Eating Your Flowers

It is customary for the holiday of Shavuot that we decorate our homes, Synagogue and Torah scroll in flowers. Aish.com has a great article on the reason why we eat dairy foods and decorate with flowers stating that this tradition comes from a Midrash where the foot of Mount Sinai was covered in flowers while we were awaiting the receiving of the Torah. My family always grew flowers in our garden which were edible. It was always a funny prank to invite friends over, pull some off of the plant and stuff them into my mouth. Flowers are a beautiful way to garnish and add subtle flavor to salads, side dishes, desserts, basically anything!

Here is a list from GoodHouseKeeping.com which lists a few edible flowers and their flavor profiles:

  • Arugula Flowers: Peppery flavor, just like arugula leaves. Use in salads or other savory dishes. (Recipe below.)
  • Chive Blossoms: Delicate oniony flavor. Use whole flowers or separate the individual petals.
  • Hibiscus: Tart and sweet. Often used in teas, cocktails and salads.
  • Jasmine: Very sweet, floral fragrance and flavor. Use in teas or desserts.
  • Johnny-Jump-Ups: Minty, almost bubblegum-y flavor. Serve on cakes or with soft mild cheese, like goat cheese. (Recipe below.)
  • Lavender: Floral flavor that’s perfume-y and faintly citrusy. Use in cocktails, teas, desserts or other baked goods.
  • Lemon Verbena: Light lemon flavor that’s well suited for sweet or savory cooking.
  • Marigold: Faint citrus flavor. Try it in a salad.
  • Nasturtiums: Peppery flavor and golden hue. Try them on crostini with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Pansies: Use these as garnish—they’re so pretty! Faint grassy flavor.
  • Squash Blossoms: Mild raw squash taste. Usually cooked before eaten. Lightly dust with cornstarch and deep fry.
  • Violets: Sweet and floral. Use in dessert or freeze into ice cubes for decorative drinking!

Here are some beautiful examples and recipes to try and make your own house and meal filled with floral blossoms.

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Johnny-Jump-Up Angel Food Cake with Sour Cream Glaze : Recipe Here

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Edible Flowers

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Savory Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches 

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Stuffed Squash Blossoms 

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Beautiful Blossom Popsicles 

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Pansy Shortbread Cookies

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Nasturtium and Baby Greens Salad