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Thirteen Rules of Edible Flowers


Thirteen Rules of Edible Flowers

flowersonaplate.jpgThe use of flowers in food dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek and Romans. And with the resurgence of the world’s desire to save the planet, the interest in edible flowers has become more desirable. In keeping with the current “trends” people may want to experiment with flowers and plants more as a food sourse.  However there are some rules or guidelines you must keep in mind when experimenting. First ofl all, remember that even if the flower isn’t poisonious does not mean it’s edible.

Before partaking of flowers , review these 13 simple rules:

  1. Before consuming any flowers,  consult a good reference book on edible flowers to be certain they can be used in your recipes and eaten.
  2. Not all flowers used as “garnish” or decorations on plates are edible. When in doubt, ask the server or chef or simply “throw it out.”
  3. When growing your edible flowers only use pesticides when necessary and only those  products labeled for use on edible crops.
  4. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers.It is common for these flowers have been treated with pesticides that are not considered safe for edible crops.
  5. Never eat flowers picked from the side of the road.
  6. Eat only the flower petals and prepare according to recipes. Remvoe the pistils and stamens from flowers when preparing your dishes.
  7. Different flavors occur in plants when grown in different locations because of soil types, fertilization, and culture. Environmental conditions play a big role as well. What has excellent flavor at one time may taste different at the end of the season or the next year.
  8. To avoid digestive problems, it is a good idea to introduce flowers into your diet in small quantities one species at a time. Too
  9. Because some flowers may aggravate allergies, it is best to start small when introducing edible flowers into your mealplans.
  10. Collect flowers at the optimum time. Pick fully open flowers in the cool of the day. Avoid flowers that are starting to wilt.
  11. Sample the flower for taste. If it’s bitter and you expected it to be sweet, you may not want to use it just yet.
  12. Flowers mature at different rates (just like people) and depending on the soil, time of year and weather conditions, this year’s crop may have a totally different taste than those used in previous harvests.
  13. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Edible flowers can add zest to your recipes, they add a whole new variety of flavors and colors that you may never have experiences.   

Have fun experimenting and experiencing the new dimension they can bring to your cooking.

Source: Horticulture News http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1995/7-21-1995/eatflow.html

Did You Know? Edible Flowers


Broccoli, cauliflower, and artichokes are all flowers. The top portion of broccoli are actually flower buds. Over time the top will burst into a bright yellow flower, hence the name broccoli “florets.” The small yellow flowers have a mild spiciness (mild broccoli flavor), and are perfect for salads and stir-fry (unless of course, you don’t like broccoli). 

The spice saffron is the stamen from the crocus flower.  Dried Mexican saffron (Safflower) is used as a food colorant in place of the more expensive and pungent Spanish Saffron. 

Capers are unopened flower buds to a bush native in the Mediterranean and Asian nations. 

Carnation petals are sweet and  can be used in wine, candy, or deserts such as cake decorating. Carnation petals are one of “secret ingredients” that has been used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century. 

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Check out the 234 Edible Flowers Suitable for Winemaking for a list of other flowers that can be used in wines.