Have you ever eaten flowers? You have if you’ve eaten broccoli or artichokes. Broccoli tops are immature flowers and the artichokes are the leaves of the flower. If you’ve eaten Chinese hot and sour soup, dried day lily petals are the key ingredient. Herbal teas include mint, chamomile, hibiscus, rose petals or other flowers.
Flower cookery goes back to the Romans, Chinese and even Indian and Middle Eastern cultures. Using flowers was very popular in the Victorian era. Flowers have been used for garnishing rice and pasta dishes, dressings, beverages, tea, soups, butters, salads, spreads, liqueur, vinegars, natural food dyes, pastries, desserts and even ice cubes! Many restaurants now use flowers in their dishes to give a touch of elegance.
10 Rules for Eating Flowers
Only eat flowers you can be positive are edible
If flowers are served with food at a restaurant, do not assume they are edible unless you can identify them.
Make sure to only eat organic flowers. Do not use pesticides or fertilizers around flowers you plan to eat.
Never eat flowers from nurseries, garden centers or florists.
Do not eat flowers if you have asthma, allergies or hay fever.
Do not pick flowers from the side of the road. Car emissions contaminate plants on roadways.
Eat only the petals. Remove the pistils and stamens from the flowers before you eat them.
Some flowers are poisonous, not all are edible.
Flowers grown in different locations can taste different, and there are many varieties of any one flower.
Add new flowers to your diet one at a time in small quantities and watch for any physical reactions.
The 10 Most Popular Edible Flowers
• Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
• Pansy (Viola x Wiitrockiana)
• Chives (Allium schoeonoprasum)
• Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
• Mint (Mentha spp)
• Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
• Rose (Rosa spp.)
• Sage (Salvia officinalis)
• Signet Marigold (Tagetes signata, T. tenuifolia)
• Squash Blossoms (Curcubita pepo spp.)
Other favorite edible flowers from the garden are: okra, pea, radish, runner bean, society garlic, sunflower, apple, broccoli, arugula, basil, Rose of Sharon, tulip, honeysuckle, jasmine, lilac, orange and lemon. There are many more!
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