Edible flower selectionWith the widespread use of pesticides by commercial growers, it's important to select edible flowers from a supplier who grows them specifically for consumption. Do not eat flowers obtained from a florist.
Your best bet is to grow them yourself, so you know they are completely pesticide-free. However, many grocery stores and gourmet markets now sell edible flowers. If you are choosing homegrown flowers to eat, be certain you know your flowers as not all flowers are edible. Some can cause serious stomach problems and some are quite poisonous. Pick homegrown flowers in the morning or late afternoon when the water content is high.
Select flowers that are freshly-opened, perky and free of any bug-eaten or diseased spots. Normally, the petals are the only portion to be eaten, with the notable exception of safflower and crocus (saffron) whose stigma are prized as an herb.
Edible flower storageBe sure to wash flowers thoroughly by bathing them gently in a bath of salt water. Perk them up by dropping into a bowl of ice water for 30 to 60 seconds, and drain on paper towels. Then carefully remove petals or other parts to be consumed.
You may wish to trim off the whitish part of the petal where it connects to the stem as it can often be bitter. It's best to store flowers whole in a glass of water in the refrigerator until you need to use them. You can store petals for a day in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, but your optimum goal should be to use them within a few hours.
More About Edible Flowers and Edible Flowers Recipes:• Edible Flower Storage and Selection
• Edible Flower Cooking Tips and Hints
• Edible Flower History
• Edible Flower Flavor Chart
• Poisonous Flowers Chart
• Edible Flower Recipes
Edible Flowers Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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