Flowers truly are nature’s gift, available to delight all the senses, including sight, smell and even taste! Nasturtiums, roses, even violets and daisies are edible. We should know, we had a taste of a pansy recently and it provided a satisfying herbal accent to our meal. Of course, it’s important to make sure the flower you want to consume is actually edible, but that’s easy to do, with most grocery stores selling a variety of options, whether fresh, candied or pickled. Flowers are an important element of cuisine in a variety of cultures too. The Middle East loves its roses, for instance, using the petals as garnish, and syrup in cakes and drinks. We use roses in our Muhallabieh recipe.
If you want to pick your flower based on its taste, here’s a few ideas. Nasturtium has a peppery taste, and its buds can be pickled and used like capers. Violets aren’t just lovely, they dress up any salad and have a mild taste that doesn’t compete with other flavors. Dandelion has been used for centuries as an edible, and the plant is even used to make wine. Bright yellow calendula can be used in place of saffron. So many flowers, so many options.
Let’s get making, baking and just having some floral fun!