There’s nothing more appealing to the senses than a big, beautiful bouquet of flowers.
They’ve got everything - vibrant splashes of colour to please the eye, velvety soft petals to tantalise with their touch and that heady aroma that draws you in and lingers in the memory long after the final leaves have fallen. But have you ever thought about how some blooms can also tempt the taste buds?
Edible flowers have been slowly making the move from the garden to the dinner plate ever since Roman times, gracing traditional dishes in regions across Asia, Europe and the Middle East for centuries.
And in the case of everything old being new again, pretty petals are making a comeback in kitchens again today. But before you hurry outside to start harvesting from your garden or rush to rifle through your vase to see what’s on offer – beware – not every flower is blooming delicious.
There’s plenty of plants out there that look good but are toxic to taste including common garden varieties such as the daffodil, iris, jasmine and sweet pea. Other flowers may cause the allergy-prone to react badly – these include what’s known as composite-type flowers such as the calendula, chicory, chrysanthemum, daisy and marigold. But there are still plenty left that are safe to play around with in the kitchen, although for the most part it is only the petals of the flowers that should be eaten (remove the stamen and pollen before use). The right flowers can appear almost anywhere on the menu:
- as a striking addition to a sensational salad - think nasturtiums for their sweet, peppery flavour, the gorgeous yellow broccolini bloom that retains a hint of the vegetable plant it comes from or even the star-shaped purple borage flowers that offer a mild taste reminiscent of a cucumber;
- as the main ingredient for a starter or side - zucchini flowers stuffed with herbs and cheese then deep fried are hugely popular right now;
- a gorgeous garnish on a mouth-watering main - add chive blossoms for a delicate hint of onion to savory dishes or the tiny white flowers from the basil plant for a milder version of the leaves’ minty flavour;
- take the decorations for that delicious dessert to the next level - a few rose petals coated in castor sugar can really take the cake;
- or add a touch of the exotic to your party drinks – try freezing viola or pansy blooms into an ice cube for a pretty addition to your next punch.
Edible flower farmers – not florists – are your best source for the more unusual blooms on your wishlist, however many of those listed above can be found in your own back garden.
Make sure you are certain the flowers you select are safe to eat – there’s plenty of trusted food reference sources available to cross check against – and never use flowers that have been treated with chemicals or pesticides.
Now that you’ve served up an eye-catching & delicious feast featuring your favourite edible blooms for your date, put your feet up and let us deliver the other flowers! Check out our huge range of bouquets to suit any occasion. Order Interflora flowers online today.
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