Edible Flowers of Spring


What is crunchy and tastes like a bean yet is exotically big and colorful?  Is there something of many hues with a bite like black pepper?  Can something pink smell and taste like cloves?  What is purple but reminds your taste buds of licorice?  How can something soft and blue taste like cucumbers?  These are all edible flowers – and they will change your cooking.

Its spring here in the mid-Atlantic and flowers are starting to show up in our meals.  Let’s take a look at the edible flowers of spring and some of the wonderful things you can cook up with them. 

floral peas

Apple and Crabapple Blossoms — Malus spp.

The flavor is slightly floral.  We use them in salads, ice cream, and to garnish sweet dishes.

Dandelion — Taraxacum officinale

These can vary from bitter to earthy in taste, they are better picked in the bud stage or very early bloom.  We like the very young buds fried in butter, or you can make fritters from the petals when they first open.

Lilac — Syringa vulgaris

The petals have a slight floral taste and are pretty added to soft cheeses and to garnish sweet dishes.

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