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Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by ForrestThumb, Jan 16, 2010.
Hey there was just wondering if anyone out there has any decent gourmet orchid recipes
Why would you want to eat an orchid? I think there are a few that are edible, but probaly more for medicinal uses than anything. Vanilla would be the most commonly used for eating, but that is only the fruit.
Agree with kevin! ????
Forrest, could you describe what you mean? I have seen stunning fondant orchids (cake decorations), and read about eating various kinds of flower blossoms...but as for eating actual orchids...never heard of that!
Might be a reference to [WIKI]salep[/WIKI].
Dunno if these recipes would qualify as 'decent'...kinda verging on the X-rated!
Yes, I've heard of that, maf, but as for 'gourmet'? I'm not sure.
You mean for eating your orchids? There are only a very small handful of species that aren't toxic. The flowers of most species make an attractive garnish, so long as you warn your diners not to eat them. However, there are a couple of species that are used in food.
My personal favourite is Sobralia ice-cream. For this, you need:
about 100 freshly-opened flowers from Sobralia,
a pint of heavy cream,
a pinch of salt,
1/2 cup of panela (raw sugar),
enough brandy to cover the flowers,
a few more Sobralia flowers to use as garnishes
Make a sunlight infusion of the flowers in the brandy (ie cover flowers with brandy in a clear glass jar, allow to stand in full sunlight for a week, turning every day).
Scald the cream with the sugar and salt. In a large copper bowl over plenty of ice, blend the cream and about 1/2 C of the brandy infusion, spinning the bowl clockwise, and scraping its sides gently with a wooden spoon until the cream solidifies. This is served in tulipan cups (use a biscotelli iron and the fine batter used for waffle cones, and while the cookie is still hot, form it inside of a low cup) and garnished with a fresh orchid (if you use Sobralia, it's an edible garnish).
This ice cream has a delicate tropical-fruit and vanilla flavour with a hint of brandy. If you wish your extract to be less flavoured by its spirits, use neat vodka or aguardiente in the extraction process. I generally serve one scoop of this with one of lavender cream made in the same way, substituting three drops of essential oil of lavender for the brandy extraction. I leave the orchid ice cream its natural colour (which is a pleasant, creamy tan colour), but tint the lavender using a drop or two of food colouring.
I have the advantage of living where these orchids are considered to be a weed species; you may have a harder time gathering the quantity of flowers needed.
I'm the nurse at a rather upscale ALF. Last Mothers Day, they served a dessert topped with an edible orchid, violet in color, not ruffled as I recall, about 5cm or 2 inches wide. I just can't recall the center of the orchid, but it was relatively flat. The only one who ate it was an evening aid that has since been fired. I would have, if I had the time to actually eat at work.
The executive chef who ordered them does not know the type of orchid, other than it was from a food service supplier and edible.
In the southern mainland China area Vanda flowers are battered and deep fried and eaten. And I could list about 20 variety of orchid flowers used in tea. And Bletilla formosana, Bletilla ochracea, Bletilla striata, Calanthe alpina, Calanthe tricarinata, Cremastra appendiculata, Dendrobium aurantiacum var, Dendrobium hrymerianum, Dendrobium christyanum, Dendrobium crepidatum, Dendrobium densiflorum, Dendrobium devonianum, Dendrobium falconeri, Dendrobium gratiosissimum, Dendrobium huoshanense, Dendrobium moniliforme, Dendrobium nobile, Dendrobium officinale, Dendrobium pendulum, Dendrobium thyrsiflorum, Dendrobium trigonopus, Dendrobium williamsonii, Gymnadenia conopsea, Gymnadenia orchids, Geodorum densiflorum, Gastrodia elata, Liparis nervosa, Nervilia fordii, Nervilia plicata, Oreorchis erythrochrysea, Oreorchis fargesii, Pholidota chinensis, Pholidota yunnanensis, Pleione bulbocodioides, these are just to name a few of the orchids that are used in (TCM) Traditional Chinese Medicine. I have written two papers about this and could not get them published in side China. If it makes the (TCM) market look bad or tell the truth it simply won’t get published.
I've read that most orchid flowers are just not pleasant to eat, or pleasant enough. How toxic they may be is variable, but they generally have a peppery taste. That's a site for commercial agriculture publications, so I wouldn't rely on that as a source.
The DirOCRC, who wrote in January 2012, had an interesting list. I have an avocation in edible and useful plants, mostly native to Florida. I looked up the genus names for a general idea although I know species can differ greatly, and I couldn't tell if any of them were like the edible ones at my old employer's. What else I found was a commercial food supply that uses a number of edible flowers including orchids, with one they call the Karma orchid which is apparently Odontocidium catatante. Also not the purple one I missed out on.