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Tasty Flowers That Make Beautiful Garnishes


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Foodies are starting to experiment with their food options now more than ever, thanks to the improved accessibility of the Internet and foreign goods. Edible flowers are one of the more recent restaurant trends that’s actually pretty common in Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. Its new popularity in North America and Europe has also led to the following floral garnishes.

Borage Blossoms (Pink or Purple)

Borage blossoms are shaped like stars and open wide into a 5-pointed purple or pink flower with prickly leaves. Although the stems and greenery aren’t editable, the petals taste like cucumbers and fit in any starter dish. These blossoms provide a hint of colored stars across a green and white chicken salad, and you can use the rest of your flora for a lemon tea.

Chive Blossoms (Purple or White)

Chives are a light purple flower with a distinct onion flavor that adds a bit of kick to scalloped potatoes. These flowers used in cooking are quite versatile because they already grow separate, individual petals that are easy to cut and fry up. Chive stems are also edible and taste similar to asparagus. Garlic chives, a chives variety, are white and taste like garlic.


Without proper care, your food may taste like soap, but a steady hand can do a lot with culinary lavender. Underline culinary, because this variety tastes the best. Lavender can be used as a topping for cakes, cookies, and other desserts. At the same time, this versatile purple flower works great with poultry, fish, and fruits. They can even complement milk and dark chocolate.

Nasturtiums (Yellow or Orange)

As an incredibly beautiful flower, nasturtiums add a lot of color to any dish. Unlike most of the garnishes on this list, nasturtiums don’t taste sweet at all and are actually peppery and a bit spicy. Even still, their flavor is enough to put on top of cakes and sandwiches, but they really shine in salads. Seriously, it’ll be impossible to miss their bright orange and yellow petals.

Pansies (Purple or Blue)

Pansies have an earthy, even minty, flavor that works well with cocktails and fruit salads. Since pansies open flat, they are easy to work with and won’t become warped if you press down on them. Pansies are commonly used as cracker and cheese hors-d'oeuvres or as toppings on cakes. They also look great as cookie toppers and in decorative ice cubes or popsicles. 


Both sweet and tart, hibiscus petals have a cranberry-like flavor that would make them the perfect sugary add-on to most deserts if they weren’t so large. While typically used as a herbal tea, hibiscus leaves are often placed as a garnish for cocktails. Bold bakers may place a single, large flower on top of a cake or in the middle of a desert tray to add more color to the plate.

Roses (Red or Pink)

Roses have a strong smell, but that can be a great thing for certain meals. Since roses are fruity and sugary, they offer a deeper flavor profile to soups, salads, jams, cookies, and cakes. The best thing about preparing roses as a garnish is that you won’t need to do much. Just sprinkle freshly cut and washed petals across your dish of choice and enjoy their beauty and taste.

Calendula (Red or Yellow)

Calendula, or marigold, is often called “poor man’s saffron” because of how closely they resemble the spice. These blossoms can be added to cream cheese or soups for a dash of color along with a mild peppery flavor. Calendula is also useful as a spice for sauces, curries, and rice dishes. In a pasta dish, they can add a much-needed pop of yellow, red, and orange. 

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