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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Dahlias for dinner?

Come autumn, I would normally be digging up dahlia tubers and trying to store them for the following year. But this year I might be eating them instead.

According to the Swiss plant growing company, Lubera, they were a favourite food of the Aztecs, but when brought to Europe, became more popular for their colourful blooms. Five hundred years on, it’s reviving the edible tradition, having developed six varieties which it says have distinct flavours. 

Hoamatland, with petite, cylindrical tubers, has a delicate texture reminiscent of black salsify.
Black Jack, a giant dahlia, is described as very fine on the palate and tasting like asparagus and kohlrabi.
Kennedy is a hybrid with a hint of fennel and celery.
Sunset, with its elongated tubers, tastes fresh with a subtle kohlrabi aroma.
Buga M√ľnchen is sweeter and reminiscent of fresh parsley.
Fantastic cooks quickly, tastes sour, perfumed and smoky. 

Lubera says they can be cooked as you would a potato – boiled, roasted, mashed, etc. So – two for the price of one maybe: decorative flowers and a culinary experience.

The DeliDahlias should be planted in May/June, prefer full sun and thrive in a wide range of soil types. They’re available on the Lubera website at £4.99 for a 1.3 litre container.

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