The Lotus is not just an extraordinarily poetic flower; it is also a SYMBOL and a delicious FOOD.
The Lotus flower, originating from Asia and Australia, is an aquatic plant known for its beautiful ornamental flowers with large floating leaves. The Lotus grows naturally, without any need for cultivation, so it can be found in every garden or terrace.
In many cultures, it is revered for its ‘spirituality.’ In Buddhism, in particular, the symbolism of the Lotus flower is twofold: on one hand, it represents LIFE, which, despite having its roots in the mud of worldly existence, aspires, like the flower, towards the higher (towards Buddhism); on the other hand, the Lotus does not have a flower that does not bear fruit, just as there is no life that does not rely on Buddhism.
In its countries of origin, the Lotus has a wide range of culinary uses and is an important food resource. Every part of it is edible:
- Dried petals can be added to tea and herbal infusions to flavor them.
- Flower buds are sold in bunches in markets and consumed raw.
- The younger and tender leaves can be used as a vegetable, both raw and cooked.
- The roots, or rather, the rhizomes, are the most well-known part for culinary purposes. Their texture and taste are very similar to white radish, but more delicate, not at all bitter, and, growing in water, much less earthy; they are used in soups and stews, or sautéed in a pan or thinly sliced and fried as if they were choreographic chips.
- The seeds, harvested in a large, characteristic-shaped capsule, can be eaten fresh or dried, cooked like chickpeas, a legume to which they are very similar in appearance and taste, in soups or stews, or caramelized and reduced into a paste used as a filling for sweets and cakes.
RECIPE – LOTUS ROOT CHIPS Ingredients:
- 600 g of Lotus root (Rhizomes)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 15 cl of water
- 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO)
- Ground pink pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Slice the roots into thin slices, about 2 mm thick, and soak them in the lemon juice mixed with water for 10 minutes. Dry the slices well with a cloth.
- With the help of a sprayer or a brush, lightly coat the slices with a layer of olive oil. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning them halfway through.
- Serve with salt and ground pink pepper.”