*Ten Rules of Edible Flowers for Edible Flower Recipes*
1. Eat flowers only when you are positive they are edible.
2. Just because flowers are served with food does not mean they are edible. (See rule #1)
3. Eat only the flowers that have been grown organically.
4. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers unless you know they have been grown organically (see rule #3).
5. If you have hay fever, asthma or allergies, do not eat flowers, or do so cautiously, (see rule #7 & #10).
6. Do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road. They may be contaminated from car emissions (see rule #3).
7. Remove pistils and stamens from flowers before eating. Eat only the petals.
8. Not all flowers are edible. Some are poisonous.
9. There are many varieties of any one flower. Flowers taste different when grown in different locations.
10. Introduce flowers into your diet the way you would new foods to a baby- one at a time in small quantities.
*(This list is from Edible Flowers, From Garden to Palate, by Cathy Wilkinson Barash)
Our family and edible flowers go way back. It was 1990, Farmer D smothered the front lawn under a layer of newspapers and mulch and then the rains came, lots of it! It was an “El Nino” year. The grass was dead and the mulch slowly turning into dirt so Farmer D encouraged us to be “Johnny Wild Flower Seed”
We went to the nursery and bought some wild flower and nasturtium seeds and thanks to the rains the front yard turned from brown to a colorful mosaic of stunning colors.
I can remember eating my first edible flower as a teenager – I was hooked, pretty and edible! Better yet, these flowers have a language of their own.
In Victorian times, certain flowers had specific meanings because the flower selection was limited and people used more symbols and gestures to communicate than words.
The peppery nasturtium hints of “patriotism” and lavender conjugates “distrust.”
It was about that time we read that a local tea shop was serving edible flowers with their tea sandwiches. We looked out at our front yard teaming with nasturtiums, bachelor buttons, carnation and violas and thought to ourselves “people pay for this stuff?” So we gave the tea shop a ring and well, the rest is history. That was the start of DerVaes Gardens and we’ve been providing fresh produce, edible flowers and herbs from our garden to folks ever since.
Flower cookery has been traced back to Roman times, and to the Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures. Edible flowers were especially popular in the Victorian era during Queen Victoria’s reign.
To celebrate spring, this coming Mother’s Day DerVaes Gardens is offering, from our front porch farmstand, a variety of edible flower collections – from salads with a handful of edible flowers, rose jams, herb butters, vinegars or just a selected assortment of edible flower “confetti” to decorate cakes, cupcakes and more!
Don’t forget, you can floral up your cooking and baking too!
What’s your favorite edible flower, recipe? Care to share?
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