by Taetske | 11:47 am
(Last Updated On: April 3, 2019)

 

Have you heard about edible flowers?

 

I have to tell you the truth but I did not know much about this subject. Therefore I was happy to come across an article which talked about edible flowers.

 

dandelion flower

Dandelion flower

 

In the south of Spain, in the province of Malaga is a region called Axarquia which includes 31 municipalities. The name might be traced back to Arabic or Greek origins. It has beautiful nature, hills, and mountains and has remained unspoiled by urban growth or the influx of too many foreign interests.

The region has a subtropical climate, so besides avocados, you might also find mango and kiwis being grown here. Should you come to visit, try the sweet wine made from sun-dried grapes. In Competa, you can visit a Museo de Vino where you can taste the local wine.

 

 

2 Beautiful Parks

This region is very well known for many things. In 1487 it was conquered by Castilian troops, after the battle of Axarquia when the castles of Zalia, Alcausin, Bentomiz, and Arenas fell. Because the region had been controlled by Muslim rulers since 700 AD, most of the villages are of Muslim origin and the irrigation channels that can be seen throughout the area, date back to those times.

There are two famous parks located in this region; Parque Natural de las Sierras de Tejada, Almijara, and Alhama, and the Paraje natural de Los Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo.

 

 

A special place in the south of Spain

The Axarquia is well known for its beautiful landscape, agriculture produce, which is abundant thanks to its sub-tropical climate, the yearly Fiestas, handicraft, and good food. You will find ceramics which serve as pretty souvenirs and restaurants that serve good local fare.  Now, something special has been added to this list, edible flowers.

 

boraga flower

Borage flower

 

Edible flowers have been used in Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Candied flowers like little violets are used to decorate cakes. I remember when I was a small girl I liked to eat them. They can be mixed into salads and added to beverages like wines and teas. You will also find flowers in vinegar, marinades, and dressings. Quite a few of them seem to hold benefits for our health so it is well worth looking into this.

 

violet flowers

Violet flowers

 

Some flowers have a high nutritional value like the dandelion. They contain high doses of polyphenols and antioxidants, plus they have anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic properties. When eating flowers one should always have freshly cut ones, and not eat unopened buds or wilted flowers.

 

 

In past times, flowers were used in the kitchen in Ancient Greece, Rome, and also Egypt. The first recorded mention of edible flower use was in 140 BC. In Japan and China, the petals of the Chrysanthemum are added to soups and teas. Italian and Hispanic cultures stuff the blossoms of squash then cook the stuffed flower. Here comes a yummy recipe.

 

Do you want to grow your own edible flowers?

If you should get interested in using edible flowers yourself, perhaps the best way would be to grow it in your own garden. Needless to say, you need a green garden where all kinds of herbicides and pesticides are forbidden. The pretty flowers you might see along the road are not good because they have suffered pollution made by the passing cars. The flowers you buy in a shop are no good either due to the likely hood that they might have been sprayed with pesticides.

 

wild flowers on meadow

Wildflowers on the meadow

 

Well, you can see there are multiple uses of edible flowers and 2 young Germans, living in the south of Spain, saw the potential of marketing edible flowers. Peter Knacke is the manager and Til Runge is the head of the production.

Together they have a company by the name Sabor y Salud which means Taste and Health. In 2017 they moved to new premises on the boundary between Velez and Benamocarra.

 

basil growing in greenhouse

Basil growing in a greenhouse

 

The new premises of Sabor y Salud

The area they use to cultivate edible flower, herbs, and salad leaves, is in greenhouses with a total area of 12.000 square meters. Recently the company has obtained its certification as an ecological producer.

With a view to the European market, being certified as an ecological producer (certified organic) is important as people, in general, have become more conscious about the value of organic foods. Some 200 different varieties of flowers are grown here and that makes about 1 million flowers a year.

Spain is, up till now, their main market but about 10% of the harvest is exported to France. Talks are being held with a wholesaler in Holland, so there is a possibility to expand the market.  There is a potential of a 40% increase in production and sales in the near future.

 

chef at work

Chef at work

 

Spain’s world-famous chefs

Some of Spain’s greatest chefs are already a client of Sabor y Salud. The list includes the Roca brothers, and Juan Mari Arzak, who, in his restaurant, has a wine cellar with 100.000 bottles. Others include Pedro Subijana, Dani Carcia, Jose Carlos Garcia, Kisko Garcia, Carme Ruscallada, and Ferran Adria.

Besides selling their products Sabor y Salud also provides information on how to use edible flowers in your kitchen. They do not only grow the product but also highlight the different colors, flavors, and even health aspects. Edible flowers should not only have a decorative function, but it should also be an integral part of the dish you are making. If you are interested, you can participate in courses and workshops to find out how to best use edible flowers.

 

 

Conclusion

Something which has been known and used for nearly 2000 years is having a comeback in our modern life. Nature, as usual, delights us with the use of her gifts. Do you plan to introduce edible flowers into your diet? Here is a list of 42 edible flowers which you can check. I would love to hear if you do, so do not hesitate to leave a comment.

 

Source: Newspaper Sur, article by Augustin Pelaez in March 2010. Wikipedia.

Photo Source: Pixabay

 

There are many beautiful places you can visit in Spain. You might like to read the following post.

15 Beautiful and Unique National Parks in Spain

Comments

Daniel

Hi Taetske, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I heard some stories about edible flowers for health but I did not know about these benefits. I will certainly try to follow your guide for raising edible flowers, I am sure that my wife will be very happy to read this.

Mar 28.2019 | 05:58 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Daniel,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    On my organic farm, I have some of the flowers growing. I will try with a few and see how they taste. I find this also interesting and will investigate some more.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 28.2019 | 07:42 pm

Lee

Very interesting article. I have lots of vegetables, fruits, and salads in my diet, but I don’t think I have ever eaten a flower nor have I ever considered it. When I first started reading your post I din’t think much about it, but the more I think about it sounds strange yet very beneficial if there is significant nutritional value. I will be on the look out for more information on this in the future since I am always looking for alternatives to the things I eat. 

Mar 28.2019 | 05:59 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Lee,

    Nature offers many edible things but most have been forgotten. We have turned away from nature and started to make man-made foods which did not improve our health. I would certainly try to get more information on this and then perhaps grow some flowers yourself. 

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 28.2019 | 07:30 pm

Juliet

Hi T,

The only edible flower I heard about before reading your post is the hibiscus flower. It comes in two colours, red and green. The red is made into herbal tea and the green makes lovely stews. These edible flowers from Spain sound really interesting and there are many of them too. I would love to experiment with them. I particularly like the violets. 

Mar 28.2019 | 06:34 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Juliet,

    I will also experiment some with adding flowers to my diet. I am always open to trying new things in my life.

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 28.2019 | 07:14 pm

Irin Khan

Hello,

Excellent Article! There is a plethora of information about Edible Flowers. It’s really surprising. Edible flowers do not only enhance the beauty of the garden but make our mind beautiful. A beautiful mind is the foundation of beautiful health. By eating some useful flowers, our body’s nutritional needs can be satisfied. For example, Violet flower contains polyphenols and antioxidants which is beneficial for good health. I have been able to get to know the flower shots of many flowers in this post by your writing.

Mar 28.2019 | 06:51 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Irin,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Nice that you liked my post on edible flowers. Nature is amazing and the more investigations are done the more beneficial things for our health are discovered. I certainly will try it in my own garden.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 28.2019 | 07:11 pm

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