Cherry Blossom preserve?
I walked by a couple of trees full of cherry blossoms today and noticed that quite a few have dropped on the ground due to the high wind. As i picked them up to take a closer look i realized that the Japanese use them in seasonal desserts. I'm wondering if anyone knows what to do with the blossoms? would they be marinated with salt and kept in the fridge? Or are there any other ways to use them?
just found this thread searching through some history and thought i'd link my own that didn't turn up much: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616140
but i was actually looking to preserve cherry blossoms a la sakura in japan. i did do them somewhat similarly to you but i heavily salted mine (a cup and a half of salt to perhaps 10 or so blossoms) and while i didn't pack them well enough to ensure they didn't brown as quickly or unevenly... the jar is absolutely fragrant with cherry scent. i haven't used them for cooking yet but hope to make some sakura mochi in the near future. i forgot to grab some of the leaves which are also used in the mochi dish.
was wondering perhaps if anything came of your own blossom experiments?
Well, a couple of months later, the jar is still in the fridge. I opened it just now, sweet scent that's slightly Chinese almond-y (is that arsenic?), but with more green-meadow, refreshing quality. It's still slightly bitter, but not as bitter as bitter melon. The color isn't vibrant pink any more, but not all brown either.
I had gotten some seasonal sakura mochi prior to gathering the blossoms. They were quite tasty, though I'm not a mochi person as much as I'd love to learn to make Kanten and flavor it with cherry blossom. I think because of that fresh dewy blossom scent the gelatine texture of Kanten will be especially suitable...well, maybe I'm eating a little with my eyes here.
For that matter, the mochi I had did have a cherry leave underneath, which i felt complimented the mochi well both in texture and scent...It would be even better if the mochi is the kind of ohagi made with a mixture of glutenous rice, and pounded non-glutenous rice. This way, the ohagi will not stick to the teeth, but break apart easily when bitten into, and will also be more in keeping with the translucent quality of the cherry blossom scent....
sorry i went off on a tangent...all because of a whiff of that jarred pale pinkness....
re: F Schubert
That's an idea...I'll have to look into the alcohol bit. Though I ended up lightly salting them and kept them in a glass jar in the fridge. I used some of it tonight to garnish the soba I made from scratch: stone ground the buckwheat groats, and a handful of sprouted black sesame together to from the soba dough. The flowers have a very faint fragrance but has a slight bitter taste that turns into umame. Chewing on them I felt as if i'm chewing on the part of a cherry that's right at the skin. The color is still light pink and maroon after a couple of days.