by Brian Nisbet on August 25th
Cooking and dressing a dish with flowers is now fashionable after many years. Various studies show that the culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years with the first documentd mention being around 140 B.C.
Edible flowers were also popular in the "respectable" Victorian era during Queen Victoria's rule. Today, this nearly lost craft is enjoying a rebirth in many eating establishments. Professional chefs and creative home cooks are garnishing their most favourite dishes with flower blossoms for a touch of beauty in many countries. They are a more healthy alternative to salt and sugar as added seasoning. They can also be added to dairy produce, oils and marinades or used as a garnish to add elegance, colour and flavour to most of your meals.
There are many flower blooms that can be enjoyed both fresh and cooked. It's hard to find edible flowers to purchase, but quite easy to grow most of them in your garden.Technically, the edible parts of many common 'vegetables' including broccolli and -- obviously when you come to think about it -- cauliflower, are in fact flowers. A few other commonly consumed flowers include:
Chrysanthemum - the chrysanthemum is often used to make tea. See our 'Chinese medicine' page for some fascinating information on the alleged medicinal uses of this flower.
Jasmine - also used in tea. Japanese jasmine flower tea has a beautiful effect, where the curled and dried petals of the flower unfurl to shimmer languidly in the glass pot as the tea is poured onto them.
Clover - almost all of the clover can be eaten, with the sprouts tasting best. However it's worth cooking the clover or soasking it through with saltwater first, to prevent bloating.
Daisies - daisies are best eaten when they're young, before they go astringent. Tasty in a salad.
Pansies - the petals of varieties of pansy including the heartsease are perectly fine to eat; again, put them in a salad, they'll look fantastic.
Roses - Yes, even the rose is edible.Provided the heel is removed, rosa petals can be gobbled down.
Tags: cooking, fashionable, culinary, edible flowers