Borage (Borago officinalis) commonly known as bugloss, and bee bread is an annual herb with deep blue flowers. It occurs naturally in the Mediterranean region and has been localized in many parts of the world. The herb which belongs to the Boraginaceae family is also known as starflower because of its five-petaled flowers that are star-shaped. Borage flower culinary uses and medicinal properties are part of the reasons why the herb has become a common feature in most gardens.
For generations, borage has served many purposes. A famous folklore holds that women slipped borage into a promising man’s drink believing that it induced him to propose. Ancient civilizations also used it to garnish salads, pamper kids with candied flowers, and treat ailments.
Borage is closely related to the melon and cucumber family. The flowers have a subtle hint of cucumber with a lingering and subtle taste when eaten raw or cooked. They can be used in salads, soups, lemonade, and various sauces. In addition, borage flowers can be cooked as stand-alone vegetables or used to make borage candies.
Borage flower culinary uses include:
Borage ice blocks
To make borage ice blocks, fill ice block trays halfway with water and freeze until solid. Remove from freezer, tip out the half blocks and place a borage flower into each block. Now, replace the half blocks and top each with water so that the flower is trapped between the water and ice. When you put the tray back to the freezer, the borage flower will be snuggling right in the middle of the ice block.
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To make borage candy, start by picking fresh flowers, each with a small stem. Dry them out in the sun or using a dehydrator. When they are completely dry, paint each flower with beaten egg white and dust them with castor sugar. Set the flowers out to dry on a waxed paper in a cool oven or a warm place.
Vegetables and fruits with borage
Borage flowers are great for garnishing vegetables and fruits. They can also be added to fruits and vegetables to enhance their flavor.
When all is said and done, the above are just a few of borage flower culinary uses. These flowers are highly versatile and can be used in more ways than one in the kitchen. They are great for decorating beverages, brightening up salads and can be used to substitute for spinach or lettuce. For these reasons, borage is highly sought-after in Mediterranean households even to date.