Springtime is flower time: we’ve already talked about edible flowers to enhance our mixed salads, this time however I suggest you make a sweet treat, which is very simple and a sure success, especially for the kids, with the flowers of the black locust tree (also incorrectly called “acacia”).
Robinia pseudoacacia, an imported plant that has now become common.
The black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) is a plant that originates from North America and was imported to Europe in 1601 by Jean Robin, botanist of the King of France, from whom it gets its generic name.The flowers have noteworthy properties, amongst which those of being calming and antioxidant. So go straight out and pick some black locust flowers, which at this time of year fill the countryside with their perfume, it’s not hard to find them because the plants are very common: you’ll see the trees from far away with their numerous bunches of white inflorescences that stand out against the bright green of the leaves. Take home a few highly scented bunches of white flowers, if possible choosing those that haven’t opened completely yet.
Tasty black locust flower fritters
Everyone’s heard of acacia honey, among the most commonly used and appreciated kinds, but even without the bees’ help we can make something sweet and aromatic ourselves, acacia fritters. Before you start cooking them I’ll teach you a little trick though, in order to avoid undesired guests: lay the bunches on a cloth for a while, if there are any little insects (they like black locust flowers a lot as well!) they’ll quietly go away on their own.
Here’s one of the many recipes: make some batter that’s not too thick by mixing water and flour, then dip the whole bunch into it and fry it without letting it brown too much, finally, dry it on absorbent kitchen paper. The finishing touch? A sprinkling of icing sugar or, for the sweetest teeth amongst you, a few drops of honey… obviously acacia honey! Make sure that you eat them while they’re still warm and to do so break the flowers off the bunch which is only there as a support.
If by any chance any flowers are left over, you can always use them to decorate your salads or you can let them dry and use them to prepare a wonderful scented tea that aids digestion.
Photo: pverdonk, mokapest