Eating flower petals was a common delicacy in the past. They were cooked in a variety of meals, used to make teas, and added as garnishes to soups and salads. This type of cooking is believed to have originated back during the Roman times. It was also very common in China, India and the Middle East. Now using flower petals as a garnish for salads is becoming common in American cuisines as well.
Chrysanthemum petals have many culinary uses. Because they have a tangy, peppery flavor similar to cauliflower, add these flower petals to any garden salad. The flower base is quite bitter, therefore only the petals should be eaten. Blanche the petals slightly first, and then use them as a salad garnish. These petals give a tangy zest to the flavor of salads and also add vibrant colors to the presentation. Chrysanthemum petals are also commonly used to add flavor to vinegar and can be blended into oriental stir fries as well.
Marigolds are one of the most flavorful of all edible flowers. These petals have been used as a substitute for the much more expensive garnish saffron. Marigold petals add a variety of flavors to any salad. These can range from tangy to spicy. The bright orange and golden colors of Marigolds are used for adding color to salads, soups and many other dishes.
Day lily petals are a good addition to any salad. These petals have a mildly sweet flavor similar to melon or sweet lettuce. The beautiful petals of day lilies add vibrant color to salads and other dishes. Use spring day lily shoots as a salad substitute for asparagus. However, these petals should be eaten in moderation because they can have the same effects as a laxative or a diuretic.
Use dandelion petals as a garnish for salads. Dandelions have a sweet, honey flavor when they are young, but can become bitter with age. The petals can be eaten raw or steamed. The leaves can also be added to tossed salads. Dandelion flower petals are perfect for using as a garnish for salads and other dishes as well.