Food in Bloom: Edible Flower Season Winds Down
But if you think it's as simple as plucking a bud from the garden and throwing it into your cheesecake batter, you'd better be prepared for a mouthful of perfume. "Not all lavender is equal," says Desert Botanical Garden horticulturist Kirti Mathura.
Edible flowers and plants at this year's Devoured Culinary Festival.
|A grab bag of local wildflowers from Arizona Homegrown Solutions.|
Of course, lavender isn't the only bloom you can use in cooking. Some of Mathura's favorites include Johnny jump-ups, calendula flowers and nasturtiums, which she describes as having a strong, spicy flavor.
As Curator of Shrubs and creator of the Steele Herb Garden exhibit, Mathura has also discovered some more unusual edibles like chuparosa and basil flowers. "Depending on the type of basil, you'll get a different taste," she tells New Times. "Cinnamon basil has flowers with a lot of nectar, which makes it very sweet."
Where exactly do you find edible flowers if you aren't lucky enough to have some growing on your property or in your windowsill?
Upscale grocery stores such as AJ's Fine Foods and Whole Foods sometimes stock edible flowers. Last week, Arizona Homegrown Solutions still had bags of edible wildflowers for $3 at the Phoenix Downtown Public Market.
Desert Botanical Garden also offers edible plants and flowers at their annual Spring and Fall plant sales (though you'll have to wait until November for the next one).