Food fads come and go, but one is likely to stand the test of time: flowers you can eat are increasingly making their way onto menus. Though diners may be shocked at the idea of deep-fried daylilies, our ancestors often looked to the flower garden for seasonings and side dishes.

The most common ways to use flowers in cooking are to add them to salads, brew them in tea or to decorate desserts. However, because flowers have such a range of flavors, the only limit is your imagination: chop them up and roll them into savory pasta dough or sprinkle them over a sweet sorbet. You can dip them, dunk them and batter and fry them.

Peruse our guide for helpful information, recipes and essential tips for cooking with flowers.

1. Choose from this list of 96 flowers you can eat

Not all flowers can be eaten. So before you start foraging in the backyard for new foods, read this list of 96 flowers you can eat, which includes information about each plant’s flavor profile, scientific name, common uses and cautions.

2. Read these tips for using flowers in the kitchen

Here are some important tips for picking, storing and preparing flowers in food. Tap the text to access additional details.

Know what you’re eating and where it comes from. Only eat organically grown flowers that have not been exposed to chemical sprays or pesticides. When possible, the best course of action is to eat flowers from your own garden. If you’re not positive, err on the side of caution.

Regardless of their provenance, always rinse the flowers extra well and be on the lookout for stray dirt or bugs that may have been hiding under the leaves. A quick ice bath can also help revive flowers that are starting to droop. Just be sure to drain and dry them before use.

This will get rid of unwanted pollen, which detracts from the flower’s natural flavor. If you suffer from allergies, be extra cautious as some flowers may exacerbate your symptoms.

Flowers are freshest when consumed within a few hours of harvesting. When you can’t eat them right away, place flowers on moist paper towels and store them in the refrigerator until ready for use. Most petals will keep for up to a day in an airtight container; some flowers may keep for up to 10 days. Of course, you can also store cut flowers in a vase of water.

Treat flowers like any other ingredient. Smell them or take a nibble before adding them to your dish. Just like herbs, flowers have a variety of flavors and intensities.

When introducing flowers to your diet, start with a small amount of a single flower at a time. Some flowers, even those that are digestible, can aggravate allergies or cause digestive distress in large amounts.

3. Start cooking with these delicious flower recipes

Ready to start adding flowers to your cooking? Sweet or savory, flowers can be used just like herbs to bring extra flavor to your favorite dishes. Experiment with flavor infusions in vinegar or oil, creative garnishes for floral cocktails and tea or dried uses like flavored sugars and salts.

People have been eating flowers for centuries and every culture has at least a few top recipes. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to whet your appetite for floral foods:


Cheese and Flower Tartine

source: Sarah Raven


Flower Ice Pops

source: My Whole Foods Romance


Crystallized Flowers

source: The Novice Gardener


Stuffed Squash Blossoms

source: Ask Chef Dennis


Zucchini Flower Fritters

source: Belly Rumbles


Chive Flower Tempura

source: Mummy, I Can Cook


Tomato Nasturtium Salad

source: Simple Bites


Lilac Scones with Rhubarb Curd

source: Kitchen Vignettes


Cucumber Marigold Pickle

source: The Paleo Network


Chrysanthemum Yogurt

source: Sarah Melamed


Rosemary Flower Butter

source: Lavender and Lovage


Spinach Salad with Violets

source: Healthy Green Kitchen

Flowers can bring rich color, nuanced flavor and elegance to any dish. Packed with phyto-nutrients, they are also an easy way to boost nutrition.

Have you ever eaten flowers? Are there some flowers that taste better than others? Let us know in the comments and tell us about your favorite flower recipe.