Some Advice and Precautions for Cooking With Edible Flowers

Food, Recipes

Did you know that not only can you smell the beautiful fragrances, and feel the delicate textures of a flower, but you can also find pleasure in the taste! The rose is best known as the most, appreciated flower around the world. Since flavor is affected by such factors as soil and temperature, it is advisable to taste a petal of the rose or any other flower before you decide to use the flower as food. The base of the petal may be somewhat bitter. If it is you can cut out that part, or eat only the outer part of the flower. There are numerous dishes that can be enriched by roses. You can try them in salads, with some mild cheese, chopped nuts, or use the smashed petal of the red rose as an extra ingredient in your favorite sauce to add a little more flavor and color. Roses can also enhance the flavor of ice cream and your favorite beverage. For beverages place a petal or a small flower in each compartment of your ice-cube tray before pouring in bottled or filtered water. Then freeze as usual. Then use the ice cubes in your favorite beverage.

Another flower the squash blossom or (Cucurbita pepo the botanical name) has been used for food in America since the 16th centuries. Before you cook the flowers remove the outside prickly leaves. Pistils can be taken off or left one. When used in entrees and soups, the mild flavor of squash blossoms goes will with olive oil, tender corn, and squash itself. If you want an even stronger flavor, you can sauté the blossoms with some onion, garlic, herbs, and spices of your choice. You can even stuff the flowers with a mixture of cheese, onion and herbs. Then close the end and dip the blossoms in an egg mixture of whisked egg whites to which yolks have been added. Finally, dip the blossoms in breadcrumbs, deep fry them and enjoy the very unique flavor.

The Garden Pansy has dark characteristic spots on the petals, which give them an unusual appearance. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the garden pansy is usually thought to be a cultivated form of the wild pansy, or Johnny-jump-up, colored purple, white, and yellow. Although this flower is edible it can be toxic in large amounts. It is great if used as a flavor enhancer for vegetables and fruit salads, or in your favorite soups.

What about the Vivacious Daylily? This short-lived flower must not be confused with other flowers of the same family, Liliacae. Their colors range from yellow to red, and have long been used in the kitchen. This flower when lightly cooked can be served as a vegetable. Or you can combine its petal with ingredients of your choice to make a light paste and then fry it.

The yucca flower, which grows especially in arid or semiarid climates, is very rich in vitamins and calcium. But you should only eat the petals, which you should boil before eating to take away the bitterness. The lemon blossom, orange blossom, and the mint flower are excellent additions to beverages, salads, and desserts.

However before you start tasting flowers, there are several important precautions you should take, since some flowers are poisonous. First identify the edible ones positively. If you are not sure then do not eat them. Never eat any flower that has been treated with pesticides or any other chemical. (This would be true of flowers bought from florists, garden centers, and some nurseries. You should eat only flowers grown organically and far from the roadway. People who have asthma or a plant related allergy should not eat flowers. Make sure to wash and disinfect the flower before eating.

There are several different websites that you can visit that have recipes that use flowers. One website is starchefs.com. They have several recipes and tips. There is also GardenGuides.com, which sells the flower seeds that you can plant at home yourself. If you decide to give cooking with flowers a try remember to take all of the necessary precautions and enjoy.

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