Flowers have been used for culinary purposes for thousands of years – for example, in Chinese, Greek and Roman cuisines. In many cultures they have been incorporated into national dishes – just think of pumpkin blossoms baked in Italian or rose petals in the Indian culinary tradition. These ingredients serve not only as a flavoring agent, but also as an exquisite decoration of a dish. Some are spicy, others are herbaceous or subtle – in short, there are many to choose from.
Using flowers in salads, teas and desserts allows you to use your creativity to the full extent: add onion blossoms to homemade pasta, add delicate petals to homemade ice cream, use nasturtium buds instead of capers or make lemonade or cocktail with them.
Flowers on a plate: safety precautions
Remember that not all flowers are suitable for eating. Some plants can be poisonous, which can lead to poisoning – and sometimes quite serious. So it’s best to read a few tips first:
- Choose only those flowers that you are sure of their edibility.
- Only eat plants that you have grown yourself. Products from flower stores are grown with a lot of chemicals and pesticides.
- Don’t eat flowers that grew along roadsides or in public parks: they also contain many hazardous substances.
- Use only petals in cooking, no pistils or stamens.
- If you suffer from allergies, be extremely careful: flowers can activate.
- To keep the flowers fresh, wrap them in a damp paper towel and put them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The shelf life is about 10 days. To bring the petals back to freshness, rinse them with ice water.