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Edible Flowers


Flowers are not just for the eyes. Edible flowers are re-emerging as a cooking vogue in haute cuisine once again. There is a long history of flowers being used in Chinese cuisine for cooking and garnishing. It also dates back to some other ancient countries.



Ways to Enjoy

There are various methods to enjoy an flower as food; people can be very creative in this area. Edible flowers normally fall into the following categories:

  • As a decoration to add a touch of elegance to the dishes you present
  • As an ingredient for dessert or bakery products to add flavor
  • As the main material in a dish to be enjoyed
  • As a tea to savor, like Chinese flower tea. The most commonly used flower teas in China are jasmine tea and chrysanthemum tea

Some Tips

  • Not every flower is edible and sampling a flower without enough knowledge about it could make you extremely sick.
  • When a flower is safe to eat, it doesn't mean that every part of it is edible. Find the right flowers to eat and the right part(s) to eat. For most flowers, eat the flower petals only (ex., pansy flower petals).
  • Don't use chemicals or pesticides on any part of a plant if you're going to eat its flowers. Only organically grown flowers are safe to eat.
  • Don't harvest flowers from the roadside. They are most likely polluted one way or another.
  • If you have allergies, be careful with the flower(s) you're going to eat as it may aggravate your symptom(s). Start with a small amount.
  • A flower used for plate decoration in a restaurant might not be edible. Ask to make sure if you can eat it.
  • Most veggie flowers are edible. Just avoid the flowers of eggplants, asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers.
  • If you have your own edible garden, pick your flowers in the morning when they contain the most water.

See Sample Edible Flower Recipes.

Some Fun Facts :

  • Cauliflowers are really flowers.
  • Broccoli and artichokes are flowers too.
  • We call the stamen from the crocus flower saffron, which is a spice.
  • Capers are unopened bush flower buds.







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