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The use of edible flowers in cooking is not a new trend. It's been around for centuries and has always been an important part of the culinary arts, but recently it has seen a resurgence in popularity. Flower chefs such as Alice Waters and Daniel Humm decked out in their best chef aprons and elegant men’s and women’s chef coats, have used them to add flavor and color to their dishes, while top restaurants are often cited for utilizing these flowers in innovative ways that push their creative boundaries.


What exactly are edible flowers? According to experts in the culinary field (in their fancy waist aprons) edible flowers come from any plant that can be consumed either raw or cooked and they include lavender, rosemary, sunflower blossoms, calendula blossoms (pot marigold) pea pods (pisum sativum), violets, pansies and nasturtiums to name a few.


Are edible flowers good for you?

Adding edible flowers to your cooking can be a fun way to experiment with new flavors and spices. Not only do they add visual interest to your dishes, but many of them also offer health benefits such as antioxidants and vitamins. Some people say that adding certain flowers (such as lavender) can also help to improve the taste of a dish.


What dishes can you make with edible flowers?

You can add flowers to salads, rice, pasta and soup dishes. They can also be used as toppings on desserts or in drinks such as cocktails or teas. For example, rose petals are often used in Middle Eastern cuisine to flavor tea, while nasturtiums have a peppery flavor that makes them a popular addition to salads. They are also the ideal ingredient for garnishing.


Special edible flowers that re used by chefs and their specific flavor profiles.

  • Lavender: Lavender has a sweet, floral taste and is often used in desserts or to flavor tea.
  • Nasturtiums: They have a peppery, slightly bitter taste that goes well with salads.
  • Violets: These have a sweet, fragrant flavor and are often used to top desserts.
  • Rosemary: This flower has a very strong, pine-like flavor and is often used in savory dishes.
  • Sunflower blossoms: These have a slightly sweet, honey-like flavor and are often used in salads.
  • Jasmine: These have a strong, fragrant taste that is similar to green tea.
  • Borage flowers: A member of the Boraginaceae family, borage has leaves that are densely covered with starry blue or pinkish colored five-pointed petals. It tastes like cucumber with some added sweetness. The flower itself can be candied or crystallized for later use on cakes or desserts. They also make fantastic ice creams. They are commonly featured as ingredients in Middle Eastern cuisine where they serve as tea flavors, rosewater being one of its most popular uses worldwide.
  • Calendula blossoms: These are a genus of about 12- 20 species in the daisy family, native to temperate regions mostly. The petals are edible and commonly used as a garnish for salads or other dishes. Calendula has antiseptic properties that help with skin irritations like eczema, sunburns, diaper rash etc.
  • Pea pods: Pea pods are generally eaten pod and all, but the flowers are also edible. They have a slightly sweet flavor with a grassy aftertaste. The petals can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often used in salads, stir-fries and as garnishes.
  • Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums come in a variety of colors including red, orange, yellow, pink, white and bi-colored varieties. This flower is generally used as a garnish, but can also be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves have a peppery flavor and are used in salads, while the flowers have a slightly sweet and tangy taste.
  • Violets: Violets come in shades of purple, blue, white and yellow. They have a sweet floral flavor which makes them perfect for use in desserts and drinks. Violets can also be added to salads or sandwiches for an extra bit of flavor.
  • Dianthus: This is a flower that comes in a variety of colors and is used as both an ornamental and culinary herb. This plant has a sweet flavor to it, making it perfect for use in desserts such as cakes and candy.
  • Chrysanthemum: Chrysanthemums are often eaten raw or cooked with bok choy, carrots, rice, noodles, stir fries etc. They can also be added to soups due to their mild taste allowing them to blend well with other flavors without overpowering sauces.
  • Hibiscus: Hibiscus flowers have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce redness associated with rosacea and eczema. They also contain high levels of flavonoids which may provide cardiovascular benefits.


Edible flowers have been around since ancient times; they were not only used for decoration but also had many health benefits when it came to cooking savory meals. Different cultures use different types of edible blooms depending on their customs and geographical location.


Not only do edible flowers add a beautiful touch to food presentations, but they also offer some health benefits. Many flowers are high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against disease. Additionally, many flowers are rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health. So next time you are looking for a way to jazz up your dish, consider using some delicious and nutritious edible flowers.



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