Food Coloring Agents

Some medieval food coloring agents are not actually (safely) edible. Only edible coloring agents will be listed here (after I test them out).

Under Construction

Period subtlties served at feasts often included food items made to look like a completely different food item. For example: (NAME OF CIARAN'S CHICKEN CARROTS). Color is an important ingredient in deception.

For many coloring agents, the pH of your water will change the way they look. I suggest using a filter such as Brita and testing with a pH strip to get color accuracy. Red Cabbage displays colors ranging from deep red to deep blue depending on its pH therefore it can be a good way to get those colors. pH runs from 1-14. Water should be neutral in the middle at 7 but test it first to be sure. pH below 7 is acidic. pH above 7 is alkaline (basic).

Check all colors under natural or incandescent lights. Florecent lights can hide the color red.

How do you find acid/alkaline foods? Acid and Alkaline foods on the web However, these foods are suggested to make you more acid or alkaline as an end result. Many obviously start as acids. (Note the lemons as an example). I'm looking for the starting pH of foods. FDA lists food pH. Pretty much everything we eat is neutral or acidic. A link for making colored food in bento boxes may also be useful to us.

Items to try with red cabbage: (cabbage makes pink pH<7, purple at 7, light blue pH>7, green pH>9) soy milk (lt blue), almond milk (lilac), white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, milk

Items to try on their own: turmeric (yellow at pH 7.4, red at pH 8.6), parsley, onion peel, red onion (pale red in acid, green in base), beets (red-purple), currants (dried), cherries (red in acid, blue/purple in base), curry powder (yellow at pH 7.4, red at pH 8.6), blue grapes (red in acid, violet in base), strawberries, eggplant skin (blue)

Mix with ground chicken and boil/bake to test cooking tolerance.

Pour over ?? cooked item to test uncooked saturation

Acidic Mixers: lemon juice, vinegar (3), apple (3-4), apricots (3-5), barley (5), cottage cheese (5), cherries (3-4), grapes (3-4), honey (4), lime juice (2-3), orange (3-4), peaches (3-4), pears (4), plums (3-4), pomegranate (3), strawberry (3-4),

Neutral Mixers: artichokes (5-6), asparagus (6-7), sea bass (6-7), beets (5-6), bread (5-7), cabbage (5-7), carrots (6), celery (6), clams (6-7), leeks (6), lentils (6-7), milk (6-7), onions (5-6), rice (6), spinach (5-7), turnips (6)

Basic mixers: or at least things that bring out the blue in red cabbage. baking soda, baking powder, calcium carbonate (egg shell)

Ignore this table. Things are in the wrong columns for now
ColorInstructionsPhotoHeat Tolerant?
Red Boil red cabbage, add white wine vinegar
Sandalwood (pink)
Orange Yellow and Red
Yellow Egg yolk marigold Saffron Turmeric Green Parsley Spinach Beet Leaves Sorrel
Red Onion skin and vinegar
red cabbage and vinegar blackberries and blanched almonds, as in that Cerulean Sauce for Summer, found in the Redon "The Medieval Kitchen". Here is a blue recipe from Sabrina Welserin: 39 To make a blue pudding Bruise cornflowers and press them with water through a cloth. If you want, blanch almonds in it, whose milk is then blue. Afterwards make a pudding with it.
Purple Elderberry Mulberry Violet Turnsole Alkanet
Black Blood Raisins
Brown Yellow onion skins are boiled to produce a brown color
Cinnamon (dark)
Ginger and Cinnamon (light)
Lipton Green Tea
White Amydon