Let's eat some flowers - Chinadaily.com.cn
让我们吃点花吧—中国日报网
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2019-05-15 20:46
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Nothing declares spring is here louder than the pendulous blooms of the black locust tree, yanghuai. It announces the season by bursting into huge clusters of ivory-colored flowers.

没有什么比刺槐树(洋槐)上摇曳的花骨朵更能为这里的春天增色了。它绽放成巨大的象牙色花朵,宣告着春季已然到来。

These will often become lunch.

这些花朵通常可以当作午餐的食材。

Our Nanny (ayi in Chinese) guards the locust tree in front of our backyard like a dragon and when she sees the buds appear, she will go forth with a pair of scissors and harvest the flowers.

我们的保姆(中文称阿姨)像一条龙一样守护着我们后院的槐树, 她一看到有花蕾出现,就立即拿起剪刀将花蕾剪下来。

This has become an annual ritual, this spring foraging.

这已经成为一年一度的仪式,今年春天同样要采集一些食物。

The black locust is a naturalized tree with fragrant white pea flowers. It is a popular tree all around Beijing and it seeds very freely. While it grows unnoticed most of the year, in spring, it becomes the focus of many, because its pea flowers are sweetly scented, and edible.

刺槐是一种长有芳香白豌豆花的归化树种。这种树在北京很受欢迎,它的种子的生长规律也是非常自由的。虽然它的生长在一年内大部分时间里都不太引人注意,但在春天,它却能成为许多人的焦点,因为它的豌豆花闻起来味道香甜,而且可以食用。

Around here, the country folks pluck the flowers, coat them in cornmeal or flour and then steam them. It's eaten like rice, a fragrant seasonal treat.

在北京周边地区,乡下人摘下这些花朵,并将它们用玉米粉或面粉挂糊,然后蒸熟,这样吃起来像是吃米饭一样,是一种味道芳香的季节性食物。

Ayi makes both cornmeal and plain flour versions, and she loves both.

阿姨喜欢做玉米粉和普通面粉。

What do they taste like? They're faintly fragrant, with just a hint of sweet from the nectar, but otherwise ... I'm afraid I think it's a waste of so many flowers.

它们尝起来像什么味道?有些淡淡的香味,只尝到一点点甘露的甜味,但除此之外,我认为这样浪费了太多的花朵。

But I can imagine these being special delicacies when times were hard back then. I guess nostalgia for the "good old bad old times" makes ayi want to recapture that taste.

但是我可以想象,在过去的艰难岁月里,这些都是特别美味的佳肴。我想,是那种对“旧日好时光”的怀旧之情让阿姨想重温那种味道。

I don't have that baggage and frankly I prefer looking at the blooms on the tree.

我没那种包袱,坦白地说,我更喜欢看树上的花朵。

I have seen my neighbors raid the trees, breaking off huge branches and carting them off. It disturbs me to see such carnage, but the trees seem to survive quite well, and they bounce right back the next year.

我看到我的邻居们突袭树木,砍下巨大的枝干并把那些枝干运走。看到这样的大屠杀,我感到特别不安,但树木似乎活得很好,明年就会恢复过来。

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