Loroco Blossoms is an unopened, small flower bud that was harvested from a vine plant with flat and broad green leaves. The flowers can be harvested from their green casings while they are still in their tightest form. The buds are smooth in texture and have an angular, almost diamond-like shape. The buds have a delicate, crisp texture thanks to the tightly packed, small and softly white petals. Loroco is a strong, earthy, vegetal flavor that reminds of asparagus, chard, and artichoke. It also has a subtle, floral sweetness. The buds have a pungent, nutty, and acidic undertone that gives them a tangy, pungent taste.
The best time to find Loroco blossoms is in Central America’s late spring and early fall. The flowers can bloom all year in some tropical areas that have steady irrigation.
Loroco, botanically Fernaldia pandurata is an edible, unopened flowerbud that grows on a woody vine of the Apocynaceae plant family. The tropical plant is a native of Central America. It is also known locally by the name Quilite among indigenous peoples, which means “edible herbs.” Loroco is harvested when the buds have closed tightly and are still small. Although the flowering vines are primarily grown in small gardens for daily culinary use, they can also be commercially cultivated to export to the United States. Loroco can be used in a variety of culinary applications as a natural flavoring. It is well-loved for its pungent, sweet, and tangy taste.
Loroco provides fiber to stimulate digestion and calcium to strengthen bones and teeth. The flower buds contain niacin which is a vitamin that aids in the body’s processing of food into energy. It also contains other nutrients like vitamins A, C, and iron.
Loroco can be used in a variety of light cooking methods, such as steaming, stir-frying and boiling. You can chop the buds and add them to salads, rice-based dishes, tamales, or pizza toppings. Loroco can be used in omelets, sauces or as a topping for soups and stews. Loroco is often cooked in a cream-based sauce, and served over chicken, fish, and vegetables in Guatemala. For extended use, the flower buds can be dried, pickedled, or frozen. Loroco is a great pairing with pasta, chicken, fish, seafood, and cheeses like Monterey Jack and mozzarella. The unopened buds from Central America are removed from the vine and placed in baskets that allow for good ventilation. They can be kept in the fridge for up to two days. The buds should be consumed immediately after harvest for the best flavor and quality.
Information about ethnic/cultural information
Loroco is best known for its use in pupusas (El Salvador’s national dish). Pupusas, which are thick tortillas made from corn and rice dough, are one of the most inexpensive meals in the country. They are filled with cheese, beans and meats. You can find many varieties of pupusas at local markets, street vendors and pupuserias. The traditional way to eat the pupusa is as a snack, dinner, or breakfast. For a complete meal, pupusas can be served with a curtido (fermented cabbage slaw), hot sauces and salsa. Loroco can be mixed with white cheese called quesillo to make pupusas. Pupusas filled with Loroco are also known as pupusas por queso y Loroco. In El Salvador, the flowers buds are used fresh most of the time. Loroco is not available fresh outside of Central America and El Salvador. Some restaurants add pickled flowers to their pupusas for a salty, tangy flavor.
Loroco is a tropical plant that is found in Central America’s tropical regions. It has been wild growing since ancient times. It is a popular flowering vine in El Salvador and Guatemala. This variety has been used to flavor daily cooking. Loroco was also introduced to Central America by migrating peoples. Loroco is available fresh in Central America’s markets and can also be grown for export to the United States. The flower buds can be purchased online in pickled, dried or frozen form when they are exported.
Recipes that use Loroco Blossoms One is easiest, three is harder.