Being a food blogger, I always appreciate people inspiring me with a topic for another blog post.
When nice people from BloomNation asked me if I could share some thoughts on incorporating flowers in cooking, I hesitated…for 0,8 seconds. Yes, I told you I’ve always been a sluggish guy! If you’re not familiar with this name, I’ll explain. BloomNation is a team of people who’re passionate about flowers! Basically, it’s an online floral market which helps people to surround their lives with beauty through making floral arrangements.
Did you see the connection? I mean, people passionate about flowers. People passionate about food. Beautiful flowers. Beautiful food. These two things work together!
Moreover, I’ve always dreamed of being a professor at the University.
So, ladies and gentlemen, you’re about to meet another version of me. The nerdy version.
Take your seats, my dear
kids students, and relax grab your notebooks. Don’t forget once finished, you’re going to have an extremely difficult exam. Not all of you would pass it.
Please, note also that you will see some pictures haven’t been posted here yet. You should declare to come back once the recipes have been posted.
To start with, I have to notice I’ve been working basically with the edible flowers. But even working with comestible flowers, you should remember some basic rules.
Edible Flowers. Basic Rules
- First of all, you should find a reputable source of information and always check which flowers you could eat safely.
- Found the source? Always double check! For instance, there are few types of Petunia, but only Petunias X Hybrida are appropriate to consume.
- Did you opt for the right flowers? Check again because while some plants have only edible petals, the others are almost fully esculent. For example, all garden nasturtium produce edible flowers and leaves. While their petals are just beautiful, with a delicate flavor, the leaves have got a pleasant peppery flavor, like arugula or mustard seeds.
- Lastly, that’s always better to grow the flowers at home as a guaranty of not using any chemicals. As you may know, I’ve got an ideal situation – Andrew has been growing the flowers while I’ve been using them (not to mention, feeding him). Sure I was responsible for having made a research and provided him with a list of the wanted flowers.
What Flowers Do I Use?
This summer we’ve been having Petunias X Hybrida, Pansies, and Nasturtium. My goal for the next summer is Violets for their unique sweet aftertaste. Plus, don’t forget you can always use most of the blossoming herbs such as lavender, basil, mint, garlic, dill, and many others.
And now, my
kids students, there’s the essential part of this lecture – the ways you can use the edible flowers.
- First of all, needless to say that most of the flowers are pretty, and you can spruce up any your food by garnishing with some flowers. Indeed, the flowers not necessarily have to be edible – you can use some decorative in terms you won’t gobble them up too.
- Secondly, in most cases you would find pretty desserts being garnished with flowers. Because the flowers make the pretty desserts just outrageously beautiful, right?
- Next, add the edible flowers in your salads. Not only make the flowers even a simple salad a sophisticated meal, but they also introduce some palatable flavors and lovely textures. They’re low in calories too. Good news, eh? When choosing flowers for the salad, play around them and try to imagine which flowers would better complement to the salad.
For instance in this Pear and Walnut Salad I thought the delicate pansies would work better.
Petunia – in this Chicken Liver Berry Salad.
And Nasturtium in this Peach Hamon Salad with Daiquiri Dressing
- While the edible flowers work in salads as the important ingredient, in other entrees they would be a nice addition to garnish them. Pasta, poultry, and many other things – why not, indeed?
Flowers and Food Photography
Trying to take some decent food pictures, I do understand that the presentation is the key to the success. And if the flowers are that beautiful (and usually quite cheap), why not use them as the props? This summer I’ve been using mostly the edible flowers from our balcony, but any other time I could grab a few flowers from Andrew’s garden. But tssss…that’s only between us; he’s not supposed to know that:)
But basically, the flowers can help you to build up the idea or to accentuate the food. For instance, for these Rose Cake Donuts I used some bought roses. Not a bad idea on a Valentine’s day, isn’t it?
Plus, the flowers can help to create a dramatic ambiance, especially if you use one or two dominant colors.
Like in this Cherry Chicken Smoked Mozzarella Salad.
Or this Blackberry Lavender Pasta.
Last Part. Plum Sorbet Dessert Soup as the example.
kids students. It’s time to wrap it up, but first I need to give you a particular example. I made this Plum Sorbet Dessert Soup in June or July, and it turned delicious. Basically, it’s red/black plum puree topped with yellow plum and honey sorbet and decorated with some pansies. As you may see, even a simple idea could be lifted up to the next, more elegant, lever. You just need some creativity. And a few pots of edible flowers.
Okay, and know, to sum this up, there are some questions for you final exam, guys!
- Name the 4 crucial safe rules to use edible flowers.
- Name some significant ways of using the edible flowers.
- And the most important, name at least one food blogger who incredibly incorporates the edible flowers. Name the dish of this blogger you’ve loved most of all and explain why.
P.S. Please pay the special attention to the very last question since it’s the absolutely critical one to pass your exam. Good luck, students!
Best regards, professor Ben
(A nerd, not a hilarious version).