Edible Flowers - a New Symbol on Our Plates
Health & Beauty / /
Edible flowers in recent years are part of decoration of the specialties in elite restaurants. It represents a new inspiration for creative cooks and aesthetes, but there are also nutritious and medicinal values of these decorative flowers. It is interesting to compare how they were used in ancient cultures, and how in the modern restaurants today.
Edible flowers appeared on the market as a new exotic inspiration, dedicated to creative chefs, "adventurers in gastronomy", who appreciate new flavors and invest in a special aesthetics of the meals. Nutritionist would say that certain types of flowers have multiple medicinal benefits too.
Most edible flowers supply vitamin C, a nutrient that helps stave off infections. A cup of raw borage, for example, delivers 31,2 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about 42% of the 75 mg women need each day and 35% of the 90 mg men require daily. Nasturtiums are another flower source of vitamin C, and contain 10 times more vitamin C than lettuce. Nasturtiums also supply small amounts of vitamin D. A cup of pumpkin flowers supplies 643 international units of vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy eyes. That amount is equal to 28% of the 2,300 IU of vitamin A women need daily and 21% of the 3,000 IU men require each day. Rose petals provide small amounts of vitamin E, and lavender is another source of vitamin A, as Live Strong Magazine reports.
In contemporary gastronomy flowers mean a gift of the nature, returning to the roots and the authentic, original taste. Different cultures emphasize the power of different flowers. Rose has been a favorite flower of the alchemists, sunflower in China is considered as a food of immortality, and in Japanese culture they believe chrysanthemum provide longevity. The leaves of the water lily are given to women after giving childbirth for strength as they breastfeed. Orchids are used to treat infertility, and a peony was considered a universal remedy.
When using edible flowers there are curtain rules in coordinating one item with another, but it is also about having fun, showing off and making a statement. The ways to enjoy edible flowers are numerous. Here are some of them according to the Mother Earth Magazine :
• Infuse petals into honey, jelly, simple syrups, liqueurs and vinegars.
• Add dried buds to sugar and salt for a whisper of flavor.
• Add petals and flower heads to salads both for flavor and added texture.
• Steep edible flowers in teas.
• Garnish soups, entrèes, desserts and fruit salads with attractive blossoms.
• Blend flowers into butter, soft cheese, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy products.
• Garnish cakes with candied flowers.
• Freeze pretty petals in ice cubes or toss them into the punch bowl.