Monday, July 11, 2011

Flower power

"You can eat that flower."

I examined the serving dish in the centre of our table. It contained the sashimi starter for the night, including tuna, shrimp and scallops laid out on a bed of leaves and flowers.

As far as I could see, the yellow flower was quite blatantly a marigold.

"In Japan, it is normal to be able to eat everything on the plate," another person at our table explained. "Although, it is worth taking care. Sometimes, the flowers are plastic."

Potentially crunchy. Got it.

I picked up the flower with my chopsticks and examined it closer. Still a marigold.

"The taste is very bitter." The first person who told me that the flower was edible was our head of group. "I don't really recommend you try it."

You just told me it was edible. It's totally getting eaten.

I nibbled off a handful of leaves. The taste was slightly tangy but not particularly strong. Clearly these people just had weak taste buds! I popped the whole thing in my mouth.

Hell, the centre was bitter!

Wincing, I swallowed and took a swig of coke. It didn't help, so I followed it with a scallop. It marginally softened the taste.

Our head of group touched his chopsticks at a large green leave with a sharp point. "These are less strong," he assured me.

.... For the record, that proved to be only marginally true.

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