Japanese people have long cherished the chrysanthemum flower.
The flower is said to have longevity effects and is prized by the Japanese as a medicinal and ornamental plant.
Edible chrysanthemum is a variety which has been selectively bred for eating. It is less bitter and the edible petals are larger than usual. Chrysanthemum became widely accepted as food in Japan around Edo era.
Aomori is the third largest producer of edible chrysanthemum. Most of the flowers produced are grown in open fields. The most common variety is the vibrant yellow “Abokyu.” Abokyu is fragrant and has a crisp texture. Each flower is harvested by hand from the end of October to the beginning of November.
Edible chrysanthemum is a versatile and colorful ingredient, perfect for vinegar or dressing dishes, or simply be sprinkled in miso soup. Dried edible chrysanthemum, which is steamed then dried, is one of Aomori’s local specialties.
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