons (a lot of color variation, but the image shows some that are quite blue to my eye)
  • violets (again, usually more purple than blue, but they vary)

and some suggested in the comments:

  • cornflowers
  • Clitoria ternatea which user boehj writes as "ดอกอัญชัน", and appears to be called "butterfly pea" and a few other names in English.
  • Doesn't seem to fit the definition of "food" in the updated question – Nicole May 19 '11 at 21:56
  • 3
    @Renesis: In one sense that just pushed the issue to a subjective definition of "commonly eaten". Those links are to a cooking site, and I put nasturtium on my salad from time to time, though I have never used the "blue" variety. – dmckee May 19 '11 at 21:59
  • I ate a lot of ดอกอัญชัน when I was living in Thailand. It's the definition of deep blue. Can be fried, used in salads, made into an extremely blue tea น้ำดอกอัญชัน, and is used as a general food colouring. It's very commonly eaten. – user2466 May 20 '11 at 0:21
  • Also Cornflower - Cornflower (Centaurea cynaus) - Also called Bachelor’s button. They have a slightly sweet to spicy, clove-like flavor. Bloom is a natural food dye. More commonly used as garnish. – Ardesco May 23 '11 at 9:22
6

A mushroom known as "blue cup fungi" may be edible, although it is more likely used in some herbal medicines. If it is edible, then it would certainly qualify as a "naturally blue food" but this is an important question for this mushroom -- is it edible? It looks nice:

enter image description here

  • 1
    I would definitely not eat them – ajax333221 Jan 23 '12 at 6:37
  • Some plants such as Yarrow and German chamomile as well as those mushrooms picture above (especially the mushrooms) contain an aromatic compound in their essential oils call azulene which is a deep blue in color. Although most of the time the color doesn't appear in the plant itself. It is usually when you separate the compound from the plant that you see the color. Those mushrooms being an exception. – user15131 Aug 23 '13 at 23:08
6

Elaeocarpus grandis or the "Blue Marble Tree" is found in Australia. It is sometimes nicknamee "blue fig" although it is not a true fig. It also has a regional name of blue quandong. It is a fast-growing, large, spreading, distinctive, rainforest tree native to Australia. It bears edible fruits that look like blue marbles and taste a little like dates although they are slightly more bitter.enter image description here

5

Oregon grapes or creeping mahonia

Oregon grapes or creeping mahonia or Mahonia aquifolium. Sour, but edible. In western North America. Usually to make jelly or pies or to flavor drinks. Description here and here

You must log in to answer this question.

protected by Community Sep 12 '13 at 13:57

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .