Food has become more than just something we enjoy or something we need. It’s become an art form, and not a cheap one at that. On average the fine dining cost in the U.S. per person is $28.55, though of course meals can get much more expensive. When a person is paying that much for their food, they don’t just want it to taste good; they want it to be made with the best quality ingredients, and they want to see it arranged in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. Fine dining establishments are now hiring chefs that don’t just view their jobs as jobs, but as passion projects. Part of this means keeping up to date on all the trends when it comes to food. In recent years, specialty produce in particular has become remarkably popular. This is in part because the vegetarian and vegan movements are on the rise, but even people who eat meat love trying new plant-based foods. This is perhaps why chefs are now utilizing true leaf microgreens. True leaf microgreens, sometimes referred to as simply “true leaves” are revolutionizing the cooking industry and creating a truly unique experience for diners and chefs alike. Below, we’ll explore this recent phenomenon, and where it can go in the future.
What Are True Leaf Microgreens?
Although true leaf microgreens have been around for the past 20 to 30 years, lots of people still don’t know exactly what they are. Essentially, microgreens are what their names imply — much, much smaller versions of plants that you may or may not already be aware of. For example, arugula can be a microgreen, as can certain types of cabbage. Microgreens are considered delightful by many, sometimes referred to as “vegetable confetti” due to their small size. It’s true that microgreens have also in the past been used as garnishes for this reason — and there’s something to be said for this purpose. People love seeing aesthetically pleasing foods, and they will be more likely to enjoy their foods if they look as good as they taste. But with that being said, microgreens should be valued for their taste as much as their appearance. Microgreens add a lot of flavor and texture, without overpowering the dish as a whole. For that matter, they’re often joined by other edible and palatable plants that many diners wouldn’t even think of. This creates a much more diverse dining experience.
How Many Edible Plants Are There?
Edible plants extend far beyond the traditional vegetables that you may be thinking of. In fact, about 100 different types of common garden flowers are not only edible, but palatable. Edible flowers have, in recent years, started hitting the western food scene. But they’ve long been a part of meals in Asia and the Middle East. The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to edible flowers; like microgreens, they shouldn’t just be treated as a garnish, but as an important and flavorful part of a meal. Dandelions, Chinese hibiscuses, geraniums, English marigolds, and English daisies are all edible. Of course, the flavors will range depending on the flower. Despite their appearances, some flowers have savory flavors rather than sweet ones. Some flowers have even been described as “peppery” in flavor. Of course, many flowers have been used in recent years to decorate cakes, and wedding cakes in particular. Ideally, these flowers might be crystallized — that is, coated with sugar to add a sweetness to their flavor, preserving them longer.
Can I Grow Microgreens?
Growing microgreens is far easier said than done. If your goal is to cook with microgreens, you are far better off buying them from a reliable supplier than growing them yourself. Microgreens are remarkably delicate, and even once they’ve been harvested, they need to be kept in certain conditions to ensure their preservation. Buying microgreens also guarantees that you’ll get good quality vegetables, rather than settling for something subpar.
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