Brides and grooms who choose to incorporate flowers into their reception menus more often than not turn to that old standard, the wedding cake decorated with blooms that match the bridal bouquet or reception table centerpieces. And as common as it is to see cakes with edible flowers like roses, violets, pansies, or lilacs, go to enough weddings and you’ll eventually see non-edible flowers on the cake as well. These are removed before the cake is served… in fact, most floral embellishments on wedding cake are removed before serving since not that many flowers taste really good on wedding cake unless sugared first.
I said “on cake” because there is no rule stating that flowers must be used on or in desserts. Cooking with flowers is coming back into vogue and has a long history. Flowery cookery can be traced back to ancient Rome, China, India, and the Middle East. Edible flowers were particularly popular in the Victorian era during Queen Victoria’s reign. And now edible flowers are starting to appear in dishes at wedding receptions.
I think it’s a fun (and potentially delicious) idea that can add a little pizazz and personality and color to a reception meal. If you go this route, make sure your caterer has some experience working with or cooking with flowers to avoid things like, oh, food poisoning or pesticide poisoning. That’s important, since even though there are plenty of edible flowers, not all of them are grown to be eaten. Stick to organically-grown blossoms or blooms grown specifically for human consumption.
Thinking about DIYing your wedding menu? Rosalind Creasy’s book Recipes from the Garden has plenty of recipes featuring fresh flowers, from stuffed zucchini blossoms to vibrantly colorful fresh salads.
Brides and grooms not putting together their own reception lunches or dinners can still approach their caterers with floral recipes they’ve found in cookbooks and online. SheKnows has recipes for things like rosemary flower biscuits and pansy herb salad. No matter who is doing the cooking, be sure they know that flowers should be used sparingly in recipes since most blossoms function like herbs. They can have strong flavors (think spicy or minty) and can also be difficult to digest in large quantities.
Doesn’t that look lovely… and yummy, too?