Flowers are not just a pretty things we give to our loved ones on special occasions. Some of them are even edible, and have been used in traditional cooking all over the world. The most obvious use of flowers in the kitchen is for decorative purposes, but flowers can also add unique taste and aroma to many dishes. They come in sweet, savoury and even spicy flavours and can be used in all kinds of cooking.
Look at some classic food and drinks you can make with flowers.
Rose has a delicate and classic fragrance and is a popular choice of flower for making jam. All rose petals are edible, but pink and red are more strongly flavoured and create a rich colour for your jam. Rose petal jam is made by first cleaning the petals and removing their white bases. They're then added to a mixture of sugar, water, lemon and optional additives like thickeners, and simmered in a saucepan. When your jam is ready, add it to scones, cakes or simply to your morning toast.
Dainty flowers like violets are perfect for making cupcakes. They can be used both in the icing and as edible decoration on top. First, create violet syrup by boiling your violets in a mixture of sugar and water. This syrup has a wonderful fragrance and a vivid purple colour. You can then add your violet syrup to your icing, giving it an attractive pastel purple colour. Complete your cupcakes by adding fresh violets on top. They'll be both adorable and mouth-watering.
Lavender is a flower the complements meat well. Lavender can be dried and used in cooking very much like a household herb. Combine lavender with your salt, pepper, thyme or any garnish of your choice, and use it to marinate your meat before roasting. Be careful with lavender, because it has a strong flavour and fragrance, and you can easily overpower a meal with this flower. Cautiously sprinkle it into your mixture or find a recipe book to guide you.
Flowers make a funky addition to cocktails. They add fragrance and flavours that complement both the sugar and the alcohol in your drinks. Hibiscus is a popular choice for cocktails because of its vivid red colour and tangy flavour. Simply add a whole hibiscus flower into your cocktail. It works well in champagne, tequila and even margaritas. Edible flowers can even be used to make eye-catching ice cubes for your drinks.
Be creative with your choice of edible flowers and see what you can come up with. To get your stash of flowers, visit local florists like Business With Blooms.