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I ate some cooked artichoke stems; some of the outermost skin is tough, so I just chewed it and then spit out the inedible bits. I left those bits in a container on my kitchen counter near the sink, still sealed. A day later, when I dumped the contents, the leftover bits were a bright blue color. What does this mean? Something with saliva enzymes?

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    We most certainly want to see a picture! If only out of curiosity. – Stephie Jan 27 '17 at 18:30
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    Artichokes can have a bit of a purple tinge .. and there are purple-ish food items that will go blue in the presence of alkali. I wouldn't be surprised if that was it. see kitchenpantryscientist.com/… – Joe Jan 27 '17 at 19:24
  • Do you salt the artichoke stems at all? Is your salt iodized? Perhaps chewing the stems breaks the outer coating and releases starches, that interact with iodized salt. Just a stab in the dark..... – PoloHoleSet May 30 '17 at 14:42
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    related? : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/40616/67 – Joe Sep 8 '17 at 1:23
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We eat artichoke often. We pressure cook them in an old one quart aluminum pot. I have seen the cut stem (not chewed) butt turn and ooze blue from the cut stem when left in the fridge too long. In that condition the stem has a sour fermentation, but no obvious mold. I have eaten it like this thinking, I am getting extra. I like artichoke stem a lot and have bought them with long stem in Oregon, USA. The blue appears to be in the nature inherent with the thistle flower that it is.

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I was a chemistry major in college and I suspect this happened because the copper in the artichoke reacted with oxygen in the air creating copper oxide, which is a really pretty blue color in low concentrations. You chewing it may have broken it up, allowing the oxygen easier "access" to react with the copper when you left it out.

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It should be a reaction to certain metals, typically iron or aluminum. Not sure why artichoke + iron = blue, but that seems to be how it works.

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