Elderflowers

Elderflowers

It has been said that ‘elderflower season’ defines British summertime. As the first flowers start to bloom, the country begins to experience some drier, milder weather and the climate changes only when the last berries have fallen. Now that we’ve begun to see one or two in bloom, we can officially declare, that summer is here, even if the weather doesn’t agree!

In the past, many believed that the elderflowers were completely poisonous which meant cooks were not able to take full advantage of their sweet, refreshing taste. Thankfully, it is now known that the berries and flowers are safe to eat and that poisonous chemicals are found only in the bark and leaves. Recently, elderflower has become particularly popular as a way of flavouring drinks.

We’ve pulled out some of our most delicious recipes which will help home cooks take advantage of the plants found in hedgerows around the British countryside. Do some preserving and savour the flavour when it is at its best. Le Parfait recommends this Elderflower Cordial, which can be stored in Le Parfait jars and added to prosecco or sparkling water for a thirst-quenching cocktail whatever the season. This White Peach and Elderflower jam makes for a delicious summer breakfast when spread on a slice of crusty sourdough bread.

Friends of Le Parfait, Cracking Good Food Cooking School near Manchester are running an ‘Evening Elderflower Special’ on the 25th June 2014. The evening is designed for attendees to celebrate the medicinal and food uses of the plant. It begins with a guided foraging session in the local hedgerows with professional forager Jesper Launder. Everyone will then use their foraged produce to make their own elderflower cordial or elderflower champagne to take home in a Le Parfait jar. More details on the class can be seen online here.