Monday, July 18, 2011

Orange Blossoms and Strawberries

It's a flower day!

Oh boy, did I have some really nice tea today, part of the Wegman's stash. It is from Rishi Teas, Organic Green Orange Blossom. It contains sweet osthmanthus flowers (aka orange flowers), lemongrass and a host of other things in very small amounts. All of it is wild harvested and the tea comes from Hubei Province, China. There is even a small map for those of us whose Chinese geography is weak.

The tin is double sealed, with an inside lid. The dry tea is dark from the green tea and has lots of lemon grass and gold and white bits that I assume are the flowers. It has a strong sweet citrus scent with a tart edge to liven it. The directions call for 1 tablespoon per 8 oz. of water, at about 180 degrees. The pale gold liquid has a very citrussy scent, but the orange flowers are definitely there, along with perhaps a bit of rose or jasmine to soften it.

The captivating aroma carries right on into the actual liquid, which is delicious, light, citrussy, flowery, but not like perfume. This would be an excellent tea with sweets or to lure tea newbies into green tea. I am going to make it my next ice tea, as I think all the flavors will come through. I may put a drop of orange flower water in if it needs livening from the cold.

Speaking of which, if you have some strawberries that aren't quite flavorful enough, add a few drops of orange flower water. It enhances their fragrance, which in turn, kicks up the taste. A bit of rose water can do wonders as well, but I would rather add that to my pound cake.

I went to the farmers' market Friday and the first tomatoes are in! Oh, the sublime taste of a fresh summer tomato. They are so early because the farmer grafts seedlings onto old roots and then performs magic. But there were nice green ones for fried green tomatoes and cherries for pie. I also got some beet greens, with tiny beets attached. I was thinking that tiny beets and mandarin oranges with tiny spring greens would make a stunning small composed salad for a tea party course, with a few toasted pine nuts and a crumble or two of a mild cheese.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

Are osmanthus flowers also called orange flowers? I thought Osmanthus was from a different species, unrelated to oranges.