How to Eat Carnations: A Guide for Flower Lovers

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Did you know you can eat carnations Here's how
Carnations are edible and can be used to make tea, wine, or salads. Just don’t eat the ones from the florist, they might be sprayed with chemicals.

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For those in a hurry

  • Carnations are edible flowers that have a sweet and peppery flavor.
  • You can use carnation petals to make tea, wine, salads, syrups, and more.
  • Only eat organic carnations that are grown for human consumption. Avoid florist carnations that may have chemicals.
  • Wash and dry the petals before using them. Remove the stamens and pistils from the center of the flower.

What are carnations?

Carnations are popular flowers that belong to the genus Dianthus. They come in many colors and varieties, and have a long history of cultivation and symbolism. Carnations are also known as clove pinks, because of their spicy scent and resemblance to cloves.

Are they edible?

Yes, carnations are edible flowers that can add a pleasant sweetness and a touch of spice to your dishes. You can eat all parts of the flower, except the leaves. However, you should only eat carnations that are grown organically and specifically for human consumption. Do not eat carnations from florists or gardens that may have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.

How to prepare them for eating

Before eating carnations, you need to wash and dry them well. Shake the petals gently to remove any dirt or insects that may be hiding inside. Then, remove the stamens and pistils from the center of the flower. These parts can make your food bitter and may contain pollen that can cause allergies. You can use a pair of scissors or tweezers to do this.

How to use carnations in cooking

Carnations have a versatile flavor that can complement many dishes. You can use them fresh or dried, whole or chopped, depending on your preference and recipe. Here are some ideas on how to use carnations in cooking:

  • Tea: Steep fresh or dried carnation petals in hot water for a fragrant and soothing tea. You can add honey, lemon, or mint for extra flavor.
  • Wine: Infuse white wine with fresh or dried carnation petals for a floral and fruity drink. You can also add sugar, lemon juice, and spices like cinnamon or cloves for a spiced wine.
  • Salad: Sprinkle fresh or dried carnation petals over your favorite salad for a pop of color and flavor. They go well with greens, fruits, nuts, cheese, and dressing.
  • Syrup: Boil fresh or dried carnation petals with sugar and water for a simple syrup that you can use for cocktails, lemonade, cakes, pancakes, and more.
  • Candied: Brush fresh carnation petals with egg white and coat them with superfine sugar for a sweet and crunchy treat. You can use them to decorate desserts or eat them as they are.