Abhay Villa 22 mrt 2021

We are Growing Edible Flowers

15 meters from farm to plate

Mediamatic ETEN and the Aquaponics Farm together are aiding the growth of a project that started "rooting" its way into Mediamatic's collection a couple of years ago; and now with the arrival of this year's spring this project is in full bloom! If it isn't already obvious we are cultivating an extensive variety of edible flowers which will feature in drinks and dishes across our menu. The collection of flowers from our greenhouse and outdoor grow beds boast endless uses in the kitchen; ranging from contributing interesting colour and texture all the way to infusing dishes with unique tastes and aromas. On top of that all these flowering species also feature either medicinal, commercial or cosmetic uses. We invite you to continue reading in order to learn more about the specific flowers, where you will find them growing at Mediamatic and, most importantly how you can expect to eat them once we recommence with restaurant service.

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Edible flowers, salad and onion sauce - Course 2 - Picking Elizabeth Vasilyeva

In the Aquaponics greenhouse we are currently exploring the cultivation of edible flowers. Edible flowers are not just decorative but can contribute unique flavours and textures to a dish/drink. For example Rosemary and Garlic flowers are extremely small and delicate, but pack a punch in terms of flavour; making them a much more attractive substitute for the leaves and cloves.

Most edible flowers also feature medicinal properties. Calendula is used to prepare balms and ointments to treat ailments of the skin but the powdered petals can also be used as a vegan food colouring. Chamomile helps with anxiety and insomnia and infusions containing the small white flowers recall nostalgic tastes and aromas from our childhood. Researchers have also found that the essential oils from certain flowers can also alter our cognitive functioning; essential oils extracted from rosemary increased alertness and working memory capacity, whilst the group receiving aromatherapy with lavender oils had slower reaction times and decreased working memory capacity (1). This is not to say one is better than the other but rather the essential oils from lavender facilitate relaxation and calmness whilst rosemary’s odors may be better suited to a workingenvironment.

Certain edible flowers are precursors of vegetables; the most notable examples being zucchini and squash flowers. By harvesting these crops at the flower stage rather than the fruit stage (courgettes and pumpkins are fruits, vegetables are a social construct!) the yield of food per plant is significantly less, but it is a quicker crop to yield and can be used in exciting manners ranging from tempura to pizza. The scent of certain edible flowers can be extracted to perfume food and drinks; popularexamples include rose, orange blossom and kewra (male screw pine tree) water. These extracts are essential ingredients in Mughali (Indo-Persian), Turkish, Middle Eastern and Chinese cuisines. 

As horticulturalists it is fascinating to see the various life stages our plants go through; starting from seeds all the way to the perfumed and colourful grand finale. Furthermore we hope to also learn about the nutritional and environmental requirements of each species so that we can improve on yields and quality with each harvest. Finally, we from the Aquaponics Farm and Mediamatic Eten hope to open the kitchen and bar soon so that we may finally share and present all the effort and research put into designing our menus.

Below is a list of the flowers you can expect in our gardens and how they might appear in our menu:

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Echte Kamille - Matricaria chamomilla

Chamomile Flowers - Teas, infusing oils and syrups, petals can be added to salads. 

 

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Field Marigold - You do want to change the world The answer you planted into the twenty eighth of thirty plant beds in the Dijksgracht park, part of the Twijfel Zaaien/Casting Doubts project. Latin name: Calendula Arvensis Artist family: Modernist
 Colour: Yellow Image Source:  Author:  Zachi Evenor Seed Care

Met: Seed Care

Calendula Flowers - Dry and powdered petals can be used as a natural food colouring.

 

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Wild Garlic - Allium ursinum Author: Svdmolen  

Garlic Flowers - Strong garlic flavour, hence used as a garnish in savoury dishes and salads.

 

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Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis Author: Loadmaster (David R. Tribble)

Rosemary Flowers - Strong rosemary flavour, good for garnish in dishes or drinks with rosemary.

 

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Salvia flowering - Image by Benni Lover https://www.flickr.com/photos/75885098@N05/

Sage Flowers - Strong sage flavour, good for garnishing and infusing dishes with sage’s volatile oils.

 

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Nasturtium growing on fish excrement - The nasturtium appears to like its diet based on fish excrement

Nasturtiums - Sweet and peppery, good as an all round garnish or as a delicate addition to salads

 

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Elderflower beer - We are making a new beer with Oedipus Brewing and Zeger Reyers! The city Amsterdam is filled with the Elderflower, so we decided to check what it tastes like in combination with beer.  During this year we have several events where brew beer with different parts of the plant. Come and join us at the start of our Elder beer-journey !  Karenina van den Crommenacker, Pierre Brouillet

Elderflower - Sweet and floral taste great for flavouring desserts and beverages

 

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China Rose - Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Author:  Andy / Andrew Fogg

Hibiscus Flowers - whole buds bloom in drinks, fresh petals can be added to salad or dried to make tea

 

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Borage - Borago officinalis Author: Giancarlo Dessì

Borage - Purple star shaped flowers with a taste very similar to cucumber, ideal for salads and decoration

 

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Dill - You do not believe you are free The answer you planted into the seventeenth of thirty plant beds in the Dijksgracht park, part of the Twijfel Zaaien/Raising Doubts project. Latin name: Anethum graveolens Artist family: Neutral 123 Zaden, Zadenbank Velt

Dill Flowers - Strong dill taste, visually appealing substitute for the leaves and seeds e.g. pickling gherkins

 

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Venkel - Je communiceert je gevoelens niet. Het antwoord dat jij in de vierde van dertig plantenbakken in het Dijkspark hebt gezaaid, als onderdeel van het  Twijfel Zaaien/Casting Doubts  project. Latijnse naam: Foeniculum vulgare Artist family: Neutraal, indien je antwoord 'nee' is. De Godin

Fennel Flowers - The pollen can be used as a garnish that imparts a liquorice flavour.

 

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Szechuan buttons in the Aquaponics Greenhouse - Eloise Peredruk

Sichuan Buttons: spherical yellow flowers that have a mouth numbing effect very similar to sichuan pepper.

 

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Wax begonia - Begonia semperflorens-cultorum Vind meer over deze plant op Wikipedia . 

Begonia Flowers: These small artificial looking flowers have a rich aromatic and fruity taste making them ideal for salads, desserts and  drinks.