How To Eat Flowers

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Yes, you read the title right! You can ACTUALLY eat flowers. The thing is, there’s a bit of a catch. Turns out you can’t just turn up to a field, get on your hands and knees and start chomping like a sheep. Some flowers are actually poisonous and can have quite nasty side effects that we won’t go into (for fear of making you feel ill right now)!

For Barry’s wedding, we made his cake from scratch ‘naked’ style. Wedding cakes are probably the most common example of where edible flowers are used but you can pretty much add them to any dish you like.

We went for Pansies, Nasturtiums, violas, tagets and marigolds… a selection of colours primarily, but also the more fragrant and citrusy flavour profiles rather than those with a peppery or spicy note.

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It’s important to source your flowers from reputable places. While you can get away with eating wild flowers (if you’re 100% sure they’re clean) you can’t eat flowers from florists or garden centres because of the treatments they use. Pick somewhere that specialises in edible flowers! This time around we went to the trusty Maddocks Farm who provide some fantastic advice and beautiful produce. Last year, when travelling in America for Lost and Hungry, we visited Paradise Farms Organic who explained all of the flavour profiles and variations of the flowers they had on offer.

There are a few things to bear in mind so if you want to give ‘em a go to make a piece of your own look stunning, check out these pointers and get sourcing…

1. Make sure your source offers organic flowers.

You MUST ensure the flowers are grown with excellent garden practices and are free from insecticides, pesticides and any other nasties that react badly in the human body. Be inquisitive and make sure you understand what you’re looking out for. If you don’t, then that’s fine too, just make sure you go to a reputable source.

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2. Be Aware Of The Time Scale

Is your cake iced or a naked cake? Some edible flowers soak up the fat from icing and therefore don’t last long on display. So work out how long your cake going to be standing at the centre of attention for and plan accordingly. The longer you can hold off decorating it, the better! You want it to look beautiful until the point where you cut into it. We made sure we decorated the stacked cake a matter of hours before it was required.

3. Do Your Research On Taste As Well As Looks

You might have the prettiest edible flowers of them all but if you hate the taste of them, you’re the real loser. Choose according to what you’re trying to achieve overall – in the mouth as well as the eyeball. Some of them can be surprisingly spicy, peppery or even slightly metallic in flavour similar to saffron.

4. Be Aware of The Seasons

Like fruit, some flowers will be in abundance at certain times of the year. Check out this great list and you could keep costs down.

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5. Consider Leaves Too

Like flowers, leaves can be a great addition to a cake. They’re a little less tricky because you can use classic garden herbs to get a great visual effect. The combination of flowers and leaves can be quite special. Use a flick of your wrist to get super creative.

What do you think? Don’t forget to check out the full article on Barry and Hayley’s beautiful wedding cake. We were so pleased with the finished result. Thanks to everyone involved for the great expertise.

What dishes would you add leaves and flowers? Would you opt for them on your wedding cake? Head to Twitter to join in the conversation or add your photos and recipes to SORTEDfood.com

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