FLO­RAL FANCY

Ed­i­ble flow­ers el­e­vate a dish—both in terms of flavour and aes­thet­ics

T. Dining by Singapore Tatler - - Starter Ingredients -

We tend to only no­tice them when they adorn the twee plates of food at fine din­ing restau­rants. Pan­sies, vi­o­lets, rose pe­tals and marigold— art­fully strewn around a pas­tel-hued dessert or a gleam­ing morsel of fish, urg­ing us to whip out our cam­era phones to doc­u­ment their beauty for In­sta­gram pos­ter­ity.

The use of ed­i­ble flow­ers seem mod­ern and out of the or­di­nary, yet they have been a culi­nary tra­di­tion for thou­sands of years— think or­ange blossom and rose wa­ters of the Mid­dle East, marigold sal­ads of the an­cient Greeks and Ro­mans, dan­de­lions of Bi­b­li­cal times, and the chrysan­the­mum teas of China and Ja­pan.

The Vic­to­ri­ans can­died flow­ers and used them to dec­o­rate desserts. Au­di­ences at Re­nais­sance-era plays sipped rose pe­tal wa­ter, and the Amer­i­cans have long used red clover blooms to fight coughs and colds.

Eat­ing flow­ers is not un­usual. We’ve all noshed on Ny­onya desserts made with blue pea flower-stained rice, the spicy ba­nana blossom sal­ads that hawk­ers ply on the streets of Thai­land, the ri­cotta-stuffed zuc­chini blos­soms at our favourite Ital­ian trat­to­rias. That broc­coli salad you ate yes­ter­day? Or that cauliflower steak you grilled in the name of clean eat­ing? All flow­ers.

Yet we of­ten for­get to take a mo­ment to savour what is re­ally the height of gar­den-totable eat­ing.

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