Edible flowers are incredibly diverse in flavor and fragrance, allowing formulators plenty of leeway to experiment and innovate with the pretty, delicate ingredients. Incorporating flowers into foods and beverages is trending hot. Whole Foods Market is just one major food purveyor that identified floral flavors as one of its top trends for 2018. But while trendy, the practice certainly isn’t new.
In fact, some uses of floral flavorings are so mainstream that their origin from flowers is “forgotten.” Think of the millennia-long tradition of using rose (Rosa damascena) and saffron (Crocus sativus) in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, or the flor de jamaica hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) beverages that for centuries have quenched thirst and recharged weary bodies in Latin America and the Caribbean.