If you are a gourmet and enjoy all benefits of delicious food, then definitely you try to improve each subsequent meal. Gourmet food is expensively delicious not only for its quality ingredients and taste, but also for its aesthetics. Aesthetics in food are making a big comeback in today’s restaurants, and for good reason. While we eat, we may think that taste is all that our brain is processing, but it’s a much richer experience than that. The smell and the sight of the food are major points in the eating experience. One of the most natural and most appealing ways to brighten up and beautify a dish is the simple addition of an edible flower! There are many varieties which are edible, and add a subtle flavor into your dish. Cooking with flowers from your garden, though, is a cautious process, as you must be completely sure that what you are serving is neither poisonous nor chemically treated.
Once you have chosen your flowers safely, the options available for cooking are very wide. We don’t recommend you start viewing bouquets as scrumptious salads and chewing away upon receiving a gift.
The absolutely most important factor when deciding to cook with flowers is to be sure that the variety is edible, and not poisonous. The safest for edible flowers is those that will eventually grow into the vegetables and fruits that we already know and love in our garden. Often the flowers of vegetables, fruits, and herbs offer a reminder of the plant they come from, in a more subtle flavor. Examples are the basil, chive, garlic, and lemon flowers. These are good garnishes for dishes which may already use the fruit of the above-mentioned flowers. The chamomile flower is very gentle and pleasant also. Other flowers that come from plants we know are the arugula flower, the mustard flower, the squash flower (which can even be fried and eaten on its own), and the sunflower.
Edible flowers are not limited to those which later blossom into fruits and vegetables. Some of the prettiest flowers have petals which we can eat. Carnations, dandelions, jasmine, lavender, violets, rose and daisies are edible. Some of these add a terrific aroma to the dish, and a very romantic bite. Such flowers are perfect to add to a salad, because they add color, which always makes a salad more appealing, along with a delicate flavor.
There are important rules that absolutely must be followed when using flowers in cooking. The importance of certainty in the safety of the specific flower is of utmost importance. Never use an ingredient in your cooking that you are not sure is safe. Many flowers are poisonous, so be certain of the identity of the flowers you have chosen to cook with. The rule is where you get your flower from. Do not buy flowers for cooking from florists, unless specifically grown for eating purposes. Most flowers for a florist are not grown as comestibles, and thus are not treated as comestibles.
Especially for first-time flower cooks, use small amounts, as any food new to the digestive tract should be introduced slowly and easily. Growing your own edible flowers for food means the same rules as growing flowers for aesthetic pleasure, but be sure to avoid pesticides, and use natural methods of keeping bugs away: plant a variety of flowers near each other, as this equilibrium may help ward off bugs; remember that lady bugs are a good bug that eats many pests, so know your friendly bugs. Also, smearing some garlic and coffee grinds into the soil often keeps pests at bay as they hate the sharpness and bitterness of these foods. Lastly, use only the petals of flowers, as the pollen may cause allergies, and is often bitter.
Usage of flowers is so varied; they can accompany anything from hors d’oeuvres to dessert. Edible flowers are perfect garnishes for salty and sweet dishes, and petals add a delicate flavor and improve look to salads. Try making a salad mix of veggies and fruits, and throw in some flowers as well.
Herbal butters could look prettier with flower petals mixed into them. Or imagine the beauty of crepes with some lavender flowers spread throughout! Drinks will look sharp with flowers frozen into ice cubes, while teas are delicious with aromatic edible flowers. Try to add some rose jam to your tea is also a delicious option of sweetening your tea.
Once you start cooking with edible flowers, you can be so much more creative in your cooking, with results that all notice and love.
Choose some of edible and herb flowers: Begonia, Calendula, Carnation, Chrysanthemums, Clover, Cornflower, Dame’s Rocket, Dandelions, Day Lilies, English Daisy, Fuchsia, Garden Sorrel, Gladiolus, leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives, Angelica, Anise Hyssop, Bee Balm, Basil, Borage, Burnet, Chervil, Chicory, Dill, Chamomile, Fennel, Ginger, Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Honeysuckle, Johnny-Jump-Ups, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Lilac, Linden, Marigold, Marjoram, Mint, Nasturtiums, Oregano, Peony, Phlox, Primrose, Rosemary, Roses, Scented Geraniums, Snap Dragon, Sunflower, Safflower, Sage, Savory, Thyme, Tulip Petals…