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Edible Flowers

Edible Flowers

The Lotus Eaters were way ahead of the gourmet curve

20140801-dorie-greenspan-alan-richardsonIt’s said that scent is the most powerful of the five major senses. Like clean laundry, ocean breezes, new cars, and new babies, the smell of flowers is an olfactory miracle that sets mind and memory ablaze.

Edible flowers turn the sensory tables even further. They infuse everything from cocktails to salads to desserts with an aromatic otherworldliness. Think of them as comestible confetti. It’s playful, colorful, and adds another layer of complexity, especially to dishes in the farm-to-table sustainability movement.

When literally chewing the scenery, you don’t want to skip into the forest and pop just anything into your mouth. It’s certainly true when eating flowers. Not every flower is edible, safe, or remotely tasty. Fortunately, upscale markets these days will have a small container of select edibles prepped and ready to go to make your life easier.

Spring is the perfect season to sprinkle some edible flowers into the appropriate dish, or to enjoy as part of a floral martini. To help your imagination blossom, turn the page, where celebrated chef Dorie Greenspan serves up a strawberry shortcake that includes a very special touch—sugar coated Rose petals.



  • 3 unsprayed roses
  • 1–2 very fresh organic egg whites
  • granulated sugar


  1. Several hours ahead or the day before, separate the rose petals, rinse them quickly in cold water and pat them dry.
  2. Put one egg white in a small bowl and whisk until it’s foamy. (You may or may not need the second white.)
  3. Put the sugar in another small bowl and place a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on the counter.
  4. One at a time, dip a petal into the white and let the excess drip back into the bowl.
  5. Drag the petal through the sugar to coat both sides very lightly.
  6. Dry the petals on the paper or mat in a cool, non-humid place for at least 6 hours or for as long as overnight.


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