I was wandering through my garden today and noticed one of my pink torch ginger plants (Etlingera elatior) had a couple of flowers on.
I have heard these are eaten in some parts of S.E. Asia, and a quick google search confirmed that and also that they are eaten at the bud stage, before they open into the fantastic flower shown above. One of my flowers was at that stage so I cut it to try.
As you can see, the bud was quite spectacular cut open, the colour would make it a lovely addition to a meal. Apparently it is commonly eaten with fish dishes, added at the end of cooking. I intend having some on a salad tonight. And the taste…well, I’m having trouble describing it, it is totally unique, with a slight bitterness, a little lemon flavour and maybe just a hint of something hot, more like pepper than ginger. Thinly sliced, I think it will make a lovely garnish on many dishes, both visually and tastewise. I will eagerly await more flowers.