Best Buds

A guide to 9 flowers you can eat.

Be sure not to eat florist or foraged flowers, which likely contain pesticides and preservatives, and don’t assume every edible plant’s flowers are also edible. Here, we offer a primer to selecting the tastiest blooms.


Borage 

Taste: Faintly like cucumber.
Use: A common garnish for drinks, it is also sometimes sugared and dried to garnish cakes. 
Dianthus 

Taste: Lightly spicy and clove-like.
Use: Often used to decorate desserts.
Onion

Taste: Similar to very mild green onion.
Use: The large decorative flower makes a beautiful garnish in salads.
Nasturtium 

Taste: Mild pepper (both leaves and flowers are edible).
Use: The colorful flowers are tossed in salads or used as a finishing garnish.
Pineapple Buds

Taste: As expected, a gentle pineapple flavor and aroma.
Use: A tiny garnish for small composed bites or sweets. 
Radish 

Taste: A concentrated spicy bite.
Use: To punctuate composed salads or to garnish a flavorful dish.
Society Garlic 

Taste: Traditional garlicky flavor and aroma, but milder than garlic cloves or true garlic flowers. 
Use: This ornamental plant doesn’t grow bulbs, but its flowers add a tasty pop to salads and many earthy dishes. 
Szechuan Buzz Buttons

Taste: Herbaceous and slightly bitter.
Use: Employed less for flavor and more for the tingly, buzzy sensation they create in the mouth, they also garnish cocktails or flavorful dishes.  
Zucchini 

Taste: Mild squash flavor.
Use: Stuffed, battered and baked, or sliced crosswise and served raw in salads. Yellow squash blossoms make a good substitute.

Petal Pushers

Add fresh splashes of color and pops of flavor to your dishes with summer’s bright edible flowers. Click here for the recipes.

This article originally appeared in our August 2017 issue. 

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