... continuing on our trek through the farm at Tropical Delights with Andre. There were so many pictures and names that I'm going to categorize a little here. This post will consist of herbs, floral, and aromas.
Rosemary flowers. Floral sweetness and pine flavor.
Cat mint and sage. I had never heard of cat mint, which is different from catnip... but then again, there were many things here I had never heard of.
Rose grass. This grass had a scent and flavor like rose petals, just not as intense. Supposedly, this is used in the manufacture of perfumes more than actual rose petals are... makes me wonder about the rose water in our pantry.
I can't remember the name of these, but they are a rare sunflower.
Marigolds. A substitute for saffron... although not a very good one I'm sure.
This is Jamaican mint, an extraordinary herb if you're not familiar with it. The mint has a great flavor and is sturdier than your average mint due to its healthy thick little leaves and woody stem.
... and to show you how large the shrub can get...
Garlic flowers. There is something justifiably profound about a flower the smells like garlic. What a flavor as well. I could have eaten an entire row of these. The stinking rose...
Zahtar, the herb. We have used the spice blend before, but have never come in contact with the herb itself. The aroma and flavor was bitterly intense.
and another variety of basil from the Orient. I was not aware that basil originated in Indonesia (probably of a similar variety to this one). It makes you wonder about Italian cuisine as we know it... if basil comes from the east, tomatoes from Peru, noodles from China (ok, that one is a fight-starter). What was Italian food like before Marco Polo?
Wild mountain arugula. This is an ancestor to modern arugula. The bitterness reminded me of the first time I ever tasted arugula. After years of loving it and eating it, it somehow seems like the flavor has mellowed. This variety brought that 'ka-pow!' back... like a junkie looking for a stronger fix.
Micro cilantro... the same ones we get every week. Notice the seeds hanging on to the tops. Andre simply sprinkles his seeds over the top soil, not buried... maybe that's the mistake I'm making with some of my horticultural endeavors.
Mexican tarragon. I was not aware that there was a Mexican variety of tarragon, but Andre assured us that it was not related to common tarragon. This sparked an entire conversation on how finite and infinite flavors are. How plants that are not related can have similar flavors. I guess it's the randomness of nature... why else would combinations like white chocolate and caviar share similar dominant flavor molecules? It's like we are putting together pieces of a giant jigsaw puzzle.
Hyacinth bean flower. Roll that beautiful sweet bean footage...
Shell ginger flowers. They'll be plucked once they open a little. Vibrant colors inside.
A red leaf hibiscus, although not actually related to the hibiscus (another odd piece of the jigsaw puzzle).
... to be continued one more time.