If gastronomic variety is your thing, maybe you should try adding a totally different type of food in your menu. I’m talking about flowers here. They’ve been the romantic touch in a special menu for thousands of years. They are healthy, good looking and they smell so very nice. Let’s take a brief look at the 11 best edible flowers from your garden.
Edible culinary flowers are useful for a variety of dishes, from main dishes to desserts, and from salads to decorative presentations. Throughout the years they have been eaten by Europeans, Asians, East Indians, Victorian English, and Middle Eastern. Early American also used flowers as food. Tangled pea vines along with primitive roses are painted on Bronze Age artifacts. Also mustard flowers were included in Roman love potions so as to take advantage of their aphrodisiac powers.
Let’s begin with an obvious one:
No. 1: Lavender
Lavender flowers add a sweet floral note to your food, and are commonly used to flavor honey, cakes or teas. The blooms can also be eaten with cheese, or can be crystallized to create sugar decorations. They can also be added to meat or salads.
No. 2: Violets
They can be included in salads, vinegar, jelly, butter or flavored spreads or simply used as plate garnish or in salads. They can easily be candied or added to your daily tea. Both flower and leaf are edible.
No. 3: Rose petals
Roses are a famous food enhancement. We’ve all heard of the magical rose water, but maybe not everybody has had roses in syrups, decorations on icing, ice cream, dessert garnishes, jellies, jams, flavored butters or ice cubes. Feel free to toss all colors in salads, steep them in vinegar, or dry for tea.
No. 4: Hibiscus
Hibiscus is widely used around the world. Its most famous usage involves all sorts of teas. These flowers may flavor and color a beverage, be eaten raw, steamed, or pickled.
No. 5: Dandelions
We’ve all got them in our gardens somewhere, don’t we? Well it appears these flowers are extremely delicious when added in salads. They taste like honey, so fruit salads are an option, too. All parts of this common yard-flower are zesty and edible.
No. 6: Marigolds
You should give them a try in salads, and bear in mind the fact that they are a great substitute for the precious saffron. However pay attention to the type you eat, because not all of them are edible.
No. 7: Daylilies
Make sure to use them during daytime, as they close their petals during the night. They are traditionally used in Central Mexico’s cuisine. Their flavor is somewhere between sweet lettuce and green beans, with a peppery freshness reminiscent of the best radish.
No. 8: Daisies
Apart from including them in your salad, their buds may be pickled like capers, and here you have a cheaper substitute for the delicious Mediterranean seasoning.
No. 9: Sunflowers
The buds, petals and seeds are all edible. Add the petals to a green salad for a color contrast and a mild nutty taste. The green buds can be blanched, then tossed in garlic butter; they are similar in flavor to a Jerusalem artichoke. The kernels inside the seeds can be eaten raw or toasted as a snack.
No. 10: Tulips
Tulip petals have a sweet, pea-like flavor and a tender crisp texture. Try stuffing whole flowers with a shrimp or chicken salad. Carefully remove pollen and stigmas from the base of the flower before stuffing. Or just feel free to add them to your salads or sandwiches.
Let’s finish with an even more obvious one:
No. 11: Jasmine
The flowers are intensely perfumed and are traditionally used for scenting tea, but can also be added to shellfish dishes or fruit salads. Be careful though, because only jasmine officinale is edible. They other type is highly poisonous.
Well you definitely have some challenging weekend homework. Give them a try. They really taste incredible. You can also look some recipes up on the Internet, where you are likely to find something according to your own desire and appetite.