The eye eats with you — that’s what they always say when it comes to serving food. That’s why more and more often you can find blossoms on the plates in various restaurants. Edible flowers have a wide range of flavors, from very sweet to peppery or spicy, which allows a great deal of creativity in the kitchen.
The origin, properties and history of edible flowers
Edible flowers have been used in cooking for centuries. In the Middle Ages, no distinction was made between flowers, herbs and spices. Already the ancient Greeks and Romans have refined their dishes with flowers at that time.
Basically, edible flowers can be divided into four categories: The delicate early bloomers, the spicy-sweet plants, the May plants and the June plants. The delicate early bloomers can be found in the meadows as early as March and have a rather mild taste. These include the daisy and coltsfoot. The spicy-sweet plants owe their name to their taste. They taste partly salty and partly spicy and contribute to the detoxification of the body. These include the dandelion and forget-me-not. May plants, as the name suggests, grow from May and have a mild to tart taste. From June there are then the June plants. These taste much stronger and sweeter than the others. St. John’s wort and wild rose are particularly well known here.
Other examples of edible flowers are:
The ingredients of edible flowers
Not much can be said about the ingredients, because it depends on which flowers you use. What in any case must not be missing is dandelion. Dandelion is a real all-arounder among the edible flowers and scores with vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as with minerals such as potassium and calcium. In addition, daisies and nettles are also very rich in vitamin C and the nasturtium provides another lot of magnesium.
The effect of edible flowers on our body
Edible flowers have a positive effect on the physical and mental condition: Marigolds, for example, support wound healing and have an antispasmodic effect, while cornflowers ensure good digestion. Pansies and thyme also strengthen the respiratory tract and bronchial tubes while boosting metabolism. Violets, rose petals, and lavender help with aching nerves, anxiety, or fatigue. The trio not only has a calming effect, but also ensures a good mood.
Edible flowers in the kitchen
Edible flowers spice up our plate not only visually, but also taste. They go well in salads, desserts, soups, cocktails and compotes. But you can also serve the flowers a little more discreetly and bake them in cakes, for example, or make them into oil, tea or jam.
Purchase and storage of edible flowers
When buying edible flowers, be extremely careful, because the flowers available in supermarkets, flower stores or weekly markets are often treated with pesticides and are therefore toxic. Therefore, it is best to grow the flowers yourself. Alternatively, you can find pesticide-free flowers in delicatessens or specialty markets. These are specially labeled there.
Edible flowers do not have a long shelf life — Slightly moistened and packed in an airtight container, they will last no more than two days in the refrigerator. Therefore, they should be processed as soon as possible.