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Blue ginger is held by John Warren at Spade and Clover Farm on Johns Island on Thursday, May 11, 2017. A hand of ginger will weigh around a pound when it reaches maturity after about 10 months. Michael Pronzato/ Staff

Meet blue ginger

Bubba blue ginger is a dwarf Hawaiian ginger that was crossbred with an Indian strain to enhance its bluish hue.

Learn its backstory

Any kind of ginger can get the blues: When common white ginger is kept in a cold place, its anthocyanins, the same cell-level plant pigments responsible for the vibrant garnet of blood oranges and autumn leaves, turn bluish-gray. Although some tasters maintain a bluing root tastes milder than its unaffected kin, the coloration makes no difference in terms of food safety: It’s fine to eat ginger that’s a bit blue around the edges.

But there also are gingers that are supposed to appear faintly blue. Those gingers, which become bluer as they mature, are prized for their bright flavor.

“It's one of the spiciest and densest commercial ginger varieties,” says John Warren of Spade & Clover, who’s lately been including Bubba blue roots in his CSA boxes and delivering them to local chefs. “We harvest a lot of when it's young ginger, but we aren't afraid to leave it in the ground until first frost. It doesn't get very large compared to other varieties, but the quality of the late-stage harvest is unsurpassed.”

And order it here

If you decide against purchasing blue ginger directly from Spade & Clover’s stand at the Charleston Farmers Market, West Ashley Farmers Market or Johns Island Farmers Market, you can scan the specials lists at Xiao Bao Biscuit, The Ocean Room, Harold’s Cabin or Bar Normandy, all of which regularly buy produce from the farm.

— Hanna Raskin

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.