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Preparing the Florets

Updated: May 1, 2022

Lilacs have come to symbolize spring and renewal because of being an early bloomer.

Different culture meanings:

Celtics~ Saw lilacs as magical because of their scent.

Russia~ holding a spring of lilac over a newborn was thought to bring wisdom.

Victorian age~ symbol of an old love. widows often wore lilacs during this time.

Different color meanings:

White lilacs~ represent purity and innocence.

Purple lilacs~ symbolize spirituality.

Bluish lilacs~ symbolize happiness and tranquility.

Magenta~ love and passion.

Preparing the Florets

The first step is to gather the flower bunches, and remove the florets. This is foraging at its most fragrant, and the best-smelling task in the kitchen.

Each lilac variety will have a slightly different taste. If you have options available, give the flowers a quick nibble to see which you enjoy best. Often, you'll find the purple varieties are more flavorful than white lilacs.

  1. Once you have chosen the lilac bush, look for flowers that are fresh and in full bloom. Cut a few bunches, moving around the plant so you don't take too many flowers from one spot. Gather more blooms than you think you'll need; three large branches of flowers will yield around 4 cups of florets.

  2. Remove the tiny florets from each bunch: Grab the flower (or a small bunch) and pull it from the stem. Make sure to only save the purple floret as the tiny green stems can make the syrup bitter.

  3. Place the florets in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse under cold water to remove dust and debris.

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