Wild flowers

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Edible flowers​
To eat or not to eat?? Pretty garnish or dish component??
Well for me as a child of rural Ireland eating flowers was something that was never done, even now the mention of eating flowers brings strange looks to some people’s faces.
As a general rule flowers were a no go area for us. The echo of my mother “mind my flowers” still rings through my head, also remember a boot or Welly being thrown in the direction of a dog that was taking apart a flower bed.
However as a forager, chef and culinary gangster being open to new items comes almost as second nature at this stage. Many new finds for me are because of the flowers that i noticed them in the first place. Many of these are not just pretty they pack a flavour punch. I no longer fear the flower patch eat the evidence so to speak. Many flowers are beautiful pickled or in a light batter and deep fried.
Are flowers here to stay i believe they are seasonally at least. There are companies dedicated to growing edible flowers for restaurants and hotels. Now it’s a trend that is growing rapidly as well​ as foraging however at a much slower rate, I feel that the vast majority of people could be converted to at least trying a flower, I’m not going to force anybody to eat flowers or only wild food eating .
I think we overlook a lot of the possibility for flavour by not trying flowers either raw or cooked as sometimes they change and often give a beautiful scent to compliment a dish.
Flowers are no longer the reserve of the fancy restaurant even pubs are using flowers now as they are more available to everyone.
Let us know what you think in the comments  @traleeculinarygangsters.com or to me directly @chefpaulc on Instagram and Twitter
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Bee keeping by paul

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Video on facebook page

Kingdom bee keepers

I have always been a wildlife enthusiast, last week i got the opportunity to go visit a bee hive in knocknagoshel. As it is too cold at this time of year there is no honey production going on at the moment, so i got to see one of the hives being assembled and explained to me what each part was for and what happened in each compartment. I found this extremely interesting and a lot more complicated than i had previously imagined.
Just talking to Seamus his passion for the bees and the life cycle of the bees and their life in the hives was far beyond any nature documentary i have ever seen on the bee. I am looking forward to the summer where i will be suited and booted to collect some honey and see the final product in action i think will be very interesting, i am also looking forward to trying honey straight from the comb, now i had some already but i was crystallised and it’s far tastier than any shop bought honey I have ever tried.
There are several bee keeping clubs in the county and more producers, Inthe county than i previously imagined. Please like and share their page on Facebook @Thekingdombeekeepers
You can follow this story on our own Facebook @traleeculinarygangsters.com you can follow me directly on Twitter and Instagram @chefpaulc