Numerous flowers can be used to add flavor and color to foods and drinks. Add this to salads, pasta and potato dishes, desserts, meat dishes, jams and sauces. Flowers were frequently used to season and sweeten foods before spices and sugar were manufactured and distributed globally. Edible flowers are regaining popularity with renewed interest in natural and organic foods.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) has a sweet apple flavor and is used to make tea. Daylilies (Hemerocallis species) and impatiens (Impatiens species) taste sweet and can be used as garnishes in drinks, mixed with soft cheeses or added to salads.
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) adds a minty citrus flavor to salads and teas. The flowers and stems of chives (Allium schoenoprasum) have a subtle onion flavor that can be used in potato or egg dishes, as well as salads. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) add a zesty peppery flavor to salads, garnishes and vinegars.
The flowers and leaves of Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) have a delicate licorice flavor and can be used in desserts and beverages. Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor) add a mild wintergreen flavor to salads and soft cheeses, and can be used as cake decorations. Marigolds (Tagetes signata), especially the orange and tangerine ones, have a citrus flavor and can be used in salads, pasta dishes and vegetables.
Some flowers, when eaten, can cause allergic reactions or asthmatic symptoms. Never spray a plant intended for food with pesticides or any other chemicals. Wash all flowers well before using.