Kiku is the Japanese word for chrysanthemum, the gorgeous and regal flower synonymous with autumn in Japan. Originally brought from China as early as the fifth century, Kiku flowers quickly transcended their aromatic and medicinal value and came to symbolize Japanese royalty, with the imperial family long ago earning the nickname of the “chrysanthemum throne,” and its visage portrayed on the fifty-yen coin to this day.
Beyond its cultural significance, Kiku flowers present a delicately piney, herbaceous, silky flavor profile that can be layered onto many dishes as a garnish, or even gently sautéed to accentuate their potential for a buttery sweet aftertaste. We particularly appreciate Kiku flowers as a finishing touch for high-quality sashimi or chawanmushi, the classic Japanese egg custard.
Aichi Prefecture, Japan