In Hong Kong, flowers are not only admired for their beauty but also used as ingredients in traditional soups and desserts. Let’s explore some of the flowers commonly found in Hong Kong cuisine:

  1. Osmanthus Flowers (桂花)

    • Description: Osmanthus flowers are tiny, pale yellow blossoms with a sweet and fragrant aroma.
    • Usage: They are often used to infuse soups and desserts with their delicate scent. Osmanthus sweet soup (桂花酒釀湯圓) is a popular Chinese dessert made with glutinous rice dumplings in an osmanthus-scented sweet fermented rice soup.
    • Symbolism: Osmanthus represents completeness and family unity due to its round shape.
  2. Chrysanthemum Flowers (菊花)

    • Description: Chrysanthemum flowers have a bright yellow color and a slightly bitter taste.
    • Usage: They are commonly used in herbal soups and teas. Chrysanthemum tea is known for its cooling properties and is believed to benefit the eyes and reduce inflammation.
    • Symbolism: Chrysanthemums symbolize longevity and endurance.
  3. Dried Lily Flowers (金針花)

    • Description: Dried lily flowers are golden-yellow and have a crunchy texture.
    • Usage: They are rehydrated and added to soups, stir-fries, and hot pots. Their mild flavor complements other ingredients.
    • Symbolism: Lily flowers represent purity and renewal.
  4. Dried Tangerine Peel (陳皮)

    • Description: Although not a flower, dried tangerine peel is commonly used in soups.
    • Usage: It adds a citrusy aroma and depth of flavor to broths and herbal soups.
    • Symbolism: Dried tangerine peel is associated with good fortune and positive energy.

Remember to source these flowers from reputable markets or specialty stores, and enjoy the unique flavors they bring to Hong Kong’s culinary traditions.

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