Edible flowers have been used by different cultures around the world for centuries; they are now one of this summer’s hot food trends. Such is the demand that some growers are finding it difficult to keep up with demand.
As soon as edible flowers appeared on some of the most watched TV programmes like Master Chef and The Great British Bake Off, it was only a matter of time before they became popularised and demand started to increase.
Duncan Allison, Development Director of Allison Risebro, one of the top five fruit and vegetable suppliers to leading London venues including Farmers & Fletchers in the City said: “We’ve been in this business since 1976 and the demand for edible flowers is frankly a bit of a phenomenon at the moment. We are selling more than we have ever sold, not only in quantity, but growers have increased the range of edible flowers they can provide.
“Our customers demand top quality and we source all our supplies from two of the top growers in the UK; one is based in the Vale of Evesham and the other in Norfolk, they both offer us an extensive range of edible flowers of the finest quality and flavour.”
It’s no longer just the nasturtium that our mothers used to add to a salad, some of the specially grown edible flowers that are now available include rose petals, pansy, viola, primrose, cornflower, borage, geraniums and marigold. Large tulip petals can be used to hold dips and ice cream while others such as dianthus add colour to a summer cocktail.
According to Farmers & Fletchers in the City’s head chef, David Summerell: “We always work closely with our clients and tailor our menus to what they would like. It’s not unusual now when discussing menu ideas that the topic of edible flowers comes up.
“From a chef’s point of view, they can easily turn a simple dish into something memorable. They add colour, flavour and texture to savoury and sweet dishes, as well as oils and butters.”
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