Edible Flowers


Mother nature, wise as always, has bestowed us with the gift of flowers. Not only
are they beautiful to look at, symbols of love, and bearers of the most delicious
fragrances possible, in addition many of them are edible. Here are our favorite
ones:

Dandelion

This wonderful plant is as delicious is it is nutritious. It is packed with
vitamins like A,C and K, as well as minerals like calcium and iron. Dandelion
root is used to make dandelion coffee and its petals are used to make dandelion
wine. They can also be eaten cooked or raw, and have a honey-like taste, and
leaves can be used in salad raw or steamed. It also used as an ingredient in root
beer.

Calendula

 This pretty flower of such a deep yellow color is dried up and used as
a substitute for saffron. Petals can also be eaten in salads or added to your tea
for subtle flavor and scent.

Borage

Also known as star flower, has a fresh flavor in the lines of mint and
cucumber. The leaves or petals are traditionally used in soups, sauces and as
fillings for ravioli and pansoti. It is an ingredient of London’s premium gin, Gilpin’s
Westmorland Extra Dry Gin. Often it is used to accompany drinks, or inside the
ice cubes to add a refreshing flavor.

Rose

Its delicate floral notes are perfect additions to Middle Eastern, Indian and Greek foods such as baklava or rice puddings and are wonderful accents to delicate French pastry glazes, creams, and madeleine, as well as British tea cakes. Rose Water can flavor sugars and cookies for tea time and can be served as a beverage in sweetened hot water, milk, and lemonades. Rose Water has an affinity for vanilla, cream, white chocolate, rice and mild cheeses such as Brie or cream cheese.

Lavender

 The aromatic bold yet slightly sweet floral flavor is best known to the world as part of the Herbs de Provence spice blend, which was actually made up by spice wholesalers in the 1970’s. This essence is quite strong so make sure to use sparingly. It goes well with savory dishes such meats, chicken and fish and is sometimes paired with sheep’s-milk and goat’s-milk cheeses as well as sweets such as custards, glazes, and syrups.

Violets

The magnificent and pungent flavor of this flower works well whole to decorate salads and stuffing, with edible beauty, or as an essence to grace savory dishes such as grilled meats and vegetables to sweets such as soufflés, cakes, syrups, jams, fruit salads, cakes, cookies, and scones.

Hibiscus

This essence is vibrant, bitter, and full-bodied. It is found in teas, refreshing beverages and liquors around the world. In Mexico they make freshing agua de Jamaica, Hibiscus flower juice, as well as eaten dried and candied. This flower works perfectly in sorbets as well.

Jasmine

This beautiful and delicate essence is found in many Asian, Middle Eastern, and French dishes. Is most often used in puddings, scones, glazes, syrups and teas.

Elderflower

Fragrant and refreshing essence that is most common in French, Austrian and Central European cuisine. Traditionally used making simple syrups, compotes, jams, jellies, liquor, sodas, and refreshing beverages. Mercer Kitchen, a Jean-George restaurant in NYC makes a delicious Orange and Elderflower soda.

Orange Blossom

Used in a variety of Persian, Indian, Arabic, Turkish, and French dishes, this flower essence is a delicious flavoring for custards and puddings, cakes and cookies, candies and other confections. It compliments vanilla, almond, cream, lemon and other citrus flavors.

COMMENTS