Broccoli, cauliflower, and squash blossoms are not the only types of edible flowers out there. Thanks to the emergence of a highly specific genre of gardening that yields a product called microgreens, edible flowers, crystallized flowers, and herb crystals are gracing the dinner plates of homes all over the country.
Micro greens, micro herbs, and crystallized flowers are considered specialty produce, and as such, correctly growing and producing them is an extremely specific and precise practice. The process involves planting the seeds of vegetables, plants, and herbs, and harvesting them when they are very young. As such, microgreens are often small (less than 1.5 inches in height and a mere .5 to 1 inch in width). It is important to note that microgreens and sprouts are two very different things. Sprouts germinate in water and grow roots. On the contrary, microgreens must be planted in soil, given sunlight, and allowed at least one week before they may be harvested.
Once ready for consumption, microgreens, crystallized flowers, and micro herbs such as basil crystals, are delicious and make wonderful and attractive accoutrements to food. Crystallized flowers, which are perfected by the careful preservation of tiny flowers in sugar and meringue, are often used to beautifully accent desserts. Crystallized flowers are especially popular as elegant wedding decorations.
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