They Eat Flowers, Don't They?

Edible flowers can add flavor and flair to your cooking. Just be careful which ones you choose.
If you purchase flowers to eat, make sure they’ve been treated as an edible crop. A good rule of thumb is, “If you don’t know whether a flower is edible, don’t use it.”

As top-echelon chefs have discovered, an innovative presentation using edible flowers at the table makes a meal special – and more expensive. If the food looks fabulous, it just has to taste better, right? But you don’t have to dine at a pricey restaurant to enjoy edible flowers; you can add these beauties to your own meals.

Eating flowers is not new; the ancients in both the new and old worlds used flowers in cooking and in medicine. The traditional herbes de Provence often included rosemary and lavender flowers. This mixture was not packaged until the 1970s, but cooks in the Mediterranean region had mixed their own concoctions of native herbs for centuries. They mixed them with olive oil as a rub for various meat dishes and also used them dry in salads, sauces and soups.

Read the entire article in the March 2009 issue