The edible flower "made in France", a niche market around Nice

Nice (AFP) - The "somewhat cucumber" taste of borage flower, the peppery flavor of nasturtium: around Nice, horticulture has struggled to resist land speculation, but a niche market is developing around edible flower.

In the kitchens of the Hotel Negresco, on the Promenade des Anglais, the chef Virginie Basselot is crazy about it: "Not necessarily on all the dishes", she says, but "it is elegant and above all, it brings an interesting taste side.".

"We can go from very sweet scents, like the poet's carnation, to very intense scents, like maritime alyssum or nasturtium, where we are really on a taste of wasabi that does not leave the taste buds insensitive" , confirms Mireille Auda, 58, whose family market gardening started in 2004 in the ready-to-eat flower.

"Our primary job is to serve upscale catering, whose chefs are always ahead of the trends.By talking to them, seeing the magazines, we said to ourselves + Hey, there is a demand around the flower + ", says the farmer.Her crates of flowers are sent to restaurants and supermarkets, and represent 10% of her turnover.

“It's still a niche, not a market!”, She tempers.“We did it to rejuvenate our image, but for years, we lost money.The big competitors are Morocco and Israel ".

According to Ms.Auda, the region has four or five major producers of edible flowers: "Afterwards, there are a host of small producers with small varieties that are more difficult to implement, who work in short circuits and deliver the restaurants around their area.exploitation ".

Eve Vernice, 42, returned to the horticultural school in Antibes after having done a thousand trades, she is one of those tiny producers who have found their place in the luxury ecosystem specific to the Côte d'Azur, with its palaces.and its starred tables.

Posted Date: 2020-07-28

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