Celebrate Spring With 9 Flower-Based Foods and Drinks - Atlas Obscura Lists

Celebrate Spring With 9 Flower-Based Foods and Drinks

From tulip vodka to fried palm blossoms.

Every spring, while people worldwide inhale the perfume of fresh flowers, some of us enjoy them in our food and drink. The same qualities that make flowers so magical—bold colors, intense aromas, and intricate petals—make them an absolute treat to eat.

In Iran’s arid Kashan county, springtime means a swelling sea of roses, and with them, a harvest festival where craftspeople distill the plant’s petals into heady rose oil and water. Rose water lends an irreplaceable fragrance to faloodeh, a millennia-old dessert made of crunchy noodles, ice, syrup, and lime juice, and in recent years it has graced bastani-e nooni, a sandwich of saffron ice cream and crispy wafers sprinkled with pistachios.

When flowers are not being gobbled up in desserts—or cooked for a main course, as they are from Italy to Guatemala—they’re sipped in delicious drinks. Southeast Asian teamakers dye their drinks shades of blue and magenta with the butterfly pea fower. In Loja, Ecuador, merchants prepare a red brew of flowers, herbs, and lemon that some claim is responsible for the reputed hundred-year lifespans of the region’s inhabitants. And in Tuscany, monks infuse a bitter liqueur with the earthy flavor of the Carlina acaulis flower, said to have cured Charlemagne’s troops of plague in the 8th century.

This spring, don’t just stop and smell the roses—eat and drink them, too. Here are 9 delicious, interesting ways that people around the world feast on flowers.