Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Glossary of Edible Flowers


Anise hyssop: Lilac-colored blossoms. Strong anise-licorice taste. Sweet
and tasty. Flavor similar to root beer. Great in salads, sweet pastries,
butter cookies and as a garnish. Leaves can be used to make tea.

Bachelor's buttons: blue blossoms with fuzzy silver-gray leaves. Bland

Bergamot Red, pink, white and violet flowers. Perfumy, tea-like taste.
Goes nicely with peach desserts.

Borage: Large blue flowers. Cucumber-like flavor. Great in salads, dips,
fruit compotes and candied for desserts. also known as anchusa.

Calendula: Yellow or gold flowers. Slightly green, tangy, peppery taste..
with corn muffins.

Carnations: Pink, yellow, white or red flowers. Bland and sometimes bitter

Chives: Lavender flowers. Mild onion flavor
Chrysanthemums: White, yellow, orange, red, pink and purple flowers. Each
has a different flavor, some strong and bitter.

Daisies: White with yellow centers. Mild flavor.

Dandelions: Yellow. Bitter flavor.

Day lilies: Many shades of orange and yellow. Slightly sweet, nut-like
A cross between asparagus and zucchini. Interesting with pasta and

Dianthus: Red, pink or white flowers. Little flavor. Pink variety spicy,

Geraniums (scented): Pink, red, white or purple flowers. Flavored leaves
lemon, mint, apple and nutmeg). May be slightly sour or bitter. A nice
to cake batter.

Herb flowers: Most popular are chives, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram,
basil, onion, garlic, cilantro and sage. Recommended for salads, atop
vegetables, and as a pizza topping.

Johnny jump-ups: violet, mauve, yellow and white flowers. Light
flavor. Great in salads and as garnish for pastry and desserts.

Lavender: purplish flowers. Lemon flavor. Excellent in cream for desserts.

Lilacs: white, violet, blue, pink, white, yellow and magenta flowers.
floral flavor. Can be slightly bitter.

Lovage: yellow and white flowers. Mild celery flavor.

Marigolds: yellow, orange and gold flowers. Mild peppery taste. Some
less intense and bitter. Others citrusy and milder. Goes well with

Mustards: bright yellow flowers. Hot, pungent mustard flavor. Great in

Nasturtiums: rainbow of colors. Piquant, like watercress. Great in salads,
salsas, compound butters, vinaigrettes, grilled dishes and stuffed with

Pansies: blue, orange and purple flowers. Mild flavor. great as a garnish,
salads and for candying.

Rocket: white with red and pink veins. Less piquant. Smoky, nutty flavor.
Superb in spring salads.

Rose petals: white, yellow, orange, pink and red flowers. Sweet to bitter.
flowers have a mineral flavor. Lighter colored varieties are more delicate
taste. Great in jams, sugars, vinegars, syrups, jellies and teas.

Safflower: orange flowers. Slightly bitter in taste. Good in salads,
cooked in
rice or added to pasta as a garnish.

Squash: orange and yellow flowers. Vegetable flavor with the mild taste of
raw squash. Great for stuffing, frying or sauteing when whole. Cut into
julienne for pancakes, omelets, soups and salad.

Tulips: wide variety of colors. Little flavor, slightly sweet or bitter.

Violets: purple flowers. Mild taste (except viola odorata, which is
Excellent for candying and as garnishes for desserts and tea sandwiches.
Good in salads.

Source: The National Culinary Review, June'94
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