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“The Evolution of Tulips as a Food: From War-time Necessity to Present-day Gastronomy”


Written by Jose Miguel Soriano del Castillo and Mi Inmaculada Zarzo Lobel, Available here.

Children eating food donated by a church organization during the Great Famine in the Netherlands between 1944 and 1945. Credit: Menno Huizinga / Wikimedia

Holland, late 1944. After liberation from the Nazis, there were still unexpected problems to be solved. Trains and river transport were closed because the rivers froze over, making it more difficult for people to access food.

This critical situation led to a Great famineespecially in the western urban areas of the country. Calorie consumption increased from 1,800 to 500 calories per person per day from May 1944 to February 1945.

It is estimated that from the fall of 1944 through May 1945, Between 20,000 and 25,000 Dutch citizens He died of malnutrition. This also affected pregnant women and children under one year of age, with long-term consequences for the health of these children.

A 16-year-old ballerina who was 1.70 meters tall and weighed 40.8 kilograms. I will mention later She suffers from asthma, jaundice, anemia and other diseases caused by malnutrition such as edema. “It starts with your feet and when it gets to your heart you die. For me, it was above my ankles when the Allied forces liberated us.”

She and her family survived by eating tulips.

Tulip soup to soothe the soul

The Dutch government was looking for food that was rich in energy and nutrients, as well as easy to access. During this phase of the war, tulips were no longer planted and a large reserve of uncultivated bulbs remained. Therefore, the authorities took advantage of this surplus to sell the bulbs in grocery stores and publish recipes in local magazines in an effort to help the population. The tulip onion soup was cooked during the only available gas hour per day.

One of these recipes was prepared in the following way: “Add water to the pot, cut the onion in half and remove the germ. Next, grate the onion on a fine grater and it is preferable to put it in the pot because the pulp changes color quickly. The bulbs are rich in starch, they will not thicken the soup as the flour does. It floats Pulverize it in soup like chips. If you have curry powder at home, add a little, then add a little oil or a small amount of fat. And don’t forget the salt!”.

Poisonous bulbs

Tulips, however, has a problem. Lamps mainly contain an allergen: called cGMP Tulipaline Awhich are mainly found in the outer layer of the bulb, but also in the stem, leaves and petals.

Discover the experts Bovine poisoning that ate hay and lily plants, in addition to the role of the compound as a causative agent for the so-called “lavender fingersThis dermatitis, which affects follicle transplantation specialists, is characterized by a red rash on the skin around the nails and between the tips of the first and second fingers of the dominant hand. It can only be prevented By limiting contact with these bulbous plants and using nitrile gloves (vinyl gloves do not work).

The danger of consuming lily bulbs lies in the variety or in the way they are prepared. In fact, not all species are edible, and those that do have a bitter taste. On the other hand, eating them uncooked can cause nausea, stomach pain, and other digestive problems.

in the modern kitchen

Today, lily bulbs can be dried, crushed, and added to cereal or ground into flour for making bread.

In addition, the flowers are also edible. They can be used to garnish dishes, in full flower (without the pistil and stamens) or by chopping up the petals and mixing them into a salad, though they don’t have much flavour. Also of note is the use as a garnish for the petals sweetened with sugar on a cake or eaten with syrup.

Efforts to recover this original ingredient are visible in today’s gastronomy. Margaret RobertsAn expert in food plants and medicines, he has collected recipes such as tulip and lily syrup stuffed with chicken mayonnaise and three bean salad with lily.

Another example to highlight is Johanna Huyberts van den Bergh, who collected some of them Thirty recipes; and Alain Caron, a French chef who has been based in the Netherlands for the past 40 years and runs several restaurants in Amsterdam. Caron invented dishes like Confit tomato, fennel and lily salad and oysters with tulip bulbs.

What could that young woman who discussed the ravages of the Dutch famine make of the culinary evolution of lavender? After years of starvation, she became one of the most famous actresses of the twentieth century, and at the end of April 1990 she was declared the Star of Botany in the Netherlands. The Dutch lamp industry paid tribute to her by naming a white variety of flower of exceptional luster, the Audrey Hepburn tulip.

Introduction to the conversation

This article has been republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons Licence. Read the The original article.Conversation

the quote: Tulips for Breakfast: The Flower as Food from War to Contemporary Gastronomy (2023, May 4) Retrieved May 4, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-05-tulips-breakfast-food-war-content programming

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