Allium sativum commonly known as allium is a species in the onion genus and closely related to leek, onion, chive, and shallot. Allium is native in northeastern Iran and central Asia. Most people know that their leaves, stems, and bulbs are edible, but can you eat allium flowers? This article will address that question conclusively.
Ever wondered what gives alliums their signature pungent smell? These plants and their flowers have a wide variety of strong sulfur compounds which not only make people tear at the smell, but also give them many health and nutritional benefits. While the pungent smell helps them to ward off most pests including deer and rabbits, the same odor is what endears them to humans.
Alliums have been cultivated for medicinal, cooking and decorative purposes for as far back as the 1500s, while wild varieties have been sought for millennia. These plants are easy to grow and do well in most climates as they are hardy and underground bulbs keep them alive during winter.
How to prepare allium blossoms for eating
While every part of allium is edible, you should make sure your allium flowers are organically grown before attempting to eat them to avoid ingesting pesticides and contaminants. Even when grown in your backyard, you should wash and rinse them well with clean water to get rid of dirt and bugs before placing the flowers on a clean surface to dry. When dry, separate the flowers into florets and gently pull the florets away from the center of the flower head using your fingers.
Allium flower vinegar
To make allium vinegar, put the flowers into a clean jar. Toss in as many blossoms as possible in the jar but make sure they are loosely packed and leave as much room as possible for the vinegar to swirl around the blossoms.
Fill the jar with vinegar or wine and let it sit in a cool, dark place for about 2 weeks. When you open the lid and smell the vinegar, it will have a wonderful aromatic fragrance just like scallions. If you are contented with the fragrance, strain out the flowers. Congratulations! You just made allium flower vinegar.
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Other allium flower recipes you can try:
Sprinkle allium flowers over savory crepes and egg recipes to give them color and texture.
Mash allium flowers into softened cream cheese or butter. Cover them with a plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to blend.
If you are making potato salads, flavor with allium flowers and leaves.
Mix mashed allium leaves with deviled egg fillings and garnish with allium flowers.
So, can you eat allium flowers? Yes, you can eat allium flowers and those of its cousins including leeks, shallots, and chives. These flowers are tasty and can be used to flavor beverages and soups as well as garnish salads.