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"I became interested in edible flowers and cooking with flowers when I came back to Thiérache, the village I was born in. After a part of my life spent in towns, I wanted to come back and live in the country and to take greater interest in nature and what it offers us. Nature is an incredible source of equilibrium. I was very happy to rediscover old recipes such as nettle soup and dandelion soup. Cooking with flowers is of course original but I don't think we are inventing anything new but simply returning to the recipes of our ancestors. Cooking with flowers constitutes a whole new range of flavours and also creates dishes which look very different with new colours. Each season has its own different flowers and tastes. You just have to know when to make use of them as flowers don't live long. Each species only offers a few days during which we can enjoy them before having to wait for the following year. This means you can vary your recipes throughout the year while always making the most of what is in season. It's a form of cooking which doesn't last long. it is dictated entirely by time. My favourite flowers? I don't think I have any... I like nasturtium a lot, for its flowers and leaves. Nasturtium flowers make excellent condiments. It is as nice to look at as it is tasty. Nasturtium can also be used for sauces and to decorate a salad. To prepare a sauce, I chop up nasturtium flowers and leaves, which I mix with garlic and salad dressing. It has a very nice peppery taste. I also really like daisies, maybe because it's a modest little flower! Children of course love them. They are always happy to pick daisies with a view to eating them and also to bring some back to their mums after the walk. Roses also cook well. I prefer old roses, fragrant roses and the hollyhock. Dahlia petals also make very nice colourful salads. I like making flower-flavoured butter. You chop the flowers and leaves very finely and mix them with the butter. In this way, you get a salty or a sweet butter, depending on your tastes. For example, nasturtium butter is salty while rose butter is sweet. I also make a lot of nettle-flavoured butter. Flowers are very good for your health and they have many qualities. The rose is relaxing and astringent, nasturtiums have rejuvenating qualities and attack colds (they are used a lot in homeopathy, in fact), geraniums are a natural antidepressant and have antiseptic qualities. Everyone can cook with flowers: it's both fun and simple. There's an infinite number of flavours to be discovered. I would only advise people to use flowers whose origin they are aware of and which have been picked far from polluted or treated areas. To be on the safe side, you can also grow nasturtiums or dahlias in your garden! I think that above all you have to let your imagination go. To start off, some basic recipes should be used but you can soon come up with some surprising recipes. It can become quite an addictive game! "

Nature's cook

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