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Book Reviews

Cooking with Flowers

Sweet and Savory Recipes with Rose Petals, Lilacs, Lavender, and Other Edible Flowers

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Bees convert flower nectar into honey. Yeast converts honey into alcohol. Humans convert honey and alcohol into, well, perhaps we should reconsider our views on evolved species. Artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower, the haute Italian use of squash blossoms—flowers are abundant in our diets, and when you consider the medicinal properties of chamomile, lavender, violets, and many other flowers, it’s easier to comprehend how important flowers are to our well-being.

A few flips through the pages of Cooking with Flowers and suddenly it’s apparent that numerous unsuspecting varieties of flowers can be used to create dishes of stunning beauty and flavor. Herbalist and chef Miche Bacher offers one hundred recipes based on lilacs, orchids, roses, hollyhocks, and a dozen or so other blossoms. She opens each chapter with some flower lore, growing habits, flavor profile, and culinary uses, and proceeds with recipes that burst with inventiveness, yet aren’t gratuitous with their use of petals as garnish. To rely on a hyphenated word, the photography in this book is mind-blowing.

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