These days, many first-class restaurant chefs and creative home cooks all over the world garnish their recipes with flower petals for a little touch of elegance. Their secret when using flowers on food is to make the dish as simple as possible. As simple as it may seem, they also warn not to put too many things or flavors that will overwhelm the subtle taste of the flower. This almost lost gastronomical art is enjoying a pleasant revival and demand nowadays.
However, not all people can afford edible flowers. This is because these types of flowers are expensive, fragile and usually consumed the same day that they are picked. Day-old edible flowers lose some of its flavor and texture. If you wish to have a salad with a plenty of nasturtiums, guacamole with cilantro flowers and some mushrooms, the best way to get it is to grow them your own in order to ensure that you eat it fresh.
History of Edible Flowers
The culinary use of edible flowers can be traced back thousands of years. It was first mentioned in 140 B.C. Different cultures all over the globe have used flowers in their traditional foods and drinks.
Oriental recipes use daylily buds while the Romans utilized mallow, violets and roses. Hispanic and Italian cultures provided us their stuffed squash blooms and the Asian Indians uses rose petals in plenty of their recipes.
Chartreuse, a 17th century green liquor that was developed in France, uses petals of carnation as its main secret ingredient. Finally, the bitter dandelions were one of the herbs mentioned in the Bible’s Old Testament.
What are the Different Kinds of Flowers in my Home Garden that Can be Eaten?
Knowing which kinds of flowers are edible can surely help you separate the poisonous ones to those that are not. If you are fond of preparing or cooking food, it pays a lot to have knowledge of flowers that can be used to garnish specific types of recipes.
Here is a shortlist of edible flowers that can be found in your garden or your local flower shops:
- English Daisies
- Tuberous Begonia
What are the Benefits of Growing Edible Flowers in your Garden?
Growing these flowers in your home garden can benefit you in more ways. First, because these edible flowers are expensive, you can save plenty of money if you wish to use it in your salad. If you have an abundant supply of these edible flowers, you can just pick them in your garden and eat it right away. If you want to earn extra money, you can sell these flowers at a good price.
Next, if you are not using these flowers as ingredient to your food, you can always use them as decoration to your home. Placing them in beautiful vases will surely add elegance to any corner of your house. You can also place these delicious flowers in your dining table together with fruits and vegetables to inspire appetite to your family. These flowers can also add beauty to your property. Finally, you can use these flowers as gift to your loved ones, friends, relatives or family member during important occasions to tell them that you remember them.
You should be warned that not all flowers are safe to eat especially if unprocessed. In addition, if you are going to grow edible flowers in your garden, make sure that you don’t use pesticides to prevent poisoning. These flowers should be eaten with moderation only. Some of these flowers, especially apple contains cyanide and too much consumption can lead to cyanide poisoning. Also, when eating edible flowers, make sure that you rinse it properly in order to remove any lingering pesticides on the petals. Finally, do not make eating edible flowers a habit; too much of a good thing can also kill you. If you are not sure if a certain flower is edible or not, it would be best not to eat it in order to prevent poisoning yourself.