I want to talk about food and flowers, a topic that draws me into windows (like this one in Paris) with utter fascination, into plates with a delicately placed fork, and into pasta with a smile on my face that says, "Yes!! This is perfect!"
You would think the French would be the masters of this. They are. Witness the scene above that I found one rainy day in a store window in Paris.
Yet I remember many meals and desserts, from England to New England, that took beautiful little flowers into their arms and gave them a place of honor.
I remember a meal of pasta in England with tiny flowers and herbs that left impressions like Christmas trees pressed into ravioli dough so that it made a square plot of garden that you cut into.
I remember a dessert in New England where flowers were strewn across a chocolate confection, emphazing the organic vibes coming from the dessert.
And I remember a simple flower strewn salad I had one day for lunch at the Mini Palais in Paris.
In my garden in the south of France there was a stone wall. When we bought the house it had a tiny Madonna placed protectively in a small arch in one of the stone walls. Every Spring, all around her, thimble sized wild violets thrived from spits of dirt between the stones. I would take those tiny violets and smell them, love them, candy them, then eat them.
Flower love. I don't think it takes away from a dish at all. In fact, you rarely can taste them. But they enhance a dish if it is done right.
The animals or lettuce all gain nourishment from the same field of dirt, as do the flowers. They belong together. And the flowers, on a final dish, pay homage to the food we are about to eat.