Edible Orchids is something new among us, in spite of many people have been eat for a long time a go. Orchids are flower plants that are famous for their beautiful flowers and some of them provide fragrance. However, did you know that there are types of edible orchids, yes, orchid flowers that can be eaten. Maybe this is something unique and unusual because we don’t see it often. But actually, there are several types of orchids whose flowers can be eaten.
Some chefs even still use orchid flowers in several dishes to attract consumer interest. If you are still curious about this orchid flower, let’s check it out below.
If you add edible orchids to your salad, of course this will add excitement, your food will be colorful, unique and beautiful and add nutrition.
Orchids — An Introduction
Before we go any further about edible orchids, let’s first know what an orchid is? Orchids are plants that have the Latin name “Orchidaceae, or orchids”, plants with light purple flowers, with light green roots and covered in white like silver. Orchids not only provide beauty or beautify the home, but they also provide many health benefits.
Beautiful orchids and some of them can be eaten. Orchid flowers that can be eaten are also rich in vitamin C, this can increase immunity and fight infection. The fiber content is also high, besides that it also contains lots of minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron.
Not only that, the health benefits of orchids are also supported by rich antioxidants and phytochemical compounds.
Fun Fact about orchids – Sometimes these beautiful plants are also classified as succulents.
How Do Orchids Taste?
If there are indeed types of orchids that can be eaten, then what do orchids taste like? Fresh naggrek petals are said to have a bland taste, with a light and crunchy texture, much like watercress or other green leafy vegetables.
Some people say that the taste of orchids is pleasant at first and then becomes a little bitter. But not all of them are like that, there are many types of orchids and of course they have different flavors too.
Are Orchids Safe for Consumption?
Only orchid flowers are safe to consume and not the leaves or stems. In essence, orchid flower petals are widely used in salads or to add color to salads.
Meanwhile, some components of this flower are also useful for medicinal purposes. For example, the stems and leaves of orchids are used in medicine in Asia, America, Africa and including several countries in other parts of the world.
Different Types of Edible Orchids
Some of the edible orchids may surprise you because some of them are already in your house and you don’t know they are edible.
ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture has made many orchid dishes and these are very popular in the world. Orchids vary in shape and size, dendrobiums have fine hairs and are ideal cooked in sauce and fried. These types of Dendrobiums are often dipped in flour and egg and then deep-fried as is done in Thailand, this makes for a crunchy appetizer.
Another orchid that can also be eaten is epidendrum. While in Hawaii, fresh orchids are sweetened and then added to salads, also used as a garnish on cakes and sweets as practiced in Europe. Meanwhile, orchid tubers are popularly used in meat sauces in Africa.
The use of orchids is also sometimes used in making ice cream as is done in Turkey, the texture is chewy and does not melt with the taste of salty guola. Ice cream made from orchids is known as “kaimaki” or “Dondurma” in Greece.
Orchids are also sometimes used to decorate cocktails in classy restaurants. There are even those who use orchids in marinades and flavors in jellies, vinegars and oils.
1. Epidendrum (Vanilla)
Vanilla is a type of orchid native to Central and South America and is endemic to this area. Now Madagascar is one of those who own or produce vanilla on a large scale.
Vanilla planifolia is a type of climbing orchid that can grow up to 30 feet tall. This is the only type of orchid that is used in industrial cooking and in desserts. Even though all orchids can be eaten, you have to be careful too, where the orchids can irritate the lining of the stomach. Vanilla is a type of orchid that is safe and non-toxic.
This species is endemic to Asia, Australia and in several Pacific islands. Dendrobiums grow in their places with tropical and subtropical climates.
These orchid flowers include flowers that are widely used in stir-fried dishes, fried tempura or in Asian cooking garnishes.
There is also a type of Cymbidium orchid, this is an orchid that is generally made as a delicacy in the Bhutan area. This food is called “ola Choto” and is easily available in the market in August – October, the flowers are delicious to eat.
Usually, local villagers often make Cymbidium as a seasoning for pseudobulbs which is mixed with salt and eaten like potatoes. In addition, sometimes also use cheese in preparing Cymbidium orchids.
Orchids act as medicine
Orchid is not only used as food, but it is also popular as a health medicine and has long been known traditionally. In the ancient Greeks, orchid tubers were a natural ingredient that could increase male libido and were also said to be useful as a fertility drug.
When we see In China and Japan, dried dendrobium is often used as a traditional medicine to treat chronic diseases, cure eyesight, relieve headaches, relieve seizures and is good as a medicine to increase immunity. In China, orchids are also used in teas and traditional cooking with therapeutic benefits.
In Turkey, there is a traditional drink made from dried orchid flowers and ground into a powder.
This first became famous under the Ottoman empire, and then began to spread to Syria, Iran, India, Greece and England as well as several regions in Asia. This Turkish food, which is called an ointment, can also treat sore gums, diarrhea and sore throats.
Several other orchid species are said to contain phyrochemicals, antibacterials such as latifolia, vanda roxburghii and eulophia.
Can You Store Orchids for Later Consumption?
If you want to enjoy it fresh and delicious, you should only use fresh flowers, but if you have leftovers, you can save them for later use.
So, how long do orchids last? Orchids can last up to 10 days if properly stored, namely in an airtight container. But if you want it longer, then store it in the fridge. Keep the temperature where you are stable. If stored in an airtight container, it can last up to 10 days and pay attention to the temperature of your refrigerator, it should be 36 and 40 degrees F.