Whether it?s a weeknight dinner with the family, a birthday party or an expensive meal in an upscale restaurant, people like their food to look good as well as taste good. That?s one reason why food accents like micro greens and edible flowers have become so popular, in haute cuisine and with home chefs alike. They add a vibrant touch of color and flavor to any dish, setting it beyond the ordinary.
Microgreens and edible flowers as food accents
Micro green varieties made their first appearance in the 1980s when chefs in California began using them to add decorative accents to their creations. Used as food accents in soups, salads, entries and even desserts, they added a note of color and a burst of concentrated flavor to any dish. They caught on quickly and are now used in haute cuisine and fine dining restaurants.
Edible flowers and crystallized flower petals likewise add both color and flavor to desserts, cakes, cookies and ice cream. A number of common garden flowers like the rose, violets and marigold are edible, and have been used in cooking and decorating food for hundreds of years. However, you can?t just wander out into your garden to pick edible blossoms, or even buy these at the florists shop. Speciality growers can supply edible flowers that have been grown without chemicals that could be harmful to those who eat them.
What are micro greens?
Micro greens are not young plants but fully grown miniature versions of plants like broccoli, spinach, parsley, kale and cabbage. Because of their small size, many experts feel that they pack a powerful punch of flavor. They can be used to decorate a number of dishes, from soups, salads and starters to entrees and even desserts.
Micro green varieties have been around for 20 to 30 years, but have recently become popular in the world of haute cuisine. Home cooks also value them for the ability to brighten up an ordinary weekday meal, salad or sandwich.
Should you grow your own microgreens?
It takes a lot of specialized knowledge and experience, as well as the right equipment to grow your own microgreens. It?s best to source them from a speciality supplier, who has experience in growing, picking and storing the different micro green varieties.
Microgreens require careful handing at every stage, from seedlings to storage. After being picked, they must be kept at a temperature of 39.2 F or 4 degrees Celsius, to preserve their freshness and taste.
Micro green varieties of vegetables like spinach, celery, broccoli and carrots are popular in fine dining restaurants. The combination of visual appeal and intense flavor can improve just about any dish. Edible flowers too serve a similar purpose. Both can be sourced from speciality growers who have experience in growing, transporting and storing them for maximum freshness and quality.