With spring slowly winding down, out bursts one of my favourite edible flowers — the Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia).
A heavenly, sweet fragrance, with just a hint of vanilla. Now if the scent doesn’t give them away, then the hum of the bumble bees and other pollinators surely will. The tree literally hums through these long hot days. This is one of those rare opportunities to lie on the grass beneath a fragrant canopy and simply be. Your senses will come alive – sight, scent and sound all heightened in this delicious moment in time.
The Black Locust blossoms just when the lilacs are finished; and roses and peonies are just beginning to appear in my gardens. Also known as Acacia trees, they flourish all over North America. Ideally you should pick the blossoms as soon as you see them in bloom, while the flowers are the freshest. Pick the blooming clusters and place in a basket or paper bag. Do not wash as it will diminish the scent.
The blossoms are sweet and crunchy – almost pea-like, with a pleasing texture. Simply delicious raw or as a simple solar infusion. As with all scented edible flowers, we can add to fresh salads, make stunning floral ice cubes, decorate desserts, infuse honey, make a cold-infused syrup or cordials. A really fun way to enjoy them is making traditional European Acacia Fritter.
Black Locust Fritters
Black Locust Flower blooms with stem
1 cup all purpose flour (instead we used 50/50 Spelt and Coconut)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 level teaspoons baking powder
1 cups milk
juice of 1/4 lime
oil for frying
1. Add oil to pan and heat to medium high.
2. In a mixing bowl, add dry ingredients and mix. Add wet ingredients and mix together well. Add more milk if the batter is too thick.
3. Take the blossoms by the stem and dip into the batter mixture on both sides and lightly shake off any excess batter. Lay the blossom into the heated oil. Fry until both sides are a light brown. Lower temperature if they are browning too fast. Remove and put on plate with paper towel to drain.
4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot.
5. Enjoy with a beautiful cup of Black Locust tea.