Traditionally, blue corn hails from southwestern United States and is a staple food of the native American Hopi tribe of northeastern Arizona. The rich indigo color comes from anthocyanins, a plant-based pigment that is also found in dark-colored berries. If picked early, it has a sweet taste and just like its yellow cousin, can be turned into corn flower and used in tortilla chips, soup, and breads. In many ways, though, it is nutritionally superior. Blue corn is 20-30% higher in protein and has less starch and a lower glycemic index than yellow and white varieties, making it a healthier option for diabetics.
In 1986, Al Jacobson (natural food guru and founder of Garden of Eatin') bought 250,000 pounds of blue corn from a farmer who had planned on marketing it as a novelty food. But when it didn't sell, he decided to feed it to his pigs. Luckily, Al saw the uniqueness of the product and took it all off the farmer's hands, turning it into the brand's now famous blue tortilla chips. In the past thirty years, there have been many other companies copying his idea, but Al was the first and Garden of Eatin's chips are still the best! They're kosher-certified and made with oleic safflower and sunflower oil that is expeller-pressed, a process that draws out oils from seeds and nuts without the use of chemicals. Because of their color, they make for the perfect appetizer for summer holiday parties -- picture them on the table with bright red salsa and vegan veggie dips! It doesn't get more patriotic than that.
Image via GardenofEatin.com