Love, Grow, Eat: 5 Edible Flowers
Looking for Edible Flowers? Experiment with the tastes and texture edible flowers have to offer. What’s your favorite flower? A traditional rose? The cheerful snapdragon? The tulip that announces spring? Now, what if I told you that all of those flowers (or parts of them) are edible? Edible flowers can brighten up your palate as well as your garden.
Here is the list of edible flowers and how you can incorporate them in your own recipes.
This flower is commonly blue, but some varieties are white, pink, and red. It is also known as bachelor’s button, and has a slightly sweet to spicy, clove-like flavor. You will commonly see it used as a garnish. Feeling adventurous? Try adding cornflower to your tea.
Dandelion flowers are sweetest when picked young. They have a honey-like flavor, but mature flowers are bitter. The buds are tastier than the flowers so it’s best to pick these when they are very close to the ground, tightly bunched in the center, and about the size of a small gumball. Try them raw or steamed. Young leaves taste good tossed in salads. When serving a rice dish use dandelion petals like confetti over the rice. Growing dandelions couldn’t be easier as they are a common weed in most lawn and gardens.
Rose petal flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Many say their flavor is reminiscent of strawberries and green apples–sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. NOTE: Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. Miniature varieties are a fun garnish for ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on salads. Freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punches. Try using the petals in syrups, jellies, perfumed butters and sweet spreads. According to Edibeaustin.com, in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey and neighboring countries in the region, you’ll find the rose firmly planted in the list of important culinary seasonings. In fact, the rose is so important that the International Herb Association designated it the official herb of the year for 2012.
The delicate garden variety snapdragon can taste bland to bitter. Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Most seed packs will offer a beautiful spectrum of red, yellow, pink, and white flowers. Their unusual shape adds dimension to your desserts and salads. Try the white flower on a rich, chocolate dessert. I love their ability to snap and hold themselves onto cocktail glasses.
Tulip petals have a broad range of tastes that are reminiscent of baby greens, sweet peas, and cucumbers. The colorful petals make a lovely addition to spring salads or desserts. It’s important to note that the petals are edible, but there is some controversy regarding whether the bulb is edible. My advice: Don’t risk it; stick to only eating the petals. “Every Dutchman knows the story, during (WW2), people ate tulip bulbs. The only reason for this was hunger. The Netherlands suffered a great famine in the winter of 1944-1945. Eating tulip bulbs is not something our ancestors did for fun, they did it because there was nothing else to eat.”
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