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Acacia flower fritters, a mid Spring treat

I will wait. I will wait until I lose some extra weight to buy that new pair of jeans. I’m gonna wait until I feel more confident to pitch a magazine for an article. I will wait until I get published on a magazine to propose for a book deal. I will wait until I find a life partner to travel to that city I always dreamt to visit. I will wait until I deliver the whole book to forage for acacia flowers and deep fry them.

Wrong. Wrong in any possible way, so wrong. You won’t ever be enough ready to venture into new journeys unless you abandon your fears and jump bravely into new opportunities. Buy that jeans, pitch your stories, travel, enjoy small pleasure in life and go pick the acacia flowers, as it might rain tomorrow.

Acacia flower fritters

Last week I took half a day off, turned off my computer and marched into the garden with a wicker basket and a pair of scissors to collect acacia flowers.

I stood underneath a dome of white flowers, enraptured by their honeyed heady perfume, mesmerized by the constant buzz of bees, which were unrelentingly flying from flower to flower. I was seizing the moment, wondering why I had waited for such a long time to take that decision.

I grew up recognizing Spring in the smell of acacia blooming underneath my bedroom window. As a child, I used to play with dried acacia flowers collected on the ground to make mangiarini, inedible potions which were the closest attempt to recreate real food with what I could collect in the garden.

Spring

Acacia, also known as black locustrobinia or false acacia, was introduced in Europe from North America in 1601 by the botanist Jean Robin, gardener and herbalist of the French kings. We can still admire the first acacia he planted in Paris, in Place Dauphine. Apparently all the European acacia trees descend from that first tree planted by Jean Robin.

Bees love acacia. You probably had the chance to taste a spoon of its pale runny honey, floral and delicate. When you bite into an acacia flower fritter you are first inebriated by the persistent smell, then you are hit by the mellow honey taste of the flowers, with a delicate hint of vanilla.

Hurry up, as the acacia trees bloom just for a short period of time in mid Spring, so you better put your hands on a basketful of flowers if you want to fry them.

Spring  Spring

According to The Oxford Companion to Food, there are several flowers which can be dipped in light batter and fried to make delicate sweet fritters: among them elderflowers, apple blossoms, acacia flowers and lilacs. I’m already dying to taste elderflowers and lilacs, as I can easily forage for them in the surrounding countryside. I might have to look further for apple blossoms, but once you bite into a crisp bundle of flowers with a heady perfume of honey you are bound to a restless research of your next treat.

Acacia flower fritters

Fiori d’acacia fritti – Acacia flower fritters

To deep fry the acacia flower fritters I made exactly the same batter I always use to deep fry zucchini flowers, as many years of passionate and relentless frying have proved it be reliable, dry and crisp. Sprinkle your flowers with sugar or drizzle with honey for a poetic end of a meal, or serve them with salt for a surprising appetizer.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Acacia flower fritters
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Tuscan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
You'll need
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar + more for sprinkling
  • 50 ml of cold beer*
  • 100 ml of water
  • 50 g of acacia flowers
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Honey to drizzle over the fritters
How to make it
  1. Make the batter. Mix in a bowl flour, salt and sugar, then add slowly the water, stirring with a whisk to remove any lump. When the water has been completely incorporated, pour in the cold beer. Add the liquid little by little in order to avoid any lump. Let the batter sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat two inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet, dip the flowers in the batter and shake them to remove the excess batter.
  3. When the oil is hot, lay the flowers well spaced into the skillet and let them fry for two minutes per side, until crisp and golden. Fry the flowers in batches, so they won't stick together.
  4. Remove the flowers from the oil, lay them on a plate with a few sheets of paper towel to absorb the excess oil and sprinkle with sugar or drizzle with honey. Enjoy the flowers while they are still hot.
Notes
* Choose preferably a pale ale or a red ale. I found a beer with an intense honey aroma and it was a perfect complement to the acacia flowers smell.

Spring

Link Love

Scanning the web searching for interesting articles about acacia flowers I found a ton of interesting posts, with inspiring photos. Acacia flowers cast a spell on everyone, it must be their heady smell…

  • Mimi Thorrison’s Acacia flower Fritters on MangerThey look like little bundles of grapes, with tiny white flowers that smell, and taste like honey, with a hint of jasmine, bergamot and orange blossom. Sounds like a dream? An edible one at least.
  • Mark Bittman, Foraging for frittersThis is a taste from my youth that we still enjoy a few times each summer. Two large locust trees next to our garden supply more fragrant flowers than we can use during the few weeks a year that these blossoms are available. The tiny white flowers have the sweet flavor of honey and a powerful spicy and musky aroma.
  • Edible flowers – Elderflower and Acacia Flower Fritters, because you can fry also elderflowers, and I’m already peeking at my neighbours’ tree!
  • More inspiring photos in Cuisine Campagne post for Beignets de Fleurs d’Acacia, one of my favourite blogs.
  • Eating spring {fried acacia + elderflower blossoms} by Elizabeth Minchilli. I love it when a guy brings me flowers. And when he brings a truck load of flowers? And tells me that some of them are going to be fried for lunch? Even better.
  • Last but not least, She who eats and a few ideas from Japan, where they have acacia tempura with a sprinkle of salt or a soy sauce-based tempura dipping sauce. Interesting, isn’t it?

On a side note

With the help of my friend Regula, the best brand advisor you could get, I finally rewrote the about page here on the blog. Now I feel fully represented and proud beyond words of all the journey that brought me here. Please have a check and tell me if you like it!

Spring  Spring

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This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. OMG this looks like the most amazing dish I have ever seen, who would have thought you could fry flowers? Thanks for the lovely recipe, you might just have convinced me to step out of my ‘fear of frying’ phase 😉

  2. Hello there

    Beautiful blog & story.
    I have several Robinia Casque Rouge which produce purple pink flowers -would I be able to fry these please?

    Kind regards
    Norma

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