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Where have all the "edible" flowers gone?

Jun 23, 2011

I remember eating sugared pansies at my grandmother's house in the farmlands of Indiana. They were chrystalized and beautiful and I imagined that they must have been what the fairies would eat, to give their wings their sparkle. Today when I see edible flowers, if I even see them at all, they are tossed in a garden salad, barely visible and given no more priority than the shredded carrot or an occasional well-chisled radish. Why have we left flowers off our plate? I grow daylilies, and I encourage people to garnish with daylilies as the flowers are spectacular and since they only last a day, you might as well just pluck them, and stick them square in the center of that big bowl of potato salad. But they are edible as a flower, generally though only when in bud form, and only just when about to open. Anyone who has grown daylilies near a wooded area has probably seen deer munching the blooms off, just when they are ready to open. Since daylilies have an "especially limited season" the anticipation for their opening is quite celebrated. Nothing bums out a gardener more then to wake up the morning they are expecting to see flowers and see instead a big "munch" right out of the top of the plant. Deer know when that bud is at its most tasteful and that is when they are best for us to eat as well. I have munched several myself, fresh from the garden and the yellow varieties are truly the sweetest and most fragrant. Tastes like celery I tell people. But could there be more ways to prepare them? Daylilies are stir-fried I've heard but I've never done that, not yet anyway. Does anyone have a recipe for preparing them? Could this prolific grower and easily maintainable plant be a wonderful new food source? Maybe someone could shed some light on the subject and maybe we could return to seeing our dinner plates bloom once again.

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