I watch all…well most of the cooking programmes….I love Masterchef and Great British Menu and I am in awe of the beautiful presentation of the food and if I can ever-present food that resembles those dishes just a little then I will be a happy bunny.
Lots of the FB and Instagram posts portray such beautiful food often adorned with pretty flowers which seems to be something of the norm now.
BUT….. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THOSE PRETTY FLOWERS ARE????
DO YOU ASSUME BECAUSE THEY ARE ON A DISH THAT THEY ARE EDIBLE???
Those pretty little delicate Lily of the Valley flowers which look so innocent…. you see them in a brides bouquets looking so pretty they are actually in fact extremely poisonous. Eating large quantities of this flower can leave you with stomach aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The lovely pretty Borage flower which graces many a splendid Instagram picture is although edible and pretty to boot.
As is this lovely rose… which is used to make rose-water and flavour ice cream and Turkish delight. The petals can be crystallised and scattered over a beautiful wedding cake. Another edible flower.
DO YOUR RESEARCH these plants are easy to track down as well as very easy to grow… Just be sure you have your plant ID correct and if you are growing them yourself avoid applying gardening chemicals NOT intended for edible plants.
Also if you are purchasing from a third-party double-check whether they have been certified as safe for human consumption. If you can’t don’t take a chance.
THE FLOWERS ON THIS LITTLE LIST ALTHOUGH NOT EXHAUSTIVE are edible: Amaranth, Borage, Calendula, daisies (Bellis), elderflower (Sambucus), fuchsias, gardenia, Hemerocallis, lavender, mint, nasturtium, Primula, roses, Sweet William (Dianthus), Tagetes, and violets (viola) ARE edible.
What do they all these flowers edible or not have in common????
They are pretty!
These Narcissus which look so beautiful swaying in the gentle breeze have toxic crystals that can cause incredibly painful swelling and sores. Such an irritant are these flowers that gatherers of them can come out in severe rashes on their arms and hands. Just imagine what they could do to your insides…
Some other poisonous flowers are Opium( Poppy), Angel’s trumpet, Nerium Oleander, Daphne, Bella Donna to name but a few…
Pretty doesn’t mean safe to eat……
Did you know those pretty buttercups can kill?
So please if you are making a beautiful cake or dessert for that special occasion make sure..double-check that the flowers you are using are in fact edible.
If you fancy making flower butter or candied flowers then this link has a pretty comprehensive list of edible flowers and a recipe or two and also a list of flowers to avoid.
I hope I haven’t deterred you from using flowers to decorate your dish as they can make a dish look so inviting…Can’t they?
Until next time……..Thank you for reading this and feel free to share it could save a life or save someone from great discomfort….