If floral flavors turn you off—if you find lavender too soapy, rose too perfumed, jasmine too cloying—osmanthus might change your mind. The edible flower has a delicate flavor more reminiscent of summer fruit than perfume botanicals.
That delicacy is captured nicely in these Jello jiggler-esque Osmanthus Jellies ($2.50) at Flushing's Express Tea Shop, a bubble tea and dim sum stall in the basement of the Golden Shopping Mall with an entrance on 41st Road. Three jellies come to an order; they're firm, but less brittle and more bouncy than more common agar-set Asian jellies. The flavor of osmanthus is a little hard to describe, and admittedly these aren't the purest expression of it, but expect a honeyed sweetness tempered by berries, with flower petals trapped inside for texture.
The Golden Shopping Mall is full of great but heavy food competing for your attention. This light dessert may be the refreshing pause you need to go back for a second helping.
Express Tea Shop
In the Golden Shopping Mall 41-28 Main Street, Basement, Stall 26, Flushing, NY 11355 (map) 718-496-1186