Sweet clover! A perfume for your pantry

In recent years, the sweet clover flower has achieved great popularity in chefs’ cooking practices. Its unique, complex fragrance, somewhat  reminiscent of vanilla, the scent of hay and of the tonka bean, inspires many new ways to use it in both sweet and savoury recipes. It’s already a great ally in pastry recipes, and I invite you to try it with pork, scallops, squash or Jerusalem artichokes.

Starting in July, it flowers besides our Quebec roads… on our country roads, and even in town. I sometimes use it freshly picked, but its scent
really becomes pronounced when it’s dried. It is very important to dry it well. Here in the Laurentians, we are lucky enough to have Gourmet Sauvage which features this wild flower and its exceptional perfume in a number of ways, and has done so for some years.

You should try their essence de mélilot – sweet clover essence When I include it on a menu and explain it to my customers, I often realize that it is still not well enough known.
The customers probably drove by many sweet clover flowers on their way to the chalet. I always bring a sample to let them smell its sweet, floral perfume In July, I like to use sweet clover in my strawberry desserts.

When time and patience permit, it’s with our famous wild strawberries – fraises des bois – that I like to pair it. Hard to resist a sablé breton – a Breton shortbread – garnished with wild strawberries and a crème diplomate – pastry cream mixed with whipped cream and gelatin – flavoured with sweet clover.

Do try sweet clover yourself. You won’t be disappointed.