Monday, May 21, 2007


Eating the Season

As in previous years, I watched to see when the cherries would be blooming in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens . I was a week late to see them in full bloom in Tokyo, though I did catch the blossoms further north. It was nice to come back to NYC and find the cherries just starting to blossom.

I discovered this year that the restaurant Matsuri does a special "sakura" menu to coincide with the season. Each dish comes with the ingredient of the season--cherry blossoms. If you order off of the special menu, you will even get a free pass to the Sakura Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, or, if you miss the festival as I did this year, free admission up to the end of the first week of May.

We ate this sushi, made with pink snapper and very delicately seasoned. I'm afraid I was so hungry, I plowed through the entire plate. But it was very good, with just a hint of the cherry taste.

More fish, again with cherry blossoms. This was tasty too, though I really loved the sushi.

An amazing, delicate and refreshing dessert, again with cherry blossoms.

Lest you think that eating cherry blossoms is some wierd fusion thing, think again. It's become quite popular in Japan, starting with a kind of "cherry blossom" tea, or sakurayu, which is actually quite salty and something of an aquired taste (IMO).

I recently visited some cousins who live near Tokyo. They told me that their area is famous for growing most of the cherry blossoms which are later seasoned and sold for sakurayu.

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