Food shop Lihim ni Maria in Baguio City offers “floral teas” that have become her customer’s favorite during the Valentine’s Day. PHOTO BY KIMBERLIE QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Apart from the usual rose bouquets during Valentine’s Day, a restaurant at Ili Likha here offers rose-flavored tea, ice cream and more.
The restaurant called Lihim ni Maria owned by Dyna Gonzales offers hot and cold drinks, ice cream and pasta made with roses and other flowers.
Gonzales said she first offered rose ice cream last year. “I just tried it last year with roses, this year I made gumamela (hibiscus), lavender, and cherry blossom ice cream,” she said.
Dyna Gonzales, owner of the Lihim ni Maria restaurant in Baguio City, demonstrates how to make flower-flavored tea, a favorite of her customers during Valentine’s Day. PHOTO BY KIMBERLIE QUITASOL
She said the gumamela, roses, and lavender are from her own backyard but the cherry blossoms are imported.
“The cherry blossom is in demand so far and I plant wild roses because they are easier to grow and bear flowers quickly,” she added.
Wild roses do not need chemical inputs and that the other flowers must be grown organically “because chemical inputs are not good for the health,” she stressed.
Gonzales also makes pasta with rose extract in the sauce and topped with rose petals.
“Flowers are fun to work on, they are colorful, relaxing to look at but can also add beautiful flavors to our food, and are healthy too,” she said.
Floral teas help calm and soothe the body and mind. “Gumamela is good for those with inflamed veins,” she said.
Flower-flavored ice cream is being offered at a restaurant called Lihim ni Maria in Baguio City. More customers come here on Valentine’s Day to try ice cream made with rose, gumamela, lavender, and cherry blossom. PHOTO BY KIMBERLIE QUITASOL
Gonzales said she thought of using flowers in her menu because of the Panagbenga festival in the city.
She changes her menu as the season changes. “February to March is the flower season while April to May is summer and then the Christmas season caps the year.
Although the flower-flavored drinks and food are available from February to March, Gonzales said these are all sold out during Valentine’s Day./lzb
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