Trends: Floral Flavors

It started at the bar, where floral and herbal flavors like elderflower, shiso, chamomile, and hibiscus gained loyal fans. Chefs took heed and started incorporating these subtle, yet flowery ingredients all over their menus.

  • Add complexity to crudos, ceviches, and raw shellfish options with rose or orange blossom waters; garnish with matching flowers to increase their photo appeal.
  • Simmer different flower waters with sugar to create thick simple syrups that can be added to desserts like custards, cakes, or fruit tarts and beverages such as iced tea, lemonade, or sparkling sodas.
  • Lavender and grapefruit are great winter ingredients; add to lettuce and cream-based salads, sauteed Brussels sprouts, and roasted poultry.
  • Give puddings and panna cotti shades of purple with creme de violette; garnish with fresh pansies and violas.
  • The flowers themselves have varying flavors, ranging from bitter to peppery to grassy—not to mention their presentation benefits.