Herb and Flower Crystals for Sweet and Savory Dishes

I have always enjoyed cooking/baking with flowers and herbs.  When I saw these crystals recently I thought “what fun” and something new for me as I am always eager to try something different.    Another snow storm is coming today and the coldest weather we have had in 20 years.  Winter is going strong now with 3 months to go, so these looked like a great way to bring in some sunshine and warmth!  THINK SPRING!!!

They come in six flavors: basil, rose, cilantro, fennel, mint and hibiscus.  I bought all of them as I wanted to try them out on different recipes.  They also sell mini crystals which are good for the rim of a cocktail glass.   There are  two fruit crystals which are pumpkin and cranberry – I will save those for next Fall.

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Some background on the company first.  Fresh Origins Farm was founded by David Sasuga and is the leading American producer of Microgreens and edible flowers.  They also grow PetiteGreens and TinyVeggies in the ideal climate near San Diego, California.   The company is developing a full spectrum of flavors and colors which will be introduced over the next few months.  All of these items are produced for chefs throughout North America and are sold through distributors.   The best source for individual quantities is Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.

Quoting from Fresh Origins ” We start by growing the most flavorful fresh herbs and edible flowers.  These are carefully hand harvested at the peak of flavor and color content, then combined with pure cane sugar to create these beautiful and flavorful crystals.  These taste amazing and will add an enticing and distinctive finishing touch to any culinary creation from desserts to savory dishes and even beverages.  They are shelf stable and are best used before 6 months.  Very versatile and easy to use.  Sprinkle on some magic.”

As I find ways to use these yummy crystals I will add pictures.

I did a taste test on some shrimp cocktail using cilantro, fennel and hibiscus.  The fennel won without a doubt!

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BASIL:

Basil pairs beautifully with so many foods, especially pastas with a tomato sauce.

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In early January the big tomatoes are not so good but the cherry ones are delicious – then add some fresh basil crystals – yum!

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CILANTRO:

It is hard to think of any salsa without cilantro. Add this green crystal to any Latin or Asian dish for a unique addition.  Seafood such as shrimp or crab and Guacamole Two Ways are just some other ways to make a recipe special.

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I would prefer not to use this crystal with shrimp – maybe a milder fish.  The cilantro added some flavor to this chicken dish.

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FENNEL:

Golden yellow crystals have a sweet anise flavor that pairs well with seafood; try this with grilled salmon.  How about using this in your next batch of Pizzelles Two Ways for that special anise taste.  The company states that this is their most flavorful crystal.  I wish I had a piece of salmon…

I tried it with shrimp and it is delicious – the taste is very pronounced and goes perfectly with this seafood.

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HIBISCUS:

These crystals have a rich burgundy color which would put some pizzazz into so many dishes.  They have  a wonderful combination of sweetness and citrus which are an ideal flavor accent in so many recipes.  Add to desserts, topping for lemon sorbet, souffles and chocolate ganache.  The lemony flavor pairs perfectly with seafood and   it is also a popular ingredient in cocktails.

This crystal is very yummy and lemony on its own but did not come through with the shrimp.   I could snack on these 🙂

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MINT:

These were delicious on top of a fresh fruit salad of blueberries and strawberries.  These vibrant green crystals are really bursting with minty freshness and impart a unique crunchy texture.  Add to a chocolate mousse, cheesecake or sprinkle on ice cream.  Add to a cocktail for some dazzling green color.   The possibilities are endless with this very flavorful crystal.

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ROSE:

Gorgeous, ruby-pink crystals made with real roses and sugar.  They come in  mini and regular crystals.  The possibilities of using these rose crystals are numerous; all kinds of desserts, fruit salads or even a mixed green salad where you want a fresh floral note.  Add some color to Strawberries Dipped in Chocolate Two Ways.  Instead of rose syrup in a cocktail use these little gems or put around the rim of a glass for some bright color and flavor.

How about a lemon-rose martini using the mini rose flower crystals?

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3 thoughts on “Herb and Flower Crystals for Sweet and Savory Dishes

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