Taste test: 10 popular edible flowers to try

Is there more to edible flowers than great looks? We asked Carol Hyland, the creator of Little Leaves, a small-scale edible-flower and microgreens grower, to take some of her leading picks to DIFC for a flower tasting session with HalilAsar, the restaurant manager and sommelier at Intersect by Lexus, and Tomas Reger, a dining establishment expert and freelance chef.

Marigolds (Tagetestenuifolia, Tagetespatula, Tageteslucida).

Resembles: Orange-petalled flowers, ranging from yellow to deep orange, frequently variegated.

Taste test: The flowers taste like citrus zest, in some circumstances, but likewise Mexican tarragon or cinnamon.

Uses: Use dried flowers to make teas, and fresh petals for salads or garnishes.

Borage (Borago officinalis).

Resembles: Small, lilac-blue, star-shaped flowers.

Taste: The green part of the flower tastes like cucumber, while the sepal tastes and gives off oysters.

Utilizes: It can be mixed with salads and used as a garnish. Use the flower and the sepal picked from the stem. Can likewise be crystallized for cake and dessert decoration.

Sweet William (Dianthus plumarius).

Looks like: There are more than 500 types of Dianthus, in a wide variety of colors. They have little, spiked, jagged-edged petals, which are often variegated.

Taste: Sweet William has a cucumber taste or a somewhat metal, sweet or natural flavor.

Uses: Can be blended with salads and utilized as a garnish. Petals can be utilized in desserts and on cupcakes, however make sure to remove the petals from the base, because the green part is bitter.

Pansies (Viola tricolor).

Resembles: Pretty, multiform petals, in a vast array of colors, from white through to hot pinks and purples. Blue and yellow ranges have the greatest fragrance.

Taste: The flavor depends on the color of the petals, however there are hints of aniseed and the slight scent of tiger balm.

Uses: Add to salads and use to embellish cakes and drinks. They likewise crystallize well.

Nasturtium (Nasturtium tropaeolum).

Looks like: Related to watercress, nasturtium has light orange and yellow flowers, and rounded, flat leaves with a central stem (like an umbrella).

Taste: This flower tastes like rocket and wasabi, with notes of increased perfume and cloves. It has spicy and aromatic notes, matched by a sweet taste from the nectar.

Utilizes: Use leaves and flowers for salads and garnishes. It’s a strong component in its own.

Ixora (Ixoracoccinea).

Appears like: Small, star-like flowers in a range of colors, harvested from a single flowering stem.

Taste: A bitter taste that s dry on the taste buds.

Utilizes: Ixora is lovely in drinks; try freezing in ice.

Calendula or pot marigold (Calendula officinalis).

Resembles: Similar to routine marigold orange multi-petalled flowers with a visible disc at their center.

Taste: Peppery, appetizing and bitter, with some references to saffron it’s in some cases described as the poor man s saffron.

Uses: Place in salads and garnish, but only use petals instead of the hard center of the flower.

Courgette or zucchini flowers (Cucurbita pepo).

Appears like: Pale-yellow flowers are discovered on completion of growing courgettes. Not all flowers will fruit, so search for the flowers without any swelling at the base.

Taste: Slightly sweet with a courgetteflavor.

Uses: Slice the length of vegetable with the flower attached, flash-fry and serve in salads.

Lavender (Lavendula).

Looks like: Lilac through to deep-purple flowers originating from a single stem. While it’s drought- and heat-tolerant, lavender doesn’t like humidity, so consider the plant s position when growing.

Taste: Flowers have a perfumed, flower taste.

Uses: Harvested flowers can be used to flavor cakes and ice cream. Flowers are edible, but avoid the green stalk. When crystallized, in its full kind, lavender works well as a cake design.

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis).

Resembles: Deep red, with a protruding stamen.

Taste: Fresh and flower when brewed for teas.

Uses: Petals (eliminate stamens and green parts) can be brewed for tea. The color is especially striking.

Image Gallery

Services

Resembles: Pretty, multiform petals, in a vast array of colors, from white through to hot pinks and purples. Blue and yellow ranges have the greatest fragrance.Taste: The flavor depends on the color of the petals, however there are hints of aniseed and the slight scent of tiger balm.

About

Looks like: There are more than 500 types of Dianthus, in a wide variety of colors. They have little, spiked, jagged-edged petals, which are often variegated.Taste: Sweet William has a cucumber taste or a somewhat metal, sweet or natural flavor.