Edible Flowers 
This Page is sponsored by www.potluckstudios.com  and Wiltons http://www.wilton.com   Pot Luck Studios provided Garden Wise with Arlena with the beautiful Cake stands and Wiltons provided Garden Wise with all the cake supplies for the Segments "Garden Cakes"
and the NBC Wisconsin Journal Edible Flowers segment.

After falling out of favor for many years, cooking and garnishing with flowers is back in vogue once again. Flower cookery has been traced back to Roman times, and to the Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures.  Edible flowers were especially popular in the Victorian era during Queen Victoria's reign. Today, many restaurant chefs and innovative home cooks garnish their entrees with flower blossoms for a touch of elegance. The secret to success when using edible flowers is to keep the dish simple, do not add to many other flavors that will over power the delicate taste of the flower. Today this nearly lost art is enjoying a revival.

 

Watch the segment on this link. Garden Cakes with Edible Flowers.

 

Chrysanthemums - Tangy, slightly bitter, ranging in colors from red, white, yellow and orange. They range in taste from faint peppery to mild cauliflower. They sould be blanched first and then scatter the petals on a salad. The leaves can also be used to flavor vinegar. Always remove the bitter flower base and use petals only. Young leaves and stems of the Crown Daisy, also known as Chop Suey Greens or Shingiku in Japan, are widely used in oriental stir-fries and as salad seasoning.

 

Carnations - Steep in wine, candy, or use as cake decoration. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Dianthus are the miniature member of the carnation family with light clove-like or nutmeg scent. Petals add color to salads or aspics. Carnation petals are one of secret ingredients that has been used to make Chartreuse, a French liqueur, since the 17th century.


Basil - Depending on the type, the flowers are either bright white, pale pink, or a delicate lavender. The flavor of the flower is milder, but similar to the leaves of the same plant. Basil also has different varieties that have different milder flavors like lemon and mint. Sprinkle them over salad or pasta for a concentrated flavor and a spark of color that gives any dish a fresh, festive look.

 

Aquatic Plants - Cattails have edible shoots and roots and even the pollen has been used in making biscuits. Arrowheads form large edible tubers at the root ends, called duck potatoes, which were consumed by Native Americans. Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum) has many historic medicinal uses and its spicy vegetation continues to be used in salads and garnishes. Water lily roots are a common source of food in many parts of the world especialy in the Far East and have a historic medicinal value. 

 

Chive Blossoms - Use whenever a light onion flavor and aroma is desired. Separate the florets and enjoy the mild, onion flavor in a variety of dishes.

Garlic Blossoms - The flowers can be white or pink, and the stems are flat instead of round. The flavor has a garlicky zing that brings out the flavor of your favorite food. Milder than the garlic bulb. Wonderful in salads.

 

 

Did you know that broccoli, cauliflower, and artichokes are all flowers? Also the spice saffron is the stamen from the crocus flower? Capers are unopened flower buds to a bush native in the Mediterranean and Asian nations.

 

 

Day Lilies - Slightly sweet with a mild vegetable flavor, like sweet lettuce or melon. Their flavor is a combination of asparagus and zucchini. Chewable consistency. Some people think that different colored blossoms have different flavors. To use the surprisingly sweet petals in desserts, cut them away from the bitter white base of the flower. Also great to stuff like squash blossoms. Flowers look beautiful on composed salad platters or crowning a frosted cake. Sprinkle the large petals in a spring salad. In the spring, gather shoots two or three inches tall and use as a substitute for asparagus.

NOTE: Many Lilies contain alkaloids and are NOT edible. Day Lilies may act as a diuretic or laxative; eat in moderation

Gladiolus - Flowers (anthers removed) have a nondescript flavor (taste vaquely like lettuce) but make lovely receptacles for sweet or savory spreads or mousses. Toss individual petals in salads.

Hollyhock- Very bland tasting flavor.

Impatiens - Very bland taste.

Lemon Verbena - Tiny cream-colored citrus-scented blossoms. Leaves and flowers steeped as an herb tea, and used to flavor custards and flans.

 Pansy- Pansies have a slightly sweet green or grassy flavor. If you eat only the petals, the flavor is extremely mild, but if you eat the whole flower, there is a winter, green overtone. Use them as garnishes, in fruit salads, green salad, desserts or in soups.

Roses - Flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Flavor reminiscent of strawberries and green apples. Sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. In miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads. Freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punches also. Petals used in syrups, jellies, perfumed butters and sweet spreads. NOTE: Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals

 





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