Who hasn’t heard about the royal elderflower-flavored cake at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding? These unique flowers are common in the U.K and are often used to make several desserts, drinks, and jams.
However, outside the U.K, elderflowers are less known and are not a common ingredient. So, we totally understand if you have questions regarding these edible flowers.
If you want to know what exactly is an elderflower or what does elderflower taste like, you might want to keep reading.
In this article, we have covered all the insights you need to know about elderflowers and also, how to use them to create delicious desserts and meals.
What is Elderflower?
Elderflowers are the blossoms on an elder tree. These delicate blossoms grow commonly in the U.K during May and June, as a sign of spring.
You can find them in some parts of Northern Europe as well as North America.
Elderflowers are usually cream-white in color. These flowers look like a star surrounded by vibrant green leaves.
Along with its uses in certain foods, it is also commonly used in booze - for example, the famous St. Germain liqueur.
What Does Elderflower Taste Like? Does Elderflower Taste Good?
Elderflowers are not as strong as lavender or rose. Instead, they are used for adding a slightly floral flavor. While Chef Jamie Oliver explains the flower’s scent to be slightly “musky and sweet,” the Independent describes it as “floral and fragrant, subtle yet heady.”
The flowers have a slight herby flavor like other edible flowers. However, these are much sweeter as compared to the rest. In terms of flavor, it’s somewhat close to what lychee tastes like.
Elderflowers are not as nutritious as other herbal flowers, yet they are healthy. They are rich in antioxidants and boost the immune system.
According to a study done by WebMD, elderflower extracts are great for treating colds, common flu, sinuses, diabetes, bronchitis, and constipation.
How to Use Elderflowers
There are several ways to use elderflowers. Whether you want to use it for medicinal purposes or make some delicious drinks and desserts, elderflowers are a great option.
Elderflowers are commonly used as syrup when baking or making cakes and desserts. These elderflower syrups are known as elderflower cordials. You can find it in any store or easily make it at home.
All you have to do is soak in the washed flowers in sugar syrup and add some preservatives. You can store it in your refrigerators, and this will go a long way. You can add it to your doughnuts, summer fruits, pastries, and many more.
Elderflowers are mildly toxic and taste weird if you consume it raw. But if you consume it raw, it may show some signs of nausea and cause vomiting. This is why elderflowers are cooked before use.
Thus, cooking the flowers will destroy all toxic chemicals and make it safe for consumption. Elderflower combines well with lemon, cilantro, strawberries, pears, and lots more.
If you want to take it as a medicinal drink, you can boil it with some ginger and add a zest of lemon. This is a great way of relieving sinus issues and the common cold.
Along with all the above-mentioned uses, elderflowers are often cooked or fried for garnishing purposes as well. These are a great option for people who want that delicate sweet floral flavor and not something that tastes like perfume.
So, if you’ve not tried this great flavorizing yet, now is a great time. Spring is here, and so are the pretty blossoms. Make sure to grab some elderflowers this season and make yourself a delicious dessert or a drink.