Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Blooming Foodie Find at the 27th Negros Trade Fair


Picture taken from the net
   Before I move on to the details let me ask you first, have you eaten a flower?  Or have you at
least tried something with a flower, cooked or raw, or infused with?  
   If you don't know, there are edible flowers.  As I was searching Google, there are 42 flowers that can be consumed.   I used to know petals or flowers as garnish for salads and desserts.  But come to think of it, we always use squash blossoms in our local veggie dish (Dinengdeng).   I have actually featured one recipe in our Kulinarya group.   Let me give you a couple from the list of these edible flowers.  
   Chamomile, chrysanthemum, jasmine and lavander are famously used in teas, that is if you love teas.  Rose petals, angelica (like what is used in Lemuria), chervil, basil, cilantro even our national flower, the fragrant sampaguita (an extravagant ice cream with floral infusion can be savored at Ilustrado) are good addition to regular salads, soups and other desserts.
   So, during my last visit at a trade fair which was at the 27th Negros Trade Fair at the Rockwell tent last September 30, I particularly fancied one product.  Among the many Negrense food featured in the event, this booth made a mark on my "Most Interesting Food Breakthrough."  It's from Daily Apple.   
The Daily Apple is a company that makes available to health buffs the full range of nutraceuticals and food products manufactured at the state-of-the-art Herbanext Farms and laboratories in Bago, Negros Occidental.
   The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek and Romans.  Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking, even in our provinces.
One yummy chummy that stood up is their award-winning Sweet Roselle Chips.

   I was talking about flowers in culinary settings, right?  This discovery had spun my head off.  A crushed-dried cherry looking stuff mounded on a bowl seemed to be gaining interest among the crowd at the fair.  Overhearing from a fellow visitor, "Here check this out, it's candied flowers..."  I immediately crossed over from Carmela's Kitchen booth to Daily Apple's.
   The roselle plant, also known as Hibiscus Sabdariffa, red sorrel, Indian sorrel, Jamaican sorrel, Florida cranberry, eggplant rose, rosella, java jute, and Mei Gui Qie, has been used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine. The plant is used in a variety of ways, including teas made from the flowers and oil pressed from the seeds that is rich in gamma tocopherol.
   Here are the nutritional benefits one can get from consuming Roselle products, such as teas, jams and candies.
  • Weight Loss aid (reduces the absorption of dietary carbohydrates)
  • Antiseptic  (ability to kill bacteria)
  • Aphrodisiac (mildly enhances libido)
  • Astringent (ability to firm, restores tone)
  • Cholagogue (enhances digestion, stimulates secretion of bile)
  • Demulcent (soothing for mucous membranes, relives pain and inflammation of membranes)
  • Digestive (improves peristalsis which helps move food along the gastrointestinal tract)
  • Diuretic (reduces buildup of excess fluid in the body)
  • Emollient (leaves are used externally to smooth and soften skin)
  • Laxative (stimulates evacuation of the bowels)
  • Cooler (helps lower high body temperature)
  • Sedative (reducing or relieving anxiety, stress, irritability, or excitement)
***Resource: http://suite101.com/article/hibiscus-tea-a-powerhouse-of-health-benefits-a408993


   Here are the candied roselle calyses mixed with another of their snack product, Banana Turmeric chips.   Roselle chips taste like mild  prunes, with a hint of cranberry.  It's actually fruity, no substance of being floral, it doesn't even have that strong flowery scent that rose and sampaguita have.
   I'm still thinking of a way to incorporate it into my cooking, but if you want your salad to ave an ump, try putting some nibs of these roselle instead of grapes or raisins.  Will update soon, whenever I have put it in a granola, or a trail mix, oh and how about making white chocolate barks with it.  It would be a great Christmas gift.
   Aside from the healty snack packages, Roselle calyses were also made into jams.  Looks like your favorite imported jams?  They actually taste better too.  It's not overpoweringly-sweet.   Just the right kick of saccharine enough to subtly sweeten your crackers or toasts.  Jams like these would be great mixed with muffin or cake batter, specially with it's tartness.  Also best topped on my dark chocolate ice cream, or on hot waffles  or pancakes.  Ahh, the possibilities are endless.
See consistency, gelatinous and appetizing.
   It also come in this elegant looking, 160 gm jar.
   What's best is that it's rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins, making it to be one of the superfoods readily available to munch on, in the end making us not only extremely healthy but younger-looking.

   Since their main store is in Bacolod.  You can order via their website:  http://www.dailyapplestore.com

Or go to their store  at 
Robinson's Galleria, Ortigas,
basement area near BDO (westlane wing)
or 
Kiosk at SM Sta. Rosa,
Gr. Flr.  Center Area, Laguna

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