Garnishing with flowers

When it comes to food presentation, the right garnish can really make or break the dish. Garnishing is but a small part of the meal and it hardly plays any role in the flavour but, as any good chef knows, we eat with our eyes first. If a meal looks good, it will taste even better! There are a number of fresh herbs that act well as a garnish but what about flowers? Why stick to the usual garnishing herbs when you can get even more colourful and creative?

The first type of flowers to consider are fruit flowers and blossoms. Apple blossoms taste wonderful and they are a beautiful addition to many dishes. Banana blossoms and citrus blossoms can also help add colour and a fruity flavour to your food.

If you want to garnish with something green, then herbs are the way to go. Consider something like parsley, fresh coriander, or even chives depending on the dish. Curly parsley is lovely for many dishes since it has a very subtle flavour so it will not overpower or alter the flavour of the dish itself.

Other colourful flowers like roses and lavender are both safe to add as a garnish. It’s important to make sure that you wash the flowers properly before adding them and look in between for any bugs that might be lurking beneath the petals. Many cooks find it beneficial to submerge the flowers in cool water for several minutes before using them. This helps ensure that even the smallest bugs evacuate their floral home.

Don’t forget that flowers can also be used to garnish drinks! The hibiscus flower is an example of an exotic addition to several types of drinks and cocktails. You can even use these flowers to decorate your punch bowl and salads. Other flowers that are great for decorating salads include carnations, pansies, and petunias.

Remember, you always need to wash your flowers thoroughly to make sure that they are clean of pesticides, dirt, and pests. It’s also good to make sure that the flowers you use are in no way toxic or potentially harmful.