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A different take on Valentine’s Day flowers…

February 11, 2010

Did you know that all of the flowers we sell at the market are edible? I realize that is a not exactly what most have in mind when buying flowers for Valentine’s Day, but hear me out.

Snap dragons, calendulas, stock… all of these flowers are not only beautiful on your table, but also in your dish. You can sprinkle the petals from any of these flowers to add a hint of color and flavor to pasta, salads, or soups. Marsha arranges all of these together in little bundles that are sold at the markets.

Calendulas are also known as the Poor Man’s Saffron, because of their sharp flavoring. Their petals also provide a subtle yellow tint to soups. Snap dragons come in the loveliest colors, but have more of a bitterness to them.

There are other flowers too that we don’t sell at the markets that are edible as well. Those Valentine’s Day rose petals add fragrance and color and their flavors can range from fruity to spicy depending on the type and color of the rose. The general rule with roses is that the darker the color the more pronounced the flavor. Take care to remove the white portion of the petal which can be quite bitter.

Pea blossoms, from either sugar snap peas or sweet peas, are slightly crunchy and have a delicate pea-like flavor. Also a fun choice! If you do decide to take a bite out of a flower, make sure you do your homework first. Not all flowers are edible. Also consider the flavoring just as you would with an herb or spice when adding a flower to your dish.

Of course, you can go old school and also present your Valentine any of these flowers in a pretty arrangement in a vase of water too. But why not think outside the box (of chocolates)?

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