The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greek and Romans and continued through the middle ages.
Be sure that any flowers you use in foods are properly identified (some flowers are poisonous) and free of pesticides. Don't buy commercial flowers, many are grown using systemic pesticides that don't wash off.
- Carnation adds a spicy flavor to food or drink.
- Often added to wine ("Sops in wine"). However, "sops" in other things are often NOT carnations.
- Commonly used in medieval recipes, hawthorn is now used in herbal remedies .
Ancient Greeks and Romans linked hawthorn with marriage and hope, aspects of the "spiritual heart."
Hawthorn is not used in modern cooking because the hawthorn flowers, fruits and leaves contain a compound effects the cardiovascular system.
Hawthorn is widely used in German medicine for this purpose.
- Available in many colors.
- Flavors range from sweet to bland. Taste a flower petals from different plants before deciding which to use.
- Several plants of genus Rosa grow wild in from Western Europe to Central Asia.
- Flavors vary, red and purple flowers are sweet, darker petals have the most intense flavors.
- Only the petals are edible.
- Separate the flower petals from the rest of the flower just prior to use to keep wilting to a minimum. Remove the bitter white area at the base of the petal where it was attached to the flower.
- Used for syrups, jams, and for crystallizing.
- The small bluish purple flowers have a sweet taste.
- Used in salads, honeys or crystallized.
Fats and Oils