Violets/Violas are sweet with a floral taste. The edible violet/viola plant can be used to make syrups, brew teas, be added in baked desserts and as garnishes on cakes. Flowers can also be added to salads and soups as garnish.
Lavender’s initial sensory impact is a strong floral flavour and aroma, with subtle notes of herbaceousness, earthiness, and mint. Different varieties have undertones of fruit, smoke and woodiness. Use the complex culinary herb in moderation. Try it in hearty stews and wine-reduced sauces. It also adds a delightful scent to custards, flans or sorbets, and makes a beautiful garnish for salads, desserts and cocktails.
Marigolds have a refreshing lemony flavour with subtle spice. They add vibrant colour to dishes, and can be eaten raw or cooked and used in everything from savoury dishes to desserts, teas and cocktails.
Rose’s flavour depends on type, colour and soil conditions. While petals are intensely perfumed, their flavour is subtler and a bit fruity (think strawberries and green apples), with complex undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. The darker the petals the more pronounced the flavour. The miniature varieties are a beautiful garnish to ice cream and desserts. Larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads. Petals can be used in syrups, jellies and sweet spreads. Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals before using.
Pansies are one of the most popular edible flowers, both because you can eat their sepals and because they come in such a wide array of vibrant colours. They have a fresh, slightly spicy, grassy and wintergreen undertone, which makes them a wonderful addition to salads, and they add a great splash of colour. They are also excellent dessert flowers. They can be pressed fresh into the icing of a cake or placed in a bowl of cut fruit.
Carnations are crinkly, cheerful and have a sweet and spicy flavour. Culinary uses include being steeped in wine, candied, pickled, or used as a syrup base for cocktails and ice cream sundaes. They are great with rice dishes and bright additions to salads or as fresh toppings on savoury dishes.