Oh Happy Days! It's warm and everything is growing and bursting open. The trees are weighed down. There are elderflowers, acacia blossoms/flowers, poppies, buttercups, mallow flowers etc.,etc. and lots of others that I don't know the names of yet....YET, but I will learn.
The air is also full of pollen and fluffy seeds(from poplar trees and dandelion clocks), not good for the allergy sufferers, like my son for example.
The scent in the air is amazing. Intoxicating. The scent of Elder, Acacia(Robinia) blossom and soon to be Linden penetrates into the house. The Acacia (black locust) flowers are opening now. If you haven't ever tasted acacia and have the possibility, try one.
They are fresh and delicious. When they are still closed they taste rather like freshly shelled peas and when they are open they are perfumed. If you do, be careful, bees love them, the trees near my house are humming with them. Acacia honey is my favourite. I get it from a local producer and it's gorgeous.
I first ate fried blossoms quite a few years ago now, they were prepared by a neighbour. She made us Elderflowers, Acacia and Sage leaf fritters. I think the basic recipe was similar to Japanese tempura.
I remember going home with a very heavy stomach as I couldn't stop eating.
As with other Italian recipes everyone has there own version and regional differences can vary enormously.
Not every Italian eats fried blossoms, but most have tried them or knows someone who makes them, especially the older generations.
Here is my version(adapted). Experiment and create your own.
Acacia Blossom fritter Recipe
About 12/14 acacia blossoms (newly opened if possible)
about 150/200ml sparkling water (as cold as possible-put in the freezer before)
about 100g self-raising flour (seived)
a tablespoon of sugar
Oil for frying ( I use organic sunflower oil)
The measures are approximate as you need to make a fairly thick batter which will stick to the flowers.
Break the eggs into a bowl. Beat. (Some people separate and whisk the whites-I don't).
Add some flour, a pinch of salt and some water and beat and keep mixing a little at a time to obtain a smooth,thick batter. When you are happy with the batter add the sugar(you can add more if you have a sweet-tooth).
Coat the blossoms in the batter and deep fry in pre-heated oil (about 170°C). I fry the blossoms as they are, some people remove the central stem and fry the flowers seperately like popcorn.(I remove the stem while eating).Fry until lighly golden. After frying place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Serve dredged with icing sugar or with acacia honey.
(We like to put our own sugar on, as we all prefer varying amounts). Yum. Eat quickly...Acacia blossoms aren't around for long.