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Cooking with Cannabis: Pickled Magnolia Blossoms

By Sebastian Carosi
Published: March 9, 2022 | Last updated: March 9, 2022 06:46:50
Key Takeaways

Steal magnolias…. then pickle them.

Helping to educate the dining public, and everyone out there that consumes food for that matter, about the abundance of unconventional foods sources seems to fall on the shoulders of today’s creative chefs. For me, being a wild crafter and forager finding creative condiments using unconventional wild edible items to add to your repertoire is always great. Sharing them all with you is truly what it is all about for me.

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While foraging is an inert part of human nature, it has been superseded by the convenient food sources. Yet there is plenty of interesting foods to forage for that are growing within a short hike or walk from your house depending on where you live and what time of year it is.

The beautiful magnolia is an ancient tree with relatives over 95 million years old, and its leaves, bark, and blossoms are all edible and have been consumed for several thousands of years now. The flowers consumed raw have a piquant spiciness that gives way to a creaminess that matches its intense floral nose, reminiscent of rose, ginger, and cardamom.

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Having spent many of my culinary years in the American south (Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia), I quickly learned from some of the old timers what a scuppernong was, ate a paw paw, drank muscadine, and how to pickle magnolia blossoms. The process was taught to me by an old Appalachia native, who invited me to his makeshift lunch table to try his souse. I didn’t even know what the hell souse was (souse is head cheese in vinegar). So, he broke me off a piece of clear souse with little bits of meat in it and placed it on a saltine cracker and topped the bite sized snack with a bright pink pickled magnolia blossom. I’d never had Appalachian souse and had never had a pickled magnolia blossom before that either. Fast forward almost 30 years and I love pickling magnolias and I love souse. I later learned that they pickled magnolia blossoms in England, but I will always associate them with Appalachia.

Over the years I have adapted the recipe to fit a multitude of uses. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have over the years. And make sure you ask your neighbor before you steal their magnolias.

Cannabis Pickled Magnolia Blossoms

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
WAIT TIME: 15 minutes
YIELD: 2-3-pint jars
TOTAL THC/CBD: Depends on the potency of the cannabis
STATUS: Condiment

EQUIPMENT

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  • Medium saucepan
  • Large spoon
  • Potato peeler
  • Several pint jars and lids

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. fresh magnolia petals or blossoms (stolen from your neighborhood tree)
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup cannabis rice wine vinegar
  • 5 dry hibiscus flowers
  • ½ cup cannabis honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sea salt
  • 6-8 ounces fresh ginger strips (use a potato peeler)
  • 1 piece of orange peel (zest) (use potato peeler)
  • 1 drop geraniol

DIRECTIONS

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  1. In a med saucepan mix all the ingredients except the magnolia petals
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil
  3. Add the petals and stir well, simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat
  5. Stir well to separate the petals and allow to cool at room temperature
  6. Transfer to mason jars with lids and refrigerate
  7. Use in place of pickled ginger as a garnish

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Written by Sebastian Carosi | Chef, Leader of Farm 2 Fork

Profile Picture of Sebastian Carosi

Chef Sebastian Carosi trained at Portland’s Western Culinary Institute, apprenticed with renowned chefs in Italy, and went on to lead the Farm 2 Fork movement in New England and the mid-Atlantic states. Find him on Instagram at @chef_sebastian_carosi.

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