produCe purple reign
Purple foods are taking the country by storm.
By Ethel Hammer
Love of purple runs deep. Purple entices. Prince mesmerized audiences with his wish to see his father laughing in the purple rain. Fats Domino got his thrill on Blueberry Hill,
where blueberries were lush purple inside blueberry pies. Jimi Hendricks fell into a purple haze,
kissing the sky. And, intriguingly, a drink is named after each one of these purple thrillers.
If you want to enchant your guests, you can transform your drinks into a glorious purple
using butterfly pea flower, which first turns the drink blue, then purple when an acidic ingredient
is added. At Toli Moli, a Burmese bodega in Washington, D.C., you might toast to purple foods
with purple butterfly limeade. Or put edible purple flowers in cocktails as they have done at
Beatnik in Chicago, or mix lavender and lime syrups and egg whites in a lavender pisco sour.
A cornucopia of purple
From lavender to violet to deep purple, the list of purple foods is staggering. On the fruit side
count purple grapes, purple figs, plums, olives, blackberries, blueberries, bilberries and passion
fruit. For the veggie lovers, there’s a passion of purple peppers, purple Belgian endive, purple
carrots, purple potatoes, purple cabbage, purple cauliflower and succulent eggplant. Though
you might have to climb the mountains in Peru to find purple corn, it’s out there. Peru is also the
place where heirloom purple fingerling potatoes first evolved. Or you can plant rare heirloom
seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Mansfield, Missouri, and discover a cornucopia of
unexpectedly stunning purple foods such as Big Horse Spotted Corn, Beni Houshi Mizuna and
Moonshadow Hyacinth Beans.
In fact, purple is so hot this year that Pantone named chic ultraviolet its color of the year,
announcing it as communicating “originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us
toward the future.” Purple nebula and the Andromeda galaxy glow in the universe. Designers