4/12/2012 04:02:00 PM

What's Up With: Flowers In Dishes?

By James Mulcahy
When you're outside a restaurant, you can tell that spring has arrived by all of the budding flowers. When you're inside, signs of spring include fresh ingredients like ramps (freak. out.) and fiddlehead ferns, adorable plants "picked by elves" according to our list of overrated ingredients. Well, more and more we've noticed that chefs are skipping the herbs and veggies all together in favor of fresh flowers, and we're not just talking the also-overrated squash blossoms.

At Tom Sellers' pop-up dinner, our dessert was topped with a plentiful portion of thyme flowers, inspiring a collective "are we supposed to eat these?" moment among guests at the communal table. We've also noticed some flowers sprouting from our plate when we recently had brunch at Lula Cafe, who had so many petals in the our garden-fresh dish that we felt like we might have well saved ourselves the $14 by just walking outside to the flower box and going to town.

Yes, they look pretty, but we're not really sure these flowers add anything to the dishes we've tried (at the pop up that flower-spiked dessert was Sellers' only real miss of the night). Is this one trend you'd like to see more of, or should it be nipped in the bud? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to include some of your own flower-related puns.

Photo: Topher Ziobro


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