Flowerdale Farm is an innovative Australian-owned family business based in Flowerdale, Victoria, around an hour North East of Melbourne. They’re growers and suppliers of an astonishing range of edible flowers and micro-greens. While many of us may have seen plates within Melbourne restaurants garnished with their products, there’s now a growing list of grocery stores and vegetable provedores that stock their products. Adding colour and life to a range of dishes, here’s our guide to some of their most popular gourmet blooms and how to use them.
Merry Melody (Viola)
With subtle, sweet grassy flavours, the delightful Viola flower (Merry Melody) is a large statement bloom adding excitement to your plate with its vivid colour. A great accompaniment to chocolate and hazelnut. Use as a topping for cakes, brownies, tarts, cheesecakes, muffins and mousse. This pretty flower is best enjoyed whole. Dainty, five petal flowers come in a spectrum of colours from white, yellow, pink, variegated purples and violet/black tones.
Pink Pirouette (Fuchsia)
Fuchsia flowers are mildly tart and slightly acidic in flavour. Use these extravagant blooms as a dramatic garnish for a range of sweet and savoury dishes – they’re particularly suited to sugar crystallising to balance their tart flavour. Create a vivid summer fruit salad, float in iced drinks and cocktails or add to jams, spreads and sweet sauces. Also combines well with pork dishes; plus the unopened buds can be coated in batter and lightly fried as micro flower fritters.
Monsoon Gold (Marigold)
Fresh anise flavours are a unique feature of Monsoon Gold. The beautiful Marigold flower, also known as faux saffron, has a sunny disposition, brightening and adding depth of flavour to dishes with its subtle anise flavour – separate the petals for greatest effect. Ideal for subtle balancing of sweet flavours; they also works well as a garnish in savoury Asian and Indian cuisine, creating a unique contrast of flavour and colour. Use whole flowers as a decorative feature or detach petals from flower-heads and sprinkle through dishes. A compact flower of dense petticoat petals in bright colours of the sun-abundant orange, yellow, red and white petals.
Summer Smile (Snapdragon)
Clear melon flavour characteristics make Summer Smile an interesting choice. This friendly little flower is part of the Snapdragon family and will glamourise any dish with its vibrancy in colour and distinctive elongated shape. With a mouth-like opening, its brightly coloured flower can be delicately stuffed with a filling for a unique accompaniment. They also a visually striking garnish for desserts.
Green Empress (Nasturtium)
Nasturtium plants produce large, round, broad leaves with lightly ruffled edges and white veins. They deliver crisp, peppery flavours. Due to this spicy, peppery taste, they’re ideal for adding zing to summer salads. This large leaf is also highly decorative and can be used as a dish base enabling dramatic entrées to be created. Terrific in salads and when used as a garnish for savoury soups. Use as a bed for displaying hors d’oeuvres, canapés and charcuterie with style. Its spicy flavour combines well with pâté, terrines, pickled veg, smoked fish and soft cheeses.
Sapphire Buttons (Cornflower)
Sweet to spicy, clove-like flavours are a feature of cornflowers. With a vibrant blue colour, Sapphire Buttons from the Cornflower family create an amazing contrast when combined other ingredients, making simple meals more memorable. Separate the petals for greatest effect. Brilliant addition to mixed greens, pastas and fruit salads. Can also be used as a unique ingredient for sweet sauces, chocolate mousse, apple cake and biscuits.
A vibrantly coloured selection of pretty petals from Cornflowers and Marigolds, exclusive to Flowerdale Farm. Use the petals in salads, on breakfasts like porridge, bircher muesli or fruit salad.
Petticoat Spice (Dianthus)
The bright and small Dianthus flower derives its name from the Greek, meaning ‘Flowers of the Gods’. It has a warm clove and pepper-like flavour. They can be used whole as decoration atop cupcakes, in cocktails or as an addition to liven up cheese platters. As an ingredient the petals should be pulled off the stem. Scatter petals in salads, on breakfasts like warm porridge, bircher muesli or fruit salad.
For a list of recipe ideas and stockists visit: flowerdalefarm.com.au