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2010 - Volume 1 Issue 1
¡Comidas Sabroso!
Cooks Marketplace
Article: Joe Burgess
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Nothing says posh quite like edible flowers, but more importantly, adding a colorful orchid or sprig of lavender to top off a salad, soup or a cool summer drink speaks volumes about the hosts. You see edible flowers at high-end restaurants and galas, but individuals can also overnight them for their own formal dinner or backyard party.


Melissa’s Produce
Color coordination and timing are important factors for edible flowers, as they are for every facet of your dinner or party. The color and type of flower ordered must not only coordinate with the food or drink it will crown, but also the china and crystal chosen for the setting. Avoid the embarrassment of ordering edible flowers that clash with both the color and pattern of your salad bowls by simply planning ahead. Visualize the whole table, from centerpieces to napkins, or better yet, work with the decorators who create table settings for a living. The idea of using edible flowers is to compliment a dish with a touch of pure elegance that enhances the overall setting.

Edible Flowers are raised in a hot house and so generally are available year round. Always check ahead, however, to insure that someone doesn’t snatch up all the nasturtiums for some big bash in Hollywood that you intended to use for your special function in El Paso or Las Cruces.

A few examples from Melissa’s Produce in Los Angeles, part of the largest distributor of specialty produce in the United States, include:

  • Mixed Edible Flowers
    (whole or petal confetti) A colorful
    pack of variety flowers of the season’s
    best flowers.
    Uses: salads, salad dressings, all
    around for colorful garnish

  • Orchids
    Appearance: smaller than common
    orchid, purple to white
    Flavor: spicy, tangy, peppery
    Uses: mainly in Asian dishes as garnish

  • Lavender
    Appearance: long puff ball, light purple
    Flavor: lavender floral
    Uses: soups, salad, tea, juice, grilling, omelets, garnish

  • Nasturtiums
    Appearance: commonly yellow, orange
    and red with round leaves
    Flavor: spicy, peppery flavor,
    Uses: salads, salad oils, pasta,
    sandwiches, garnish

  • Pansies
    Appearance: blue, yellow, purple,
    red, white and multi-colored with five overlapping petals on individual stems
    Flavor: varies from sweet to tart
    Uses: very popular all around, cold beverages, garnish
  • Rose Petals
    Appearance: full size petals, not
    whole flowers
    Flavor: peppery
    Uses: garnishing, juice, teas

  • Chive Flowers
    Appearance: puff ball, light purple
    Flavor: onion flavor
    Uses: soups, omelets, garnish

  • Bachelor Buttons
    Appearance: mainly blue, but also
    sometimes available in pink, white,
    purple, or red flowers, 1/2 dollar in size
    with long, thin stems
    Flavor: varies from sweet to spicy,
    clover like
    Uses: salads, salad dressings,
    fruit, garnish

  • Borage
    Appearance: light-blue to lavender color
    Flavor: cucumber flavored
    Uses: add to salads, salad dressings,
    fruit, punch, cold pasta dishes, fruit
    compote, garnish

  • Marigolds
    Appearance: yellow, orange, nickel
    to quarter-sized flowers
    Flavor: spicy to piquant, bitter
    Uses: salads, garnish
Other varieties include carnations, hollyhocks, daisies, chrysanthemums, day lilies and violets. Edible flowers are added to provide a glamorous glow and sense of freshness, most have very little flavor. ///
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