The kitchen should always be clean. However, if you wash elderflowers before they are prepared, you could have saved yourself the work of elderflower or syrup.
The aroma of elderflower is as much a part of summer as licking ice cream and swimming in the lake. Since the flowers can only be picked in spring and early summer, they are a rare, seasonal commodity, just like asparagus. Fresh from the bush, they taste great baked in pancake batter, as jelly or syrup you can preserve the floral aroma for many months longer. If you don't make the mistake of washing the elderflowers when preparing them. Because then the best simply flows away with it. But there are also other things you should keep in mind when it comes to elderberry.
Proper harvesting and preparation are the be-all and end-all for the aroma of elderflowers
Elderflowers can be harvested from May to July and many dishes can be refined with their aroma. © YAY Images/Imago
Harvest the flowers on a sunny, dry day, preferably the fully open flowers. This is the best way to get the sweet pollen, which is decisive for the typical elderberry aroma and taste - after all, the bees do not feast on the closed buds. Ideally, you should collect the flowers in a basket and not in a bag or a cloth bag, so that the delicate flowers do not bend.
In the next step, it is enough to gently shake out the elderflower panicles so that small hidden insects fall out. If you want, you can spread kitchen paper over the flowers, which also triggers an escape reflex in the animals that may still be present. That's enough. Because if you want to do it very thoroughly and wash the flowers, you can remove almost all aromas with the rinsed nectar. For this reason, you should not harvest the panicles immediately after a rain shower, because this also washes off the fragrant pollen. In addition, damp flowers increase the risk of mold.
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If everything went well with the harvest, nothing stands in the way of preparing an elderflower syrup or even a wine made from elderflower.