Floral cooking is not new; even in ancient Rome, gladiolus flowers flavored with vinegar and olive oil were served to the table. And in 16th century English cookbooks, there are many recipes using flowers.
Candied violets… With their help, in the Middle Ages, timid European youths declared their love to their chosen ones. And to this day, this also means an invitation to a cafe for candied violets. This sweetness is especially loved in Vienna. It is impossible to leave the capital of Austria without a jar purchased from the Demel confectionery. The one who supplied the candied petals to the legendary Queen Sissy.
If a candied flower is thrown into a glass of white wine or champagne, it will open and give an unusual violet color and aroma to the drink.
Fire-baked tulip bulbs… During the Second World War, they saved the lives of the Dutch dying of hunger. Today, dishes made from these flowers can be found in some Dutch and French restaurants.
One of Vancouver’s restaurants offers a spring tulip menu every year. It includes a salad of plant shoots. Serving is interesting when a portion of lettuce is placed inside a fresh bud. Boiled tulip buds taste like cabbage and are served with fish sauce. Pies are stuffed with petals or tea is brewed with them.
Candied tulip petals are called “multicolored lovers’ boats”, and they were also included in the menu of Sissy who was watching her figure.
Rose petal jam… In Turkey, it is called “gulbesheker” and is also brewed by Bulgarian housewives in the famous Rose Valley. In Arab shops, you can buy a fragrant extract of rose petals called rose water. It is used to flavor Turkish delight, which tastes so good with black coffee. Rose water is included in the composition of classic halva and Iranian ice cream. In England, it is added along with fresh cucumbers to a refreshing punch.
Deep-fried chrysanthemum petals… This dish is the signature dessert of Chinese restaurants, served with a scoop of ice cream. For its preparation, a special vegetable variety of chrysanthemum is used – shungiku. The autumn menu of Japanese restaurants often includes dishes from the fleshy stems and leaves of this chrysanthemum, and in Japanese houses they serve cups of sake into which shungiku petals are thrown as a sign of wishes of longevity and well-being.
Pumpkin flowers for cheerful Italians… Dipped in batter, residents of the Apennine Peninsula deep-fry them and serve them as a side dish. Stuffed with minced meat from cheese, meat or fish and stew. Sliced pumpkin flowers are added to pasta and risotto.
The nutty flavor of lotus seeds… In China and India, the lotus is considered the main flower of Buddhism. In summer, sometimes the inhabitants of these countries admire the blooming lotuses, and in the fall, their roots, petals and seeds are eaten (the stems of the lotus are poisonous).
Lotus roots are eaten raw and boiled, in some provinces of China they are made into starch. Candied roots, which look like openwork lace when cut, are a popular marmalade-like sweetness. Tea is brewed from petals and stamens. Rice wrapped in a lotus leaf and cooked in a traditional bamboo steamer takes on an unusual jade color.
Dandelion Wine… Its preparation is described in the story of the same name by American science fiction writer Ray Bradbury. And raw jam is made from dandelion inflorescences, tamping them with sugar. The resulting nectar is similar in consistency to honey and has a slight bitterness. Young leaves are added to spring salads, and roasted dandelion roots are brewed like coffee.
Nasturtium monks food… It is no coincidence that its flowers are popularly called “Capuchins”. It is believed that the monks of this European order were the first to appreciate the nutritional properties of the plant. Flowers and leaves, which have a peculiar sharp taste, are added to salads. Unripe seeds and unopened buds are pickled and used instead of expensive capers. Vinegar is infused on nasturtium flowers.
Caucasian saffron… One of the most expensive spices in the world, saffron, is obtained by hand-picking crocus stamens. And in the Caucasus, orange marigolds are called saffron, the petals of which are tinted with cheeses and wine, they are added when cooking.
Calendula petals give orange color to soups and other dishes. During the Victorian era, when flower culinary cultivation in England reached its climax, no feast was complete without game seasoned with calendula petals.
Europeans love healthy tea brewed from chamomile flowers, and in Russia it has long been customary to drink tea infused with linden flowers for colds. It is beautiful to sprinkle ready-made dishes with blue petals of cornflowers, and small lavender flowers, which have a sweetish taste, are added to baked goods.
Ornamental brassica cabbage For a long time he has not been surprised by his presence in expensive bouquets, but few people think that since time immemorial we have been eating cabbage flowers without noticing it ourselves. And with edible flowers, you can further diversify your menu. Just never use flowers bought in a flower shop for these purposes – they are all stuffed with chemicals and will not bring any benefit.
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