Edible flowers aren’t a new thing, but garnishing your food with them can surely intimidate diners. Nobody is really sure whether the flowers are placed for decoration or for eating. Although some flowers are intended to be eaten, new diners will often wonder if they’d taste good or, just like parsley, be best left on the plate.
If you’re new to this phenomenon, you should know that there are a lot of flower blossoms which you can enjoy fresh and even cooked. It may be a bit tricky to find edible flowers being sold in the market but it is easy to grow them in your garden. Since the flowers are intended to be eaten after harvesting, it makes more sense if you’d grow them yourself.
A Few Words of Caution When Selecting Your Edible Flowers
Be sure you only eat flowers when you’re absolutely sure that they’re edible. Just because you see flowers as a garnish, doesn’t always mean they’re edible
Don’t ever eat flowers which have been treated with pesticide that weren’t labeled safe for use on food products. Be sure to follow the pesticide label instructions when you’re harvesting your flowers.
Never eat the flowers which you get from florists or roadsides.
Tips When Harvesting and Storing Flowers
For most of the flower varieties which have been listed as edible, only refer to the petals of the plant. Before eating or serving the flowers, gently remove the pistils as well as the stamens. If there are attached sepals you must remove them too.
Expect that the flavor of the edible flowers may vary depending on the season, as well as the growing location.
Flowers that are edible are supposed to be harvested early in the morning, when the temperature is cool. If you aren’t sure you’re going to use them immediately, cut them and leave the stems in place before keeping them in water. Alternately, you may also store these flowers with a few dampened paper towels and keeping them in the fridge.
Common Flowers You Can Grow In Your Garden
Borage – This has a fresh cucumber-like scent and taste. It has striking blue flowers which look great when you toss them in a fresh salad.
Pot Marigolds or Calendula – The petals of the calendula are great with both cooked and fresh dishes because the flower can be used as a substitute of saffron. The yellowish to orange petals can give food a beautiful color and tastes once you chop and sauté them.
Gem Marigolds – Known also as the Lemon or Tangerine Gem, it has a citrusy flavor, even if you don’t get to have the citrus scent. Gently pull the petals off and remove the bitter part of the flower.
Pansy – You’d be surprised by this one because the entire flower is edible! Pansies are great in giving off a minty flavor which make them great in candying, as well as cute decorations for hors d’oeuvres.
Squash Blossoms – These edible flowers are very tasty, especially when you stuff them up with a savory filling and fried to a crispy perfection.