Going back a few years, the notion of eating flowers was something I found a little hard to swallow. Parma Violets, the nastiest of all sweets from my childhood, were an anomaly on an otherwise delicious sweet shop shelf; they tasted of your Granny's talcum powder and had no place alongside such joys as a sherbet DibDab or a handful of Cola Cubes. When I pictured someone eating a flower, it would conjure up an image of the cow in the cartoon The Magic Roundabout, with a flower hanging woefully out her mouth. I consigned flower eating to the same box as cooking nettles, juicing lettuce or eating tripe. All perfectly edible, but not for me thanks all the same.
What did I know. Fast forward to a shoot with gardens journalist Lia Leendertz and one taste of her fresh borage and cucumber salad I was hooked. No hint of the reviled sweets in this dish, it tastes more like cucumber and it's bright blue colour is so pretty. I'm planning on a an entire spread with the flowers floating in a Pimms, nestling in a salad, and arraged in a jar. All I need now is a sunny day …
If this has given you an appetite for all things floral, the full story of edible flowers is in this months The Simple Things magazine. There is a recipe for the salad, as well as step by step instructions on making crystallized Rose Petals to decorate a cake, and freezing flowers in ice cubes.
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- April 24th, 2014