For some time now, it has been common for us to have a salad, a cake or a salty dish decorated with edible flowers. To the people who haven’t used it before, it would look like something new and reserved for the new cuisines and fancy pastries. However, the use of flowers to complement a recipe comes from centuries ago when places like Mexico used the pumpkin flowers, the Romans used the violets, or the Indian desserts were adorned with rose petals.
But well, as you can imagine, not all flowers are edible. Even with those that could be eaten, we must bear in mind that those from nurseries destined for florists should not be ingested because they are loaded with pesticides since its purpose is ornamental and not for food. The flowers to add to our dishes must be those edible species grown by us or bought from organic farming and harvested for food.
Tips to Prepare Edible Flower
- Cut them in the morning before it is time for more solar intensity.
- Choose the best ones and the ones with a good smell.
- Discard the stamens, stems, pistils and the white base of the petals because they usually provide a bitter flavor.
- Before use, wash them well with cold water, drying them with absorbent paper, taking care not to spoil the petals or hanging them upside down to drain them little by little.
- Edible flowers cannot be stored for a long time, so it is best to collect only those that we are going to use or if they are commercial, store them in a container in the fridge where they are kept for a week.
Edible flowers have been the choice of garnish for many chefs around the world! If you are into gardening and are a wizard in the kitchen, then this is the right place for you to be!
Here, I have a list of the top edible flowers names for gardeners who have culinary skills! Use those skills and the advantage of these fragrant edible flowers in India to elevate your dish to another level altogether!
1. Cape Flowers
Although Cape flowers might seem like something quite snobbish or reserved for the great chefs outside our kitchens, the truth is that we consume them more often than we think! This is because broccoli, cauliflower, cloves or saffron are in the end, all Cape flowers.
2. Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)
White or purple basil has a taste similar to the plant, but softer. It is perfect in salads where it brings a Mediterranean flavor and aroma to our dishes.
3. Poppy (Papaver Rhoeas)
It is red in color. Its seeds are mainly used in pastries to flavor biscuits, bread and fruit salads. The leaves of the flower are used in salads, but before the inner cocoon is formed, it acquires certain toxicity. The petals of Poppy are used to flavor wines or oils.
4. Orange blossom (Citrus Sinensis)
White flowers from which the orange blossom water is extracted to aromatize bread and pastries are called the orange blossom flowers. They are deeply aromatic and a great addition to any dessert or salad.
5. Begonia (Begonia Semperflorens)
Red, orange, pink or yellow begonias are used with fruit salads or garnished on dishes for their slightly bitter taste, similar to lemon.
6. Borage (Borago Officinalis)
Of a nice bluish color and flavor similar to cucumber, Borage is used mainly to aromatize beverages.
7. Zucchini and Squash (Maximum Cucurbita or Cucurbita Pepo)
This flower has an intense yellow color with a sweet flavor and a smooth texture. They are use fried, stuffed and to make quesadillas and soups in the Mexican gastronomy.
8. Calendula (Calendula Officinalis)
Calendula is usually orange or yellow in color with a slightly spicy flavor and similar to pepper or saffron. It is used for some much-needed freshness in salads and to give aroma to soups or desserts. It is also simply used to decorate.
9. Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)
White and yellow in color, the Chamomile flowers are sweet in taste and are used mostly in salads and desserts. They are slightly spicy and similar to watercress. The petals are used in salads and to accompany legumes, rice or soups.
10. Onion, Chives
The flower of the onion plant, along with the garlic, chives and leeks are edible, providing a softer and more floral version of the vegetables that come.
11. Centáurea (Centaurea Nigra)
Depending on the species, it has different colors with a sweet taste similar to cloves, used to garnish salads.
12. Carnation, Chinese Carnation (Dianthus Spp)
Depending on the species, they have different colors. Carnations have a spicy flavor reminiscent of cloves and pepper. They are used to dress salads, in butter or simply as a garnish in sweet recipes such as cookies.
It is the most common and widely used flower in the mix of edible flowers of varied colors and bitter taste like cauliflower. Its petals are used for salads, sauces or vinaigrettes.
14. Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale)
Dandelions have an intense yellow color with a sweet and mellow flavor, which is ideal for salads and rice dishes.
15. Dill (Anethum Graveolens)
Also, the yellow Dill flower tastes like the plant. It is used to combine with fish, seafood, soups, and sauces.
16. Geranium (Pelargonium spp)
With varied colors, the Geranium flowers have fruity and citrus flavors. They are used for confectionery, drinks, salads or simply as a garnish.
17. Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus)
Yellow in color, its petals have a bitter taste, which is eliminated by steaming the flowers for a few seconds. It is used for salads and soups. In addition to that, the cocoons of a sunflower can be steamed like an artichoke.
18. Hibiscus (Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis)
Of a sweet flavor and varied colors, Hibiscus is used in poultry and seafood dishes, salads and candied pastries.
19. Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)
With a yellowish green color, a fennel flower presents an aniseed flavor with a subtle flavor of licorice, which combines very well in sweet preparations and soups.
20. Jasmine (Jasminum Officinale)
A jasmine flower comes in an intense white color with a sweet flavor and is very aromatic. The flowers are used for poultry dishes, seafood, and infusions.
21. Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
The lilac flowers possess a slightly spicy taste. They go very well in dishes of game meat, chicken and in creams and salads. Also, they complement all the food items in confectionery for ice creams and sweets.
22. Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris)
Lilac, as its name suggests, has an acidic flavor that combines well in bird dishes and fruit salads.
23. Mallow (Althea Rosea)
From white to lilac, Mallow comes in different shades. It is used for its mild flavor in salads.
24. Margarita (Bellis Perennis)
White in color, Margarita has a mild flavor that makes it suitable for salads, although it is used more for its beauty as an ornamental garnish than for its flavor.
25. Thought (Viola Spp)
This is another one of the classics in this flowers list that can be found in various colors. It is used as an ornament in confectioneries, but also in salads and cheese boards. It has a bittersweet flavor.
26. Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
Purple in color, Rosemary has a flavor similar to that of the plant, but softer. This flower is used for pizzas, ice cream, meat, fish, soups, and desserts.
27. Rose (Rosa Spp)
Of varied colors, Rose has a flavor that goes from sweet to slightly spicy. Its petals are used fresh for desserts, ice creams, jams, vinegar, fruit salads, creams, stewed meat, and sauces. Also, in confectionery, you can use its frosted petals. In Arab countries, roses are used for couscous dishes and lamb recipes.
28. Violet (Viola Odorata)
Violet flowers have a slightly menthol-ish, sweet flavor and are very perfumed. They are used both fresh and dried. They are most commonly used in confectioneries to make confections, compotes, preserves, and infusions. The petals are also frosted as an accompaniment to pastries as well as ice creams and sorbets.
The yucca flowers have a crunchy texture with a delightfully sweet flavor and an artichoke aroma. They are an excellent addition to salads.
As you can see, in these edible flowers list, many flowers can brighten up our dishes with their varied colors and aromatic taste. Of course, we advise you to always be careful before using them in the kitchen, especially when we harvest them ourselves because they can be poisonous from the presence of pesticides and fertilizers.
When in doubt, consult an expert to know the family and species of the eatable flowers, in case they are toxic. That said, edible flowers are a chef’s first choice when it comes to making their creations look more pretty and desirable. Not just that but edible flowers also lend an amazing flavor to dishes that cannot be argued!
So, which edible flower are you going to use in our dish today?