All About Micro Greens and Candied Flowers
Americans love to eat out, and the United States is home to countless restaurants that range from casual diners to upscale restaurants for discerning clientele. Many restaurants offer ethnic food as well, and others serve highly specialized meats and vegetables. For example, many customers favor organic micro greens, and microgreens and micro herbs have been popular in upscale restaurants since the 1980s. In addition, a wedding cake can be easily made more attractive with some candied flowers, and indeed, a variety of flowers are perfectly edible and taste wonderful once coated in sugar. What is there to know about organic micro greens and candied flowers?
On Organic Micro Greens
More and more Americans are visiting upscale restaurants for fine dining, and this makes up 10% of all restaurant sales in the nation. These restaurant guests want healthy, flavorful, and expertly presented food, and this will often include organic micro greens. Just what are they? It should first be noted that micro greens are not sprouts (which don’t yet have their leaves); rather, they are a petite form of edible greens, produced fro very young vegetables and herbs. They may range in size from one to 1.5 inches in length, and that is including their stems and leaves. Sprouts and micro greens are all small plants, yes, but they are not to be confused, and upscale restaurant guests are likely to have a preference.
Organic micro greens can be made from an impressive variety of plants, from corn to asparagus to cabbage and carrots, among many others, and they are somewhat delicate. So, restaurant staff will take care to store them properly until serving, and this means a refrigeration temperature of 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, inside a closed container. Basil, in particular, is sensitive to the cold and might turn dark brown or even black at temperatures of 32 degrees or lower. But assuming these organic micro greens are stored correctly, they can make for a nutritious and attractive addition to any restaurant plate. In fact, they are also highly nutritious, often having more nutrients than full-scale vegetables (and they have antioxidants as well). In addition, they are aromatic and quite colorful, so they make for wonderful presentation.
Preparing Candied Flowers
Americans are urged to eat micro greens at restaurants, since they are tricky to grow, but candied flowers (or crystallized flowers) are a different story. Many homeowners can find candied flowers at grocery stores and other shops, and use them in home baking as they please. Many flowering plants are perfectly safe to eat, and they are coated with sugar, eggs, and similar dessert ingredients for presentation and flavor alike. They are popular for baking, such as placing on a cake, and professional bakers can expertly arrange them on a wedding cake. This is roughly similar to using edible gold leaf on cakes.
Shoppers can find ready-made candied flowers in the herb section of a grocery store, and find them in farmer’s markets whenever the flowers are in season (make sure that no pesticides were used on them). Also, candied flowers tend to have raw or lightly heated whisked eggs as an ingredient, so consumers should be careful about that. And as for storage, candied flowers are fairly delicate. They should be handled gently while being placed in a container for storage, and wax paper should be used to separate them and prevent any of them from getting chipped or crushed. Also, candied flowers tend to dry out if exposed to air, and they should be kept away from moisture. So, it’s not a good idea to store them in the refrigerator. Dry, cool storage is best. If they are to be placed on wet cakes, waiting until the last moment is best, for optimal presentation.