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Cherry Blossom

Spring is the time to see cherry blossom in the UK and elsewhere.


It can be eaten raw in small quantities such as eaten as a wayfaring snack but the slight almondy taste comes from cyanogenic compounds which could poison you if you were to eat too many (click here for further details and for recipes). Cherry trees can be identified by their shiny bark and horizontal lenticels. 


Different trees have different tastes, generally beginning with a slightly bitter taste, although not as bitter as dandelion for example, with an aftertaste ranging from quite savoury - 'umami' - to sweet and almondy. 


Cherry blossom can also be cooked in various ways which has the benefit of breaking down and reducing the cyanogenic glucosides, for instance by layering the blossoms in salt for aa couple of weeks, then rinsing off the salt and using the blossoms in cocktails.  


According to the internet, apple blossoms are also edible, in spite of containing the same cyanogenic compounds. However, based on my experience, eating one single petal was sufficient to produce a dry, choking sensation and I needed to be given some water before I could resume speaking. The meme of someone clutching their throat in a horror film comes to mind and I will stick to smelling apple blossom rather than eating it!"

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