We love flowers. You love flowers. I love flowers. It's true that to consider florals as food - edible flowers - is an entirely different way to find joy in flowers. As a florist it takes an aesthetic up a whole new NOTCH!
CREDIT: SPRING SALAD WITH EDIBLE FLOWERS VIA HARVEST AND HONEY
Historically, edible flowers are nothing new. The ancient Romans decorated banquet food with flowers and in Pan-Asian countries it still common to serve daily meals with a flower on a plate.
CREDIT: NCOC MINH NGO
You may be surprised to know that you already eat flowers like artichokes and artichoke hearts and broccoli florets. One thing is certain, edible flowers are more than a trend and they're here to stay. Use this helpful guide to identify 5 edible flowers you may not have known and find new ways to use flowers with food.
5 Flowers You Must Try
1. Gardenia These heavenly scented blooms are prized for their honey-like flavor. In addition to being safe for fresh consumption, they can also be used in a variety of applications from pickling to tea making
2. Poppy Historically, the petals of these bright red flowers have been used to tint wines, syrups and soups. Interestingly, these flowers can also be used to produce a substitute for olive oil. This plant has lost of uses like the seeds can be used in cakes, bread, rolls, or pressed for their oil. The seeds and leaves are good raw.
3. Roses These beautiful have sturdy petals that candy beautifully. Roses have a classic floral flavor. They also look lovely atop a classic white cake (above) especially in timeless settings like the historic Swan House in Atlanta.
4. Pansy These are one of the most popular edible flowers (pictured above) because you can eat their sepals and because they come in a lot of colors. According to Liz Baessler's article Can You Eat Pansies: Learn About Pansy Recipes and Ideas on Gardening Know How, "Pansies are popular eaten both fresh in salads and candied in desserts."
5. Phalaenopsis These exotic tropical blooms feature a neutral and watery flavor. It may come as a surprise that most orchids are are edible and can embody a wide range of flavor.
Below is a list of common edible flowers:
|Bachelor button||Bee balm||Borage|
In Tips for Using Edible Flowers on a Cake on A Beautiful Mess Kaleigh Kosmas says "if you are looking to buy edible flowers locally try farmers or groups that participate at your local farmer’s market. After that I would try local restaurants or bars that use edible flowers in their food."
My go-to for questions about edible flowers is Erin Champion of Posie Fields who owns and operates an organic flower farm within a vegetable farm at Martin's Gardens in Roswell, Georgia just outside of Atlanta. If she can't solve the mystery then I just the #1 rule. When in doubt, don't use it- go for sugar, baby!
Case in point, ranunculus are flowers to avoid consuming but often requested in my line of work as a florist. One of my favorite flower cakes, ironically, is one with sugar flowers (below) from a collaboration with RSVP events at the Atlanta History Center.
CREDIT: WEDDING SPARROW, ENGLISH GARDEN STYLE WEDDING IDEAS AT BARNSLEY RESORT WITH SAVAN PHOTOGRAPHY AND COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS
Hopefully this list will help you get started with edibles. Remember any flower not certified as organic should be used only as decoration and not eaten.
CREDIT: JOSH MOREHOUSE WITH MASI EVENTS AND COLONIAL HOUSE OF FLOWERS, WHEN SAVANNAH MEETS MIAMI MODERN WEDDING, STYLE ME PRETTY
Excited to gather with friends and use edible flowers? Check out my vase and pots in our shop!