FOOD : Black Locust Blossom Syrup

A little over a year ago, I learned that black locust blossoms were edible (thanks to this post.) The very black locusts that surround our home! The very flowers that rain down in late spring and litter the ground! So, I waited (im)patiently for the showy blooms last year. My Grandmother had told me before that they only bloomed every other year. I couldn't find any information to back that up, so spent the bulk of that spring, staring up at the towering trees, searching for signs of blooms. After only spotting a few clusters way up in the tops of the trees, I realized she might be right, especially considering the year before the trees were coated in heavy globs. I still don't know if it's true but it she has lived here since the early forties so I won't question her. Especially after this abundance this year.

Making a cake wasn't my mission. Instead, I wanted to make a syrup, similar to one I make with elderflowers.  But like I said, the trees we have here are tall and being able to reach the blossoms was the first (and maybe only) challenge. Thankfully, my Uncle spotted a tree that had come down and was sending out new shoots, not much higher than an arm's reach. So, I filled my bowl. In the kitchen, I sat pulling the flowers off the stem (word of warning: the leaves, stems, and bark are considered toxic so only eat the flowers and always be a smart forager by double or even triple checking that what you're about to eat really is what you think it is!) The smell filled the room and everyone suddenly became infatuated with them--What is that, like honeysuckle or something? Locust!? How did we not realize they smelled so amazing? Can you bottle that smell?

I followed this recipe and made a simple syrup then left the flowers to steep overnight. The next day I strained and added the ascorbic acid. The raw flowers themselves simply tasted like...well, flowers. But the syrup, with the addition of the sweetness and tartness, is quite nice.

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