When it comes to edible flowers, there’s so much more out there than just nasturtiums and marigolds. Fortunately, we now also have suppliers of edible flowers here in Switzerland.
David Frey has been growing edible flowers for cooking in the Zurich Oberland region for over 15 years. Originally, his plan was to offer the flowers to chefs as an actual cooking ingredient, for the purpose of flavouring. However, he quickly realized that violets, African daisies and marigolds are primarily used for decoration. “This has remained the case through to the present day”, the flower expert explains.
He has noticed that private individuals are also increasingly using flowers in their cooking. He ships them via his online shop “and demand continues to increase”. The most important flower in this segment is the violet.
Frey still believes that flowers can also be used as a cooking ingredient in their own right. He fills nasturtium flowers with cream cheese or tuna mousse, which balances out the flower’s peppery flavour – similar to that of cress. “Ice cream with chopped rose petals is also delicious”, he enthuses. You can find this recipe and others on his website.
Top chefs frequently use edible flowers as ingredients in their cuisine – such as small, yellow cabbage flowers, for instance. Even exotic varieties such as daylilies are finding their way onto plates – the dried buds can be served as crudités with a dip. In Asia, they are cultivated as vegetables and are known as “golden needles”. David Frey recommends trying daylily flowers: “you won’t be disappointed”.