Edible Flowers Edible flowers can be used to add a splash of color to all kinds of foods, from salads to desserts. A single borage petal adds an interesting touch to a slice of cake or can be used as an amuse bouche.
Before venturing out to the garden to harvest a bunch of flowers for the dinner table, it’s important to remember that some flowers are poisonous. Make sure to make an identification of each variety before using. Obviously, one should avoid flowers that may have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. It's useful to either grow organic flowers or harvest them from roadsides where they won’t be exposed to chemical sprays.
Some flowers are definitely not edible, but can be put to other creative purposes. For example, pansies can provide color in homemade face masks or be used as stencils for painting eggs. Some flowers have common household uses too. Lilacs and lavender, for example, can both be made into scented sachets while gardenias are commonly used to make potpourri.
Poppies are a great flower to add a splash of color to salads, in addition to being edible. The petals can also be used to make tea or dried and added as a garnish to cakes and desserts. [Include an additional paragraph here that talks about problems you may encounter when trying to incorporate flowers into recipes.
Borage plants are non-toxic and can be used as a garnish. The leaves are full of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, chlorophyll and pectin.
Violets (particularly the wild varieties) can be put to decorative purposes. The flowers can be used to make potpourri, tea or dried and added as a garnish to cakes and desserts.
The petals of pansies are edible and can be used in salads or added as a garnish to all sorts of dishes. They also have common household uses too.
All in all, edible flowers certainly have more uses than just as part of elaborate salads or fancy cocktails. They can be used for either adornment or functional purposes, depending on the variety and creativity of the cook.
Global edible flowers production
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global production of edible flowers was estimated at around 1,600 tonnes in 2010. The majority of edible flower production is in Asia, with China accounting for approximately 800 tonnes, followed by India (200 tonnes) and Thailand (100 tonnes).
In Europe, Spain is the largest producer of edible flowers, with an estimated production of 200 tonnes in 2010. Other notable producers include Italy (50 tonnes) and France (40 tonnes).
The United States is a relatively small player in the global market for edible flowers, with an estimated production of just 20 tonnes in 2010. However, the US market is growing rapidly, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% between 2005 and 2010.
The global market for edible flowers is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by rising demand from the food and beverage industry. In particular, there is a growing trend for using edible flowers as decoration or garnish on various dishes. This is especially popular in fine dining establishments, where chefs are using edible flowers to create unique and visually appealing dishes.