THIS TIME OF year hereabouts everyone goes nuts for flor de calabaza, pumpkin flower, or maybe it’s squash in English. Don’t know, don’t care. Irrelevant.
The interesting thing is that the locals go nuts about it. They eat it in every possible form. They crow about it on restaurant menus. The fact that it’s seasonable just boosts the allure.
As you can see, it’s a very pretty flower. That’s my child bride holding a bouquet she bought in the neighborhood plaza this morning while we were doing our exercise walk. She paid 10 pesos, which is about fifty cents U.S.
When flor de calabaza is included in a recipe for whatever and cooked, it loses its beauty entirely, but that does not reduce its popularity one bit.
Today I’m going to reveal something that may get me run out of Mexico. I may have my citizenship revoked. I may receive death threats. Only the Goddess knows, but here goes:
Flor de calabaza has no taste whatsoever. None.
The king is parading in the streets buck naked, and everyone is oooing and ahhing at his raiment. And not only that, as I mention above, when it’s cooked it loses its loveliness.
So what is going on here?
Flor de calabaza is a beautiful flower. And it’s edible. This means its beauty must also make it tasty.
‘Fraid not. So flor de calabaza is merely an idea, a notion, a myth of sorts. I often say Mexican life is like Alice’s Wonderland, and this is a lovely — but tasteless — example.
Don’t tell anyone I wrote this. Por favor.
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(Note: My child bride admitted a couple of years ago — the first actual Mexican to do so — that flor de calabaza is tasteless. So why did she buy it? To include it in her pastries for the weekly sidewalk sale. Myth sells, amigos.)