When flowers are mentioned in the menu, the first thing that comes to mind is broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, flower petals, pumpkin flowers or the sweet smell of blossoms. However, modern chefs who look for new ideas and flavors have turned their attention to fresh flowers as a source for delightful surprises.
Using fresh flowers as a food ingredient or an edible decoration is a custom that is used in Roman households and became popular in the West during the Victorian era. Although it is a common practice in many Asian cultures, edible flowers have been kept out of the collection of Latin flavors in our grandmothers’ kitchens.
Make this delicious tradition your very own by adding a bold, romantic, and traditional touch to the dishes enjoyed by your guests. It could be the entrée, main dish, dessert, or a centerpiece that everyone can take home… in their stomachs!
Are the flower arrangements edible?
Even though we might not eat them on a regular basis, most flowers that come from the same plants that produce the herbs used in our food are also edible. Most of the popular types of flowers, such as violets, can also be eaten. However, there are also poisonous flowers, which is why you must ask an expert or be well-informed before including them in your menu.
Flowers in your menu
Ideally, you can ask your chef or banquet coordinator if he/she has a dish that includes edible flowers. Nowadays, the most popular ones are caramelized or frozen to be served in ice cream, sherbets, and frozen desserts, but they can also be used to decorate main entrées or the appetizer table.
Not only should you choose a flower that is eye-catching, but one that means something to you and can complement the main concept of your celebration. Blossoms are traditional flowers of the Ibero-American and Arab cultures. Stuffed pumpkin flowers are a daily option in the Latin cuisine, but other fresh flowers can be used in any dish that add not only scent flavor, but are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. The most popular choices are rose petals, pansies, marigolds, violets, and borage.
Apart from including them in the menu, you can choose a few centerpieces made from fruits and edible flowers, whether fresh, crystallized, or caramelized. Served on a mirror, alternating with chandeliers or candles, you can create personalized centerpieces with their buffet card or napkin holders. They can even incite a conversation among your guests and become a memory they will carry not only in the stomachs, but their minds as well.
• Use flowers only if you are certain that they’re edible.
• Before using flowers, ask your chef or provider if the flowers were cultivated for meals or without the use of pesticides.
• Wash the flowers carefully before using them.
• In some cases, it is best to remove the pistils and use only the flower petals to avoid any allergic reactions.