Oftentimes you see bespoke flower arrangements so tastefully done, they look good enough to eat. Lo and behold, it turns out you actually can.
While the idea of eating meals with flowers as a main ingredient may seem as a novel idea to some, history shows us otherwise. Edible flowers has been used as far back as the ancient Roman times, and more popularly during the Victorian era.
Credit: Taste of Beirut
These days, the culinary world is embracing the use of edible flowers once again, with prominent chefs and restaurants whipping up countless ways to creatively incorporate it into as many culinary masterpieces as possible.
If you’re a bit of a kitchen whiz yourself and you love flowers, this is an area worth taking some time to explore and experiment on. A little caveat though: not all flowers are edible. To give you an idea, we’ve listed down 10 flowers that are actually edible. Check it out:
- Calendula or Marigolds – Their golden yellow petals are the only part that’s edible. It has a sharp, spicy, peppery, and sometimes even bitter flavor that’ll remind you of saffron. When added to soups and stews, the petals can act as natural food coloring, giving off a yellow tint.
Lilacs – These flowers smell good. Their signature zesty flowery flavor make them great ingredients in fresh salads.
Sunflowers – Unopened sunflower buds can actually be steamed and eaten as you would an artichoke. Its bright yellow petals can add a splash of color and flavor to your otherwise boring salad.
- Peonies – Peony petals are a popular tea ingredient in China. Enjoy your own peony tea or at home by adding its petals into boiling water or infuse your cold drinks with peony by letting their petals soaked or afloat.
- Roses – We can’t wait to try this one ourselves. Roses’ flavors depend on variety and their growing conditions, but they’re noted to have sweet and fruity flavors that’ll make you think of strawberries and green apples. Sources say all roses are edible, with darker colored roses having a stronger flavor, and the ways to use them seem endless. Use them in salads, desserts, spreads, jams, butters, punches, and many more.
A Few Tips
While cooking with these bright, beautiful, and interestingly, edible flowers sound exciting, here are some important reminders just to be on the safe side:
- Go organic. Be sure your edible flowers are free from any form of potentially hazardous chemicals.
- Do your due diligence. Before throwing any flower into the skillet, it’s best to do your own research first if it’s really edible and which parts are in fact edible. Asking an actual chef or someone who has actually had success in cooking edible flowers is not a bad idea.
- Use edible flowers sparingly. Aside from the fact that their flavor may be too strong or overpowering, some flowers may also cause digestive issues. Remember, a little goes a long way.
- Double-check for allergies and sensitivities. This is especially important when you’re cooking for guests who may have serious reactions to some of the edible flowers above.