A lost art that dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, to the reign of England’s Queen Victoria, cooking with edible flowers is an absolute must-try for any flower lover.
Find out if your favorite flower made it to the list.
Sweet and somewhat citrus taste, many people say hibiscus reminds them of cranberries. Hibiscus petals are proven to pack a punch when added fresh or dried in teas and other beverages. It can also be used as a garnish for fresh salads.
Roses’ flavors differ, depending on variety and their growing conditions. In general, 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, jam, butter, punches, and many more.
Tart with a bit of grassy, minty undertones. Petals have a mild, friendlier flavor. Pansies are popularly used as an appetizing garnish in fresh fruit or vegetable salads, desserts, and even soups.
Petals are sweet and are known to be added by the Chinese to infuse flavor in tea and water. Prettify your summer salads and cold beverages by throwing in a few peony petals.
The golden yellow petal is the only part that you can safely eat from marigolds. 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.
Carnation petals taste sweet. According to What’s Cooking America, carnations are the ultimate secret behind the making of Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century.
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.
Tangy, peppery, and reminds you a bit of cauliflower. Blanch petals and add to fresh salads. Young leaves and stems are usually added to Asian dish called Chop Suey or Shingiku to the Japanese. The base of the flower can be extremely bitter.
Fragrant, floral, and citrus. Their signature zesty flowery flavor make them great ingredients in fresh salads. They can also be candied or crystallized with egg whites and sugar.
Nasturtiums have been tried and tested in the kitchen scene. A common choice in cooking, the vibrantly colorful flowers are said to be sweet but slightly peppery, reminiscent of watercress. Nasturtiums can be added to fresh salads. You can fill their flowers with savory stuffing. Use their seed pods as a pocket-friendly alternative to capers. You can also add throw them fresh into sandwiches, appetizers, and cocktails.
However, before you whip up one incredible dish after another starring these beautiful edible blooms, here are a few helpful reminders.
- Go organic. Most commercially grown flowers are heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides.
- Keep it fresh and simple as much as possible. Cooking with edible flowers require little to no seasoning.
- Double-check for sensitivities first (yours and your guests) before cooking or serving.
- Use edible flowers sparingly to prevent overpowering taste and more importantly digestive issues.
Lastly, when in doubt if a flower is edible, don’t eat it. Don’t be afraid to ask and do your due diligence researching.