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August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

Edible Flowers

Okay, now to edible flowers, so which one…? It was easy for me to choose the chrysanthemum since its image is used as the Imperial Seal of Japan and of my blog. The chrysanthemum is a brightly yellow globe shaped flower, which grows perennially and is considered a delicacy amongst food aficionados in Japan and abroad, but more so Japan because of the cultural and spiritual significance as it’s the seal of the imperial throne. However, in other parts of the world, like China, where the chrysanthemum flower originated from, it’s white counter-part is regarded as symbolic of death and is used at funerals. In Europe it's a symbol of grief and misery. In the U.S.A, it's regarded a a cheerful flower. Nevertheless, with all of these different cultural vagaries this flower is held in the highest regard the world over. Back in Japan, there’s also another much deeper and more symbolic and historic meaning than just being the symbol of the throne, its true origins can be found in homo erotic poems and homosexual haiku with the chrysanthemum being likened unto the male anus-- protruded. At any rate, these weren’t the only reasons for choosing a flower to eat. For me, it was the overall visual appeal and season , which is autumn when this flower is available. Such a beautiful flower with its delicate yellow colored pedals; so nice to eat after being bathed in vinegar. A light rice wine in the afternoon with some nice autumnal scenes to go with your chrysanthemum flower is precious. When purchasing these flowers make sure they are grown organically. Use a light vinegar so that you can taste the natural sweetness of the flower and sourness of the vinegar. The recipe is in Japanese. Yamagata prefecture is known for growing some of the best garden variety in chrysanthemums.

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