First post of the New Year, and I hope everyone had a great celebration.
We all know 2011 was a kick in the butt, but we still had some good times – Here’s to carrying that momentum into 2012 and making this the best year over (as long as the Mayans are wrong).
So, to kick us off – I thought I would review something a little different – Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.
The Wild Hibiscus Flower Company is a small family owned & operated firm run by a passionate team in Sydney, Australia. Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup are the original creation of Lee Etherington who invented the product 11 years ago in 1997. (Read More Here)
I know, sounds a bit odd….but work with me.
You see, it’s really hard to find something unusual for my wife (she says I am impossible to shop for as well), because if there is anything she really wants – she buys it. It makes Christmas time a little challenging, but this year I think I actually did good.
While looking at the unusual gifts over at Thinkgeek.com I stumbled onto their Wacky Edibles Section and saw “Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup”. Hmmmm…..goes in Champagne and New Years is coming up…..SCORE!
<Ed Note – at the time I am running this, the product is Out of Stock on think Geek. Alternate ordering is at the end of the post>
This was something Debi was really looking forward to trying once she found it in her stocking, and I must admit – My interests were piqued as well.
Packaging is an 8.8oz jar that contains 11 flowers. It’s small and compact – which is good, as you must refrigerate after opening…..and we all know how valuable refrigerator real-estate is. The company also produces a 2.5lb 50 Flower Party pack.
Attached to the top is a paper recipe book as well, which is nice. You can also read about cocktails and recipes HERE.
Inside, the flowers are floating in a thick, sweet syrup (mmmm….syrup). Fishing them out with a fork reveals a translucent, somewhat rubbery flower that looks like it came off the set of Star Trek, but in a good way. The flowers themselves appear about 1in in diameter, with multiple petals that radiate from the sepal.
From there, just pop one into a glass, add a little syrup (to give a little more flavor) and away you go.
How was it? I thought it was pretty cool. We used an extremely dry Brut, and the sweetness of the syrup worked well with it.
Flavors overall were good – Debi got the Raspberry/Rhubarb as advertised (I thought it tasted more like Strawberries, but to each their own) and the effect of watching the flower open as the bubbles from the champagne worked the flower was quite nice. I found myself stealing glances at my glass several times during dinner, just captivated by the site.
Finally – YES you can eat the flower. It had an interesting texture, but was not off putting – just unique. Again I was reminded of Rhubarb….and that is a good thing.
To me, this was a really cool product, and one that I would highly recommend to my friends. Whether you are a person that likes to have the unusual at their bar (Randy), someone who just likes a lazy mimosa (Melissa or TommyG) or a restaurant that likes to push the envelope a little (looking at you 44Stone)….this is right up your alley.
Sadly, as I said earlier…..ThinkGeek is SOLD OUT, but there are a few other alternatives.
If you live in Australia, New Zealand or Europe….you can order directly from The Wild Hibiscus Flower Company.
For those of us here in the US, there is the ever present fallback of Amazon.com.
Overall, an excellent product and a wonderful way to start the New Year.