Flowers are all around us, and not just in our gardens! They play a part in our day-to-day lives and wellbeing and are at the heart of many long-standing traditions; from the vase on our dining room table and the bouquet we send our loved one on Valentine’s Day to the herbal tea we drink before bed.
A bunch of flowers has the power to make someone’s day, send a message we can’t put into words, or simply make us feel happy. But it doesn’t stop there…
We’ve all seen it on TV – a sprinkling of violas atop an elegant desert, the once-discarded courgette flower now stuffed and the centre piece of a summer salad. It’s safe to say flowers in food have become something of a craze.
Exploring the use of edible flowers can open up a whole new world of flavours, textures and aromas, and offer an exotic alternative to the classic garnish of fresh herbs.
Although a seemingly recent or perhaps rather extravagant trend limited to the experts, blooms in food is not a radical idea. It dates as far back as the Romans and has long been found in the traditional cuisines of India, China and the Middle East!
Why cook with flowers?
It’s a great way to expand your culinary horizons and, with a little research on the do’s and don’ts, you could be well on your way to impressing your guests at your next dinner party. When it comes to using flowers within a dish, it’s best to keep it simple and avoid overpowering your star ingredient.
You can even use flowers as a garnish and get creative. A few suggestions to get you inspired include:
• For an easy yet sophisticated finish, try decorating a cake with delicate crystallised rose petals
• Bring a plain potato salad bang up-to-date with the addition of spicy-sweet nasturtiums or use this versatile flower to scatter some pockets of colour into a sweet green salad
• Feeling particularly adventurous? Fresh homemade sushi can be made even more striking with some bright yellow chrysanthemums – a delicacy in Japan
We’re yet to see where this latest foodie fad may go, but one thing’s for sure: flowers will always be a popular inclusion in many areas of our life.