For a touch of exoticism in your daily meals, why not try adding some flowers to brighten up the dish, or petals to add some interesting flavours?
As long as the flowers are free of pesticides/chemicals, here are a handful of common flowers which can be used in food or cocktails:
- Borage - tiny blue flowers with slight cucumber flavour, eaten raw in salads.
- Chrysanthemum - for herbal tea or salads, Asian variety 'Shungiku' also used for stir fries.
- Fuscias - used for salads and as a garnish with fish, chicken or grilled vegetables.(This turns out to be incorrect - please do not use the petals of fuschia for eating - please see the attached comment for more details.)
- Lavender - can be used to flavour jelly, icecream, baked goods and grilled meat.
- Hibiscus - mild flavour, good for decorating and adding flavour to salads.
- Pot Marigolds - petals can be used for salad, citrus flavoured.
- Pansies - with sweet, tart flavour, can be candied or used straight for salads
- Roses - petals with slight fruity flavour, can be used for rosewater or in food preparation. Rose hips(below petals) are sour and can be used in infusions.
Be careful though..some are not to be eaten!
Some popular cut flowers are poisonous to eat and these include Calla Lilies, Delphinium, Hyacinth, Iris, Narcissus (Daffodils and Jonquils), Poppy and Tulips.
Edible flower storage
Long-stem edible flowers should be placed in water and stored in a cool place, whilst short-stem flowers can be layered between damp towels or stored loosely in a plastic bag and refrigerated.
Some inspiring flower recipes can be found here on the BBC website.
And for a more comprehensive listing of flower flavours.
First article by our new writer Tracy, posted by Bob