Edible Flowers: A Bouquet of Wedding Menu Options

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According to Shakespeare, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” but did he ever
stop to consider the TASTE of a rose – or the taste of any other flower for that matter? Probably
not, as history shows us that he favored composing plays over consuming pansies – a preference
for which many literature scholars remain eternally grateful.

The culinary use of flowers in cooking dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greeks, and
Romans. However, in more recent times, incorporating edible flowers into wedding menus has
become a popular trend that continues to grow among brides across the country. As such,
caterers and chefs alike are looking to create new recipes and wedding menu options that serve to
make a special day bloom even bigger.

In Indian River County (IRC), requests for edible flowers in wedding menus have increased
significantly in the past few years, according to a long-time wedding planner in Vero Beach, who
offered a reason for the growing trend.

“Brides usually have a favorite flower they want to incorporate into as many aspects of their
wedding as possible. So it makes sense that they also want that flower to be part of their wedding
menu, if possible. The fact that there are local caterers and florists working together to make that
happen helps continue the trend for women who want to do the same thing in their weddings.”

With increased requests for edible flowers in wedding menus, flower-farmers are finding new
ways to grow pesticide-free, organic flowers that can be used in almost any chef-inspired recipe.
Many brides are also scheduling floral menu tastings at restaurants, venues, or flower farms
where the flowers are grown. However, brides should keep in mind that with the additional menu
customization, there also comes the additional cost of the flowers being used in the recipes. Yet,
among those interviewed, IRC caterers noted there are many options designed to fit any budget.

When it comes to edible flowers as part of a wedding menu, couples should decide which food
and drink items will include flowers. Because the flavors of edible flowers can range from sweet
to spicy, pungent to perfumey, and bitter to buttery, the addition of the flowers should be
complementary to menu courses. One of the most popular choices is frozen flowers in ice cubes
that are used in cocktails. As the ice melts, the flowers add a new flavor dimension to the drinks.

Other favorite uses of edible flowers are as ingredients of toppings or fillings in appetizers; as
flavorful components in salads; as spicy elements in a main course; and as sweet finishes in
desserts. When it comes to decorating the wedding cake with flowers, IRC specialty cake bakers
suggest choosing edible flowers with a sweet taste that would complement the cake, versus
flowers that are spicy and may be better suited to a dinner course instead.

For couples who want edible flowers in their wedding menu, there are many culinary and venue
experts in IRC that can advise on the best floral flavor pairings, as well as which types of flowers
are not edible and should be avoided. However, once the menu is created, the couple and their
guests can savor the taste of a special day that blossoms with love in every bite.


Photo courtesy of TheViewfromGreatIsland.com

Photo courtesy of Garden Gate Magazine

Photo courtesy of Cake House by Katrina Allan

Photo courtesy of James & Kerrie Photography

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