Earlier this week Iley and I snuck in an afternoon swim at Steps Beach, which was much needed. The water was finally the perfect temperature and was calm and clear-just the way I like it. Not a fan of the rough surf. Anyway, on the steps leading down to the sand, I was enveloped by a perfume of sweet honey laden blossoms. I stopped; inhaling this ecstasy that is called honeysuckle. On the way up the steps, refreshed and salty, we stopped once again to pick some of these delicate fairy-like blooms, careful to avoid the onslaught of shiny three-leaved vacation spoilers, aka poison ivy, that seem to cover every inch they can reach on the island. Our foraging continued on bicycle to more abundant spots along the bike paths and roadsides. Baskets full of sweet-scented blossoms, we headed home eager to turn them into a fragrant syrup.
Syrups are a favorite versatile preparation for any wild edible/medicinal blossom. Honeysuckle has been used medicinally for thousands of years because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, depurative, and diuretic properties among others, and is also used to reduce blood pressure. You can learn more about it here. Honeysuckle’s pleasant aroma and taste are wonderful added to drinks, as well as cakes and biscuits.
Take Note: Before you go out foraging make sure you know what you are picking. There are many varieties of honeysuckle and only some are edible. What we picked is Lonicera japonica or Japanese Honeysuckle.