Chrysanthemum Drink

Chrysanthemum Drink 1

Many years ago, when I was still in Law School, I had a room-mate from Hong-Kong who routinely used to get ‘care packages’ from his mother containing all sorts of foodstuffs I’d never seen before. One article he received regularly was dried Chrysanthemum leaves. He would brew these into a tea and then drink it the belief that it would cure his rampant acne. Frankly, I could never see that it made any difference to his complexion at all but, later, I always wished that I had asked to taste it.

I found the can you see above in a small store in the Chinatown district of Ottawa in January and only just now got around to tasting it. It is a product of Malaysia, manufactured by Yoke Food Industries, and I see that the company also makes a wide variety of different beverages including ‘Water Chestnut’, and ‘Winter Melon’, and even one made with Bird’s Nest. When I first saw the drink, I half-expected it to be either artificially flavored, or possibly have nothing to do with Chrysanthemums at all, but the ingredients do indeed specify ‘Extract of Chrysanthemum’.

The extract, one notes, is third in the ingredient list and follows water and sugar as the primary components. Essentially then, what you thus have is sugar water flavored with a little chrysanthemum. The flavor of the flower is actually quite nice and reminded me of the sweet aroma of straw bales on a hot day but, unfortunately, that taste is just a fairly faint note, Overall, the beverage was pretty much like the ‘tea’ made from sugar and water my sister used to serve at doll tea-parties when she was a kid. It was insipid and not very good at all. Perhaps if they boosted the Chrysanthemum flavor, and maybe offset the sweetness with a sour acid taste, the company might have something I would enjoy…

 

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