Carnations, fondly known as the “flower of the gods”, are some of the world’s oldest cultivated and most respected flowers for ages. They are highly adaptable and thrive under partial shade or full sunlight in well-drained soils. They are tolerant of salty soil or air found along coastal regions, and urban air pollution. And the best part of it is that carnations are not only pretty but also edible. In this article, we will explore how to eat carnations.
To prepare carnations for eating, you need to separate the bases which are bitter from petals. In addition, pollen in the stamen has an unpleasant taste and should be removed by submerging the petals in a bowl of cool water before drying them and preparing them for the table.
Carnation petals have a sweet, clove, and nutmeg-like flavor. They can be candied, steeped in wine or used to garnish cakes or salads.
Unknown to most people, carnation petals have been used in food and beverages for years. In France, the petals have been used by monks to make the world-famous, mystical, French liqueur, Chartreuse, since the 17th century.
To make carnation salads, cut spinach, baby lettuce, and arugula. Toss them into a bowl, sprinkle carnation petals to brighten the salad and you have a perfect summer spread.
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Sautéed carnation petals
Carnation petals can be sautéed and eaten with vegetables and meats. To make this delicacy, cut the petals alongside other herbs according to your taste and mix with butter. Heat them in a saucepan over a low flame. When the mixture is relatively warm, spread it over cooked vegetables or meat.
Carnation syrup base for cocktails and ice creams
These flowers can make a delicious base for enhancing cocktails and ice creams. To make the syrup, steep the petals in sugar water by adding them to a saucepan with one cup of sugar and one cup of water. Place the mixture over low heat and keep stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Once the sugar dissolves, allow the concoction to simmer and remove from heat. If you are aiming for a thicker mixture, increase the ratio of sugar and water to 2:1. Put the petals in a bowl and pour the heated syrup on the carnations. Let the mixture stand for about 30 minutes and strain. For longevity and safekeeping, you can put the syrup into a jar using a funnel.
Ultimately, judging from the above approaches on how to eat carnations, there are many reasons why they are considered the Rolls-Royce of the flower world. Carnations are not only highly versatile but also pretty and surprisingly delicious.