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What's That Blue Food All Over Instagram?

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There are so few foods that are blue. We've got green greens and orange oranges, purple eggplants and pink radishes, yellow squashes and red tomatoes, but blue is mostly MIA from our edible rainbow. Even blueberries aren’t necessarily blue but, rather, a vivid violet. It’s a shame, really. The hue is so inviting and beloved, it would be so nice to to taste it.

Well, a recent spate of Instagram posts have awakened me to the existence of a food that actually is blue. It’s being called blue matcha and boy is it blue. It's being sold by a company called matcha.blue and like its green cousin, the blue substance can be seen served in bowl with chia seeds and banana slices, coconut flakes and frozen berries—all the usual suspects. But what actually is this stuff and is it really matcha?

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Blue smoothie bowl day made with 3 frozen bananas, half cup of coconut milk and a teaspoon of @matcha.blue powder, which gives this extraordinary color to everything you prepare but is also a precious super food with so many health benefits! Cause sometimes you need a breakfast that tastes like a dessert but is actually super healthy and ready in 10 minutes. 💙💜💙 awesome 📷 @oatmeal_stories 😘 #plantbased #eattherainbow #natural #bluematcha #colorfulmatcha #sugarfree #dairyfree #matcha #matchablue #healthy #eatclean #healthyfood #gofruityourself #smoothiejar #prettyfood #organicfood #healthycuisines #vitamins #minerals #antioxidants #recipe #fitfood #smoothiebowl #plantbased #fresh #fruits #beautiful #berries #plantpower #bluefood

A post shared by Organic BLUE Matcha (@matcha.blue) on

As it turns out, the answer is no. The blue powder being billed as blue matcha is made from the flowers of the butterfly pea, a tropical plant native to parts of Indonesia and Malaysia. The flowers, with their warm purple petals, are shockingly beautiful. The butterfly pea plant can be found in colorful teas: In Vietnam and Thailand, people drink nam dok anchan, a butterfly pea infusion sweetened with honey and lemon. It’s said to fortify hair and strengthen one’s eyesight. This Bon Appetit video shows the plant in action.

The company branding the powder as "matcha" might be mistaken... or extremely clever. Blue matcha, or butterfly pea powder, doesn't have all the antioxidant properties of matcha, nor does it contain caffeine. Is matcha.blue just capitalizing on the enormous popularity of matcha? I'll let you decide.

How do you get blue on your plate? Let us know your favorite blue foods in the comments.

Tags: blue, coloring, southeast asia