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We love flowers. You love flowers. Roses and other varieties bring scent, color and excitement to our lives. To consider flowers as food – edible flowers — is an entirely different way to experience and enjoy what they bring to our hearts.
Edible flowers are hardly a fad: they are part of our history. The ancient Romans decorated the food for their banquets with flowers, and in Pan-Asian countries it is still common to dress even a plate served at home with a colorful flower.
It’s important to note that many of us are already eating some kinds of flowers. The artichokes and artichoke hearts we enjoy are the unopened flower bud of the artichoke plant. Left to grow naturally, the tight, scaly leaves eventually pry open to reveal a large, neon-purple flower that resembles a scratchy – but quite nonedible – thistle. Broccoli is another flower we eat. The rounded, beady green tips we enjoy as “broccoli florets” (hint, hint) are just unopened buds of the broccoli flower. Left to fully mature on the plant, each little green ball would open up into a four-petaled yellow flower no bigger than your smallest fingernail.
More than just a garnish, edible flowers can highlight and enhance all our senses when used in cookery. In this guide, you’ll discover how to use flowers to create colorful and tasty breakfast dishes, appetizers, unusual side dishes and even a recipe for dandelion wine! Check out the A-Z list for more information on each species, or the recipes section for all different types of delicious, flowery fun.