Quotes from The Virago Book of Food: The Joy of Eating
There are certain aspects of British cookery that never cease to fascinate me, and one of these is the extraordinary ability we have to gather up the delicate flavours of our countryside and transform them into exquisite dishes. Sweet-scented violets, primroses, cowslips, lime blossom, elderflowers and roses have been picked by British cooks since time immemorial and converted into fragrant messes. But while primroses, cowslips and lime blossom have slipped from common usage, the elderflower has remained popular.
It is one of those subtle flavourings that makes a dish taste quintessentially British. What Frenchman would dream of adding elderflower to his rhubarb compote? What American would add a dash of elderflower cordial to his spritzer? And surely no Italian would churn a gooseberry and elderflower sorbet? Yet as far as the British are concerned, elderflower, with their sweet scent of Muscat grapes, add an indefinable charm to countless dishes from cooling drinks to creamy custards.'