Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yucca Blossom Update

It’s been a little over a month since I harvested my first Yucca blossoms.  Since then, these cactus blossoms have become a bit of an obsession - I see the dead remnants of flowering stems as I pass by yards and see perfect blossoms just out of reach.  Just the other day I had to resist snatching a cluster of purple-tipped yucca blossoms from a historic public garden in Monterey - and could barely contain myself when I saw a six-foot long horn of tiny green edible flowers protruding from a foxtail agave. 

I don’t know what makes these flowers so intriguing - is it the striking look of the five petal blossoms, their bitter-sweet flavor, their crisp bite or simply the idea that this is the grand finale of a plant that is known to live for decades and then die shortly after blossoming?  No matter what the reason, I guard two of my three bags of pickled yucca blossoms with the same dedication most chefs give their tin of saffron or bag of truffles.  Unlike these other “exotic” ingredients, there is no telling when I might get my hands on more fresh yucca blossoms.  I have reserved the pickled blossoms for the first course of my Taste of Big Sur Menu - paired with a Venison Jerky that has been cured with wild berries and then dried over smoldering oak.  

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