Cooking with flowers is a culinary practice that can be dated back thousands of years. From the ancient Greeks using violet petals in their wine to the Romans cooking with roses, the additional flavours, smells and textures that flowers can add to a dish give it that little bit extra. Even though this practice saw a decline from its height in the Victorian period it is currently seeing a revival with a number of top chefs and restaurant giving the use of flowers in food a modern makeover. Whether its in drinks jellies, soups, salads, oils, syrups or main dishes flowers can be used to add varying flavours, a replacement to seasonings or just to add a different sort of texture to a meal flowers, can be an eye catching addition that has the power to add all sorts of extra emotions to a meal.
Here are some tips to make your next dish look extra special on the table and electrify those tast buds with new and interesting flavours.
- Firstly never use non-edible flowers as a garnish. If some sees a flower on their plate it’s a safe bet they will eat it.
- Freeze whole small flowers in ice cubes or rings and use as an addition to punches, cocktails and other beverages.
- Sprinkle edible flowers in your green salads for a splash of colour and taste.
- To begin with take it easy on the amount of flowers you use in your cooking. Too much can cause digestive issues.
- Crystallised flowers look great as decoration on cakes.
- Be sure to check with a trusted source before experimenting with using flowers in cooking as some petals and flowers may be toxic.
- It can be difficult to buy fresh flowers directly for use in cooking but its very easy to grow your own.
A good comprehensive list of edible flowers can be found here