i hate to admit this, but during my tenure in the big[ger] city i seldom cooked, if at all. and it was because authentic and quality cuisine across the board was available everywhere! from fine dining establishments to food trucks and hidden gems of mom&pop shops, there were always the joints that consistently lived up to their reputation and hype! in addition, there was always what seemed to be a new up and coming spot that offered cool little twists on traditional dishes and flavors too which were also a favorite passtime i regularly looked forward to exploring and enjoying.
the smell and nostalgia of asian marts and supermarkets are within some of my earliest childhood memories... fruits and vegetables that came imported fresh from asia were always readily available and considered staple ingredients for me growing up so i just assumed it was for everyone. little did i know what i thought to be common were actually "exotic" to the average person.
today, i bring you banana blossoms. another thing i'd not realized until recently was the amount of care and time we take in prepping these "exotic" vegetables for consumption! for instance, preparing these florets is no joke! you have to literally take out the stamen inside each piece before it goes in a bath of lime-aciduated water to keep it from browning... and it's quite time-consuming. no wonder they're not popular in menu item dishes... but i sure am glad i was raised with the knowledge and palate to be able to incorporate and appreciate them - heck, even experiment with them in various dishes like i did here - for my own satisfaction! :) yummm.