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Edible flower sales rocket at Dobbies

20 May, 2014

Chefs around the world have been using edible flowers for decades, but it seems they are now a regular ingredient in more and more kitchens. Dobbies’ 34 UK garden centres are reporting a 64% hike in sales of edible flower seeds such as marigolds, violas and nasturtiums as Brits sprinkle them in salads and even use them as ingredients in cakes.

Programmes such as the BBC’s Big Allotment Challenge, The Great British Bake Off and even Masterchef have encouraged people to be more adventurous with their use of edible flowers.

Steve Guy, head of horticulture at Dobbies said: “Every day we see customers coming into stores asking for flowers which they can grow in the garden and use in the kitchen. At first it seemed such an alien concept to the mainstream cook but their popularity is really rocketing as people become more confident with how to use them. Not only that but the strong colour and scent that comes from edible flowers can really add wow factor to a dish.”

Here’s Dobbies guide to edible flower seeds available in its UK stores:

Viola Midnight Runner:  A flush purple fragrant flower.  Sales are up 43% across Dobbies’ stores.  Delicious in desserts such as Viola Jelly.  Also great served with ice cream or as a garnish on salads.

Hollyhock Black Knight: Sales of this glossy, almost black flower have increased by more than 78% as people use them to add vibrancy and colour to a dull salad.

Sunflower Aslan: A quick growing sunflower with gorgeous bright yellow petals.  Sales of this plant have rocketed by nearly 145%.  The petals are delicious cooked as part of a stir fry.

Poppy Mother of Pearl:  With pretty blooms in beautiful subtle shades, this plant is hugely popular with sales up 175%.  Its coloured petals make it perfect as a decoration for cakes and bread.

Calendula Pink Surprise: Sales are up 97% of these beautiful salmon pink flowers which bloom right up to the first frosts.  Try adding to a coleslaw or use as part of a cake mix.

So if you are looking to impress at those summer barbecues, why not harvest your own edible flowers to give your meals the personal touch. Pop into your local Dobbies store for tips and advice on how to do it well.

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