How to Eat Flowers

Overview

People have been eating flowers since Roman times. Many flowers have a slight citrus or peppery flavor, while the taste of others is similar to their scent. Flowers add a bright, fresh aspect to many dishes. They can also be used in a starring role as the main flavor, such as in jams or jellies.

Step 1

Sprinkle in salads. Nasturtium flowers have a slightly peppery flavor, similar to watercress, and are an ideal addition to salads. Calendula flower petals are citrus tasting and are also a good addition to salads.

Step 2

Stuff the flowers, dip in a light batter and deep fry. Squash blossoms, particularly zucchini blossoms, are ideally suited for stuffing. The flowers should be harvested no more than a few hours before cooking. Unstuffed squash blossoms can be added to stir-fries at the last minute.

Step 3

Candy the flowers to use as edible cake decorations. The flowers of violas, also called johnny jump-ups, taste slightly of wintergreen and are ideal for this. Using a paintbrush, carefully paint the petals with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle them with extra-fine sugar. Set the flowers on a rack to dry for several hours. Store in tins in a single layer until used.

Step 4

Make flowers into jellies and jams. Try making rose petal or lavender jelly or jam. Use the seed pods of roses, called "rose hips," to make jam.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not eat flowers purchased from florists or those found growing on the side of the road. Eating flowers may aggravate asthma, hay fever or other allergies.

Things You'll Need

  • Pesticide-free, fully open flower blossoms

References

  • Edible Flowers
  • Edible Flower Gardening

Who Can Help

  • Poisonous Plants
  • Reiman Gardens: Edible Flowers
Keywords: how to eat flowers, edible flowers, cook with flowers