What is the best edible flower?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

The best edible flower really depends on personal preference and culinary use. However, there are several flowers that are widely considered to be delicious and versatile in cooking. Here are some of the top contenders:

1. Alliums: Chives, leeks, and garlic are not only flavorful additions to savory dishes, but their flowers can also be used in salads, dips, and as garnishes. The mild onion flavor adds a delightful kick to any dish.

2. Nasturtiums: These vibrant flowers have a peppery taste, similar to watercress. They come in a variety of colors and can be used to add a pop of color to salads, sandwiches, or even as a garnish for soups.

3. Marigolds: Marigold petals have a slightly citrusy and spicy flavor. They can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, such as soups, stews, and desserts. Marigold petals also make a beautiful addition to herbal teas.

4. Pansies and Johnny jump-ups: These delicate flowers have a mild, slightly sweet taste. They are often used to decorate cakes, pastries, and salads. Pansies and Johnny jump-ups also make a lovely addition to cocktails or infused water.

5. Calendula: Also known as pot marigold, calendula petals have a slightly tangy and peppery flavor. They can be used in salads, soups, or as a natural food coloring for butter or cheese. Calendula petals also have medicinal properties and can be used in herbal remedies.

6. Anise hyssop: This herb produces beautiful purple flowers with a sweet licorice flavor. The flowers can be used in teas, cocktails, or as a garnish for desserts. Anise hyssop flowers also attract bees and butterflies to your garden.

7. Honeysuckle: While the entire honeysuckle plant is not edible, the sweet nectar from the flowers can be enjoyed by plucking the blossoms and sucking the base of the flower. It’s a nostalgic and delightful treat for those who grew up with honeysuckle vines.

8. Scarlet runner beans: Although primarily grown for their beans, scarlet runner bean flowers are also edible. They have a slightly nutty flavor and can be used in salads, stir-fries, or as a garnish. The flowers are often used in Mexican and Central American cuisine.

These are just a few examples of edible flowers that are not only visually appealing but also add unique flavors to your dishes. When using flowers in cooking, it’s important to ensure they are organically grown, free from pesticides, and safe for consumption. So get creative in the kitchen and explore the world of edible flowers!