English gardens may be world-renowned, but what most people around the world don't know, is that the English eat them! Well, not exactly. They eat elderflowers, which always remind me, when I taste them, of eating a perfect, fluffy, and white English flowerbed.
The Elderflower Pressé is common place in England: elderflower syrup mixed with soda, and comes deliciously prepackaged. That was the first English secret garden flavor I discovered. Then I came across an Elderflower Collins: pressed elderflowers, green, green mint, lemon juice, gin, and soda. It is to date the greatest cocktail I have ever tasted.
But the thing that positively shocked me was a dessert that I found first at the chain restaurant Carluccio's, and then at the chain packaged food store EAT: Elderflower Jelly with Berries. Jelly means gelatin to we Americans, and the dish is an English answer to our canned fruit salad suspended in Rit-dyed, Bundt-molded Jell-O.
I hesitated, and then I tasted. It's, to use an English expression, brilliant. The flowery jelly is hardly sweet, and is punctuated by the sweet and tart of the blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries respectively. Every time I taste it, I am surprised but how unusual it is, and am always refreshed and enlivened by it.
Just another reason to respect your elder(flower)s!
Have any of you tried Elderflower? I've found it here in the States at Ikea.
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