Foco has done it again… sort of. Apparently, the fine folks from Foco have determined that using misnomers for their products has been done too many times, and it’s time to change. Enter Chrysanthemum Drink, or Bebida de Crisantemo, since Foco is worldly but not in a Francophone way.
I was told by my colleague that I should expect Chrysanthemum Drink to be unpleasant tasting. I wanted to be the Foco of the tasting world, and go against the grain, so I had relatively high expectations for the Chrysanthemum drink. You’ll find out in a later article that things that taste flowery tend to be kind of good. Chrysanthemum is a long, lilting word which made me think of cozy afternoons, lying in hammocks on the beach. I thought it would be sort of like an herbal tea, but a tad lighter. I thought it would be a pleasant yellow color, like beams of liquid sunlight (you can probably see where this is going). I was genuinely excited for David to bring to me Chrysanthemum drink. My expectations were, much like they were for Wax Gourd Drink, proven wrong. This completely fabricated personal account describes my experience:
I walked through the bamboo archway, into a peaceful herb and tea garden. The sun slowly set in front of me, reflecting off of the streams that laced through the vegetation. There was a palm frond hut to my side, its open door beckoning to me, inviting me to come inside and drink. So, I looked through my choices: herb tea, chamomile, green tea, and black tea. I wasn’t interested. I saw a garden bed with Chrysanthemum plants growing in it. A line of water came from the back of the bed. All of a sudden, a cup magically appeared in my hand, glistening with divine utensil-ness. I decided to dip my cup in the water that came from behind the garden. It looked beautiful in the waning sunlight. So, I took it into the hut. I noticed that it now looked vaguely like urine. However, if we learned anything from Shownice Boiled Salted Duck Eggs, it’s that appearances can be deceiving. So, I decided that I would drink it anyways. I put the cup up to my mouth, and immediately put it down. It smelled revolting. Hey, I thought to myself, smells can be deceiving as well. After all, there are no floating chunks in it. I put it up to my mouth, didn’t breathe in, and drank. Time stopped. I became very aware of my surroundings. The sun disappeared. It started raining fermented herring, and the smell permeated throughout the garden. The liquid flowed between my lips, and onto my tongue. I swallowed, and set the can down. I ruminated on the taste. I realized that it was a terrible idea to put Chrysanthemum flower runoff into my mouth. For all intents and purposes, it tasted like garden water. Well, seeing as I had never consumed garden water, it tasted like the smell of garden water, mixed with some fertilizer and a few dead flowers and leaves. In case you don’t understand what I’m implying, it was disgusting. I tried it again, hoping that it was an acquired taste, but it yielded the same result. I fled out of the hut, into the aquatic animal downpour, and out of the garden, spitting out the taste without break for as long as I could.
In other words, I’m sorry if I offended those who enjoy Chrysanthemum drink. However, if you have a tame, Western palette like mine, stay away from Chrysanthemum beverages. For your own sake, stick to Wax Gourd Drink and Soursop juice, even if they have terrible names.