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Cooking with Edible Flowers

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Cooking with Edible Flowers

Roses

Zlaja Zlajic
Many varieties of flowers are edible and, in fact, taste wonderful. Adding flowers to a dish can add color, taste, and an unexpected surprise for your dinner guests. There are, however, a few rules you should follow before tossing in some flowers from your garden into tonight’s salad: 1. Positively identify the flower you want to use. 2. Make sure the flower is free of chemicals and bugs. 3. The flower should taste good and compliment the dish you wish to add it to.

First, positively identify the flower as edible. A lot of flowers are edible, but just as many are toxic. A good companion book for identification is Edible Flowers: From Garden to Palate by Cathy Wilkinson Barash (out of print, but still available in some stores). If you’re not an experienced gardener, talk with someone who is or your local greenhouse about what kind of flowers you want to grow. Many supermarkets today also carry edible flowers along with fresh herbs. Check the quality of the flowers before you make a purchase. Flowers are highly perishable and usually expensive in markets compared to growing them yourself.

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