Many fine dining restaurants make the use of flowers to enhance the flavors and textures of the food they offer. Flowers can be added to main dishes, desserts or salads for an exciting twist or can be used as a garnish. There are many beverages which infused with flowers. Flowers can also be used for making spreads and preserves, marinades and dressings, to cakes and puddings, appetizers and starters- the options are endless. All you need is some imagination and creativity.

However, it is also important to keep in mind that not all flowers are edible. So make sure that you depend on some reliable source when choosing flowers to consume. If possible, try to grow your own edible flowers. To ensure best flavor, choose fresh flowers and avoid the wilted ones. Also, flower buds can be bitter, so are better left alone. Some flowers can be eaten whole, except for bitter parts like stems and stamens.

If you suffer from any allergies, add flowers to your diet gradually as too much of them can aggravate your condition. Avoid eating flowers plucked from public parks or even from the florist as they could carry traces of pesticides or herbicides.

Keeping flowers wrapped in moist paper towels and refrigerating them will help them stay fresh longer. Read further to know some more about some flowers which can be eaten safely.

Violets

Violets make for a beautiful garnish for desserts and drinks and impart a sweet and floral aroma.

Sunflower

You can steam the bud as you would steam an artichoke and can eat the petals also.

Squash and pumpkin flowers

Make use of blossoms as stuffing as they also have a squash-like flavor. Stamens must be removed before consuming.

Sage blossoms

The flavor is same as the leaves of the herb.

Rosemary

The flowers taste the same as the herb, only slightly milder. For dishes that consist of rosemary, flowers can make a good garnish.

Rose

After removing the base, you get strong aroma and flavor containing petals. Float them on drinks or scatter on desserts or integrate them in jams. The darker roses have more flavor compared to lighter ones. All roses are edible.

Radish flowers

For a peppery touch, radish flowers are the perfect option.

Oregano

Oregano flowers have the same taste as the herb, just slightly subtler.

Nasturtium

Among the more popular edible flowers, nasturtiums are bright in color as well as flavor. The sweet-at-first flavor gives way to a peppery flavor towards the end and the seed pod is particularly flavorful, an interesting blend of sweet and spicy. The flowers can be stuffed, leaves can be added to salads, buds can be pickled and petals can be used as garnish.

Lilac

The lilac blooms may smell and taste somewhat pungent, but lend a fresh citrusy aroma to any dish.

Lemon Berbena

These blossoms make great companions for teas and desserts.

Lavender

Sweetly perfumed with a sweet and spicy flavor, lavender flowers can be added to sweet or savory delicacies.

Johnny Jump-up

These are delicious flowers and make a great addition to pastas, salads and fruit-based drinks and desserts.

Jasmine

Jasmine tea is quite popular. These flowers have a strong scent and should be used sparingly for sweet dishes.

Hollyhock

Though they taste bland, hollyhock flowers make for a pretty garnish and are edible as well.

Hibiscus

You probably already know about hibiscus tea. They have a tart flavor and should be made use of in small portions.

Fuchsia

Pretty fuchsia flowers have a tangy taste and make for a beautiful garnish.

Fennel

Fennel blossoms taste like the herb itself and the tiny yellow flowers look good, too.

Clover

Clover flowers have a sweet flavor, with undertones of licorice.

Citrus flowers

Citrus flowers like kumquat, lime, orange, lemon and grapefruit are sweet and have a strong aroma. They should be used sparingly, or may overpower your dish.

Chrysanthemum

They come in many colors and have a slightly bitter, peppery and pungent flavor. Make use only of petals when adding to dishes.

Chicory

Chicory petals and buds can be pickled to enjoy the bitter earthy flavor.

Chamomile

A very popular addition to teas, chamomile flowers are small and have a sweet flavor.

Carnations

Trim the petals from the base and you have sweet petals which are edible and have a sweet aroma, too.

Marigold and calendula

The bright color of these flowers can liven up any dish, and add a tangy, peppery flavor as well.

Borage

Borage flowers have a cucumber-like taste and the blue hue is very eye-catching, too.

Basil

Basil flowers come in many colors and have the same flavor and aroma as the herb.

Arugula

These small flowers with dark center may come in many colors and have a peppery taste.

Allium

Garlic, chives, leeks all belong to the allium family. All parts of these are edible and so are the flowers, which are bursting with flavor.