Long out of vogue, food makers from five-star chefs to home cooking hobbyists have rediscovered edible flowers. While some sparingly use them as beautiful garnishes, others use a variety of flowers for new and exciting taste combinations. Cooking has never been so wide open to creativity and flowers have blossomed as the newest item in the chef’s toolkit.
Anyone who loves cooking should start exploring the wild world of edible flowers for added taste, visual appeal, and also for good health.
Which Flowers Are Good to Eat?
In the Perth area, you can find a long list of edible flowers that can add spice or style to your dish. We have only listed a few of the many possibilities.
Dandelions are the scourge of fussy lawn owners but can satisfy your palate in a number of ways. Both the flowers and leaves add great flavour to salads. For those willing to expend the effort, large amounts of the fluffy yellow blossoms can be transformed into delicious wines or jellies. Some parts of the world love them enough to build an entire festival around them.
Most edible flowers have a more subtle sweet or spicy taste. Not nasturtium. In Latin, this translates literally to “nose twist.” These climbing plants add a sharp peppery taste to salads but are also often mixed into butter or mayonnaise.
Oxalis, also called sourgrass, wood sorrel, or soursop, also makes a good addition to salads. Like dandelions, the flower is yellow, nutritious, and lawn experts consider it a noxious weed. South African cooks incorporate it into a lamb and herb stew called Waterblommetjiebredie.
All gardeners should consider lavender a must. This purple bushy flower grows quickly under the right conditions and emits a sweet and distinctive fragrance. Some farmers have started growing lavender on a mass scale to meet the essential oils market, but it also makes an excellent addition to fish and chicken, lemonade, pork, and other surprising meals. Like basil, mint, and other spices, you can dry it and grind it up to use on meat, or use it freshly picked in drinks, sauces, or as a garnish.
They Are Good For You
Edible flowers add deliciousness to most meals but they offer nutrition as well. Many flowers, including the leaves and shoots, contain high nutritional value. Dandelion flowers have high levels of Vitamins A and C while the leaves contain essential minerals such as iron. Nasturtiums and roses (which make excellent jelly) offer Vitamin C.
Where Can You Find Edible Flowers?
Experts warn aspiring connoisseurs of edible flowers to resist the temptation to go foraging for the more exotic types. Dandelions are easy to identify, but some edible flowers can get mixed up with other plants that could carry nauseating or dangerous toxins.
What is the best way to obtain delicious, healthy, and safe edible flowers? Growing your own garden ensures that you will have complete control over your food if you want an all natural, all organic product. Most edible flowers fall into the weed category, growing quickly and easily.
For those, however, who lack the time, the space, or confidence in their green thumb, an increasing number of farmers across Australia have turned to cultivating edible flowers. Check out one of the many fine farmer or garden markets in the Perth area. If they do not currently carry edible flowers, some local food sellers will obtain them for you, especially if they know you are a good customer.
The generations that came before us knew the culinary and the nutritional value of edible flowers, but their use fell in the past century or so. Now we can rediscover all of the fun and healthy uses for these amazing plants to make our food more delicious and our bodies that much healthier.
Those who have not yet explored culinary uses of everyday flowers will find a whole new arsenal of tastes and techniques to add to their cooking. To learn more about the flower varieties available in Perth, contact A Touch of Class Florist in Perth today.