Best Loroco Dishes - 2005
We first tasted the Central American green flower bud called loroco a couple of years ago. It's picked wild in El Salvador and has an intriguing flavor that's something of a cross between asparagus and chocolate. Up until now, at Houston pupuserias, we could sample only the frozen variety. Evidently, importing the fresh plant is now approved by the USDA, because suddenly, in the summer of 2005, Houston was flooded with fresh loroco. We ate it with scrambled eggs and in the traditional Salvadorian manner -- as a stuffing for pupusas. But at the Midtown restaurant Charivari, Transylvanian chef John Schuster got way more creative with the stuff. Schuster, who is famous for his spring asparagus menu, used fresh loroco instead of asparagus in some classic European preparations. Charivari's summer loroco feast featured loroco salad with prosciutto, loroco risotto topped with foie gras, and crepes stuffed with crabmeat and loroco. Watch out for further developments in this new Middle European-Central American fusion cuisine.