People have been using flowers in their meals for more than a thousand years already. They use them not only as a decoration but as an ingredient. Nowadays flowers are most commonly used in jams or in marinades. Even though many flowers can be eaten we should be careful when choosing what to cook because some of them might be very poisonous.
For example chrysanthemum is very popular in Japan when it comes to using it in cooking. Daisies and violets are very often used in Europe for both cooking and decoration. Cooks from the Middle East has been using roses for a hundred of years. Roses are gathered in the morning, then are being processed and the rose water gathered is used for making jam to be served with the coffee or simply to be dissolved with water in order to get a refreshing drink.
Most roses sorts are eatable but just as with every other flower types they should be carefully washed before cooking and you should also avoid using flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides. If you doubt it you better not use the flowers. And you should not eat the white parts in the blossoms bottom as they are bitter. Here is a list with the most commonly used for cooking flowers:
• Borago officinalis – it has star shaped blossoms in a blue colour. It is most commonly used in making punch, lemonade, cold soups and cocktails with gin. It can be also frozen in ice cubes. Young leaves can be used in all types of soups and baked meat as well as in meal made of cabbage and cucumbers.
• Calendula – it has small leaves in a golden-orange colour. It is widely used in soups and meals made of fish or meat, in pasta and risotto as well as in salads.
• Lilies – their blossoms are considered to be the perfect decoration for salads and cakes. They can be also sugar coated.
• Pelargonium – its blossoms can be used for spreading over different types of desserts, for giving taste to refreshing drinks and juices, to be frozen in ice cubes or for flavouring baked apples and pears. Its leaves can also be used in teas.
• Lavandula – its leaves and blossoms are as beautiful as delicious when put in a glass of sparkling wine, in chocolate desserts, cakes and ice cream. They can also be used in meals made of baked meat and wine dressings.
• Daisies (Bellis) – their blossoms can be used for spreading over different types of salads, sandwiches, boiled vegetables, pasta and risotto.
• Tropaeolum majus – their taste is a bit spicy. Their blossoms are most commonly used in salads, quiches made of cheese and yellow cheese and in appetizers.
• Roses – their blossoms and buds are very often preferred as a decoration of ice cream and desserts. They can be also frozen in ice cubes and used with punch or cocktails. They are extremely suitable for using with sparkling wine and can also be sugar coated.
• Viola odorata (violets) – their blossoms are the perfect addition to salads as well as desserts, cakes and refreshing drinks. They can also be sugar coated.