It is important to add a personal, creative touch to the meals, drinks, or hors d’oeuvres that you share with family and friends. Rather than serving the boring, same-old dishes everyone expects, you can impress and excite your guests with the simplest additions to your dishes. As the culture becomes increasingly aware of the food we all ingest, many diners have developed an attuned sense of quality and uniqueness that encourages, both in the home kitchen and a fine dining atmosphere, the diner to pay attention to the details in their meals. Being that originality and style play an important role in the preparation of our meals, specific specialty produce items, such as microgreens, offer a way to add the finishing touch to previously unattractive, boring dishes.
Microgreens are a specialty produce intended to enhance the fresh appearance of any dessert, cocktail, cheese plate, salad, soup, or a main entree. Many microgreens can be crystallized flowers, or caramelized in a sugar solution to be dried and added after cooking during the plating process. Because microgreens are not processed in water, the crystallization process, using egg white and sugar as a preservative, converts the microgreens into candied flowers. Microgreens thus formed into candied flowers, the tasty flowers are then able to be used in a variety of unique, interesting ways. These specialty produce items can add a subtle sweetness to already sweet dishes as well as add a unique contrast in flavor profiles to more savory dishes. The crystal flowers also provide a contrast in texture and mouth feel, lifting the dimensions and complexity of the dish.
The aesthetics of dining has broadened into a whole host of salable businesses and culture. Food magazines and food photographers go to great lengths to infuse the presentation of a dish with color, variety, and intrigue. For the food photographer, having a lush, vibrant assortment of micro herbs and flowers on the plate lift the appeal of the food immensely, arousing an more consistent sense of appetite in the viewer. Wedding planners and decorators seek out details such as microgreens and other specialty produce items to accent wedding cakes and desert tables. Microgreens can even be added to a sleek glass of champagne to add a hint of sweetness and fun to the dinner toast. Food television and online food programs need ways to add that pleasing aesthetic to keep the viewer intrigued, encouraging more views in the future as well as potential promotion for the program. It isn’t unreasonable to believe that something as seemingly unimportant as a candied flower or microgreen can encourage wide scale growth for a food business. However, once every reputable, attractive plate of food has an assortment of microgreens accenting the look of the dish, the plate without them will inevitably fall flat.
As mentioned before, the culture’s awareness of their food has inclined many diners to seek out local, organic distributors for their specialty produce items. Farmers, growers, and producers of microgreens have been set-up mainly in the United States since the mid 1990’s, beginning in Southern California. It is important in an era of grocery uncertainty to feel good about buying produce you can be sure is grown on the land you’re familiar with. Restaurants, caterers, or just the home cook can seek out local microgreen producers and ensure their dishes are thoughtful in both presentation and preparation.
So what are you waiting for? Go out and spruce up your dishes with colorful, vibrant, beautiful looking microgreens!