Edible Flowers

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2008

There are many edible flowers that taste as good as they look.

Pansies
Pansies have a slightly sweet green or grassy flavor, with mild petals; the flavor comes from consuming the entire flower. They can be used as garnishes in salads, desserts, soups, and on entrees and appetizers.

Snap Dragons
Snap dragons, which have a bitter flavor, can be used in a variety of dishes, including some desserts.

Pink Dianthus
Pink dianthus have a sweet clove flavor. They can be used in clove-pink syrup, which is made by infusing the petals in a hot sugar syrup and is delectable on fruit salads or stewed fruits.

Calendulas
Whole petals of calendulas, which have a bitter flavor, can be used as garnish.

Society Garlic
Society garlic, with its flavor combination of strong garlic and onion garlic, can be used in many appetizers, salads, and entrees.

Bachelor Buttons or Cornflower
Bachelor buttons, also know as cornflower, have a slightly sweet and spicy clovelike flavor. Avoid eating the flower center and pollen.

Tips
Before you open your mouth for any of these beauties, there are a few things to be aware of.

1. Don't eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. In many cases they've been treated with pesticides not for consumption.

2. Wash all flowers thoroughly before you eat them.

3. Eat only the petals from most flowers.

4. Introduce flowers into your diet in small quantities one species at a time; too much may cause problems for your digestive system.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Sweet Fields in California and Elegance Distributors for supplying an assortment of candied flowers for our viewer mail participant.

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