Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Experiment in Sunflowers

So I found this link to Edible Flowers on someone's blog and I decided to try eating a sunflower bud since edible flowers are the new rage in haute cuisine - and I'm brave (or stupid!)

As I have so many sunflowers this year, and many with several buds on them, I've decided to try this:

Sunflower (Helianthus annus) - The flower is best eaten in the bud stage when it tastes similar to artichokes. Once the flower opens, the petals may be used like chrysanthemums, the flavor is distinctly bittersweet. The unopened flower buds can also be steamed like artichokes.


Here we go. I go outside to my biggest and tallest sunflower, the one with the most buds and cut two from the top.


Now I have two nice sized buds (about 2" in diameter) to experiment with:


Off to the kitchen we go. I pull out my trusty little steamer and steam them like I would artichokes (after I rinsed them off really well. I do not use pesticides, so there was no problem with that.)



I left on some leaves and stems just in case I wanted to try them too. 

As the buds began to cook, it started to smell really good, indeed like artichokes, a nice buttery-earthy aroma. My taste buds were anticipating something tasty! Not sure how long I steamed them, but I'd say about 7 minutes, but they seemed tender when poked with a knife. I dished them out onto a plate:


I'm cutting the first one in quarters and lift the fork to my mouth:


It kind of looked and smelled like an artichoke


and it tasted....TERRIBLE!


(Pfui-spit-spit!) What was I thinking? It tasted bitter and green, like I'd imagine green bugs would taste like. So, I removed the outer leaves thinking the inside would be better, but not so, very bitter - nothing sweet about it at all. Yuk! 


I think I'll stick with sunflower seeds and sprouts! 


If there's anyone out there having had a pleasant experience with sunflower buds, let me know. Maybe I did something wrong or used the wrong variety, but I won't be trying this again!

18 comments:

becky said...

You are a much braver soul than I! Now that you have bit the bullet for me, can't say that I will try that myself!

Anke said...

Well, if we don't try it, then how would we learn? I tried eating raw swiss chard the other day (read about it on a vegan blog) and thought it was horribly bitter. Lesson learned...

Possum Hill Farms said...

I value the seeds too much to try this!

Doris Sturm said...

Just as a reminder to everyone: I mentioned this on a previous post. I have a lot of sunflower seeds, so if you want some for planting your own flowers, just let me know. I don't have enough to sell them by the pound for eating (they are rather small and there's not much meat inside) but they will make lovely flowers!

Beverooni said...

I was okay until I saw them on your plate all cooked and ready to eat -- even then I was hoping you would say they were good. You were very brave and I certainly give you an A+ for trying them.

gin said...

this is so funny!!! I would have never tried this. You are one amazing girl.

Robin said...

You WERE a brave woman, indeed!
I think I might have added some garlic-butter or a tomatoe sauce....

I did think about asking for some of your Sunflower seeds....but I fear is is far too cold and damp for them to flourish in my back yard..... I do love them though....

Ich sollte das auf Deutsch geschrieben, aber Heute (after meine dritte Gotterdammerung) bin Ich ein bischen Mude!

Love to you and Gizzy!!!

♥ Robin ♥

Ginny said...

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! That bite on your fork, it looks all fuzzy and horrible!! You are braver than I am. How did you ever get up that high to get the buds, anyway? My friend read that you can eat dandelion greens, hers didn't turn out well because she later found out you have to pick them really young and short. You steam the green part like collard greens.

Babydoll1962 Kreativ Ecke said...

Hut ab, ich hätte keine Sonnenblume gegessen ehrlich !
danke für deine lieben vielen Kommentare. auch wenn ich nicht immer drauf reagiere freue ich mich jedesmal sehr. Aber Seid November letztes Jahr arbeite ich 3 tage in der Woche und die Zeit zum Bloggen fehlt manchmal einfach. du hast recht, immer wenn ich Erik anschaue mag ich es kaum glauben , aber mein Kleiner ist inzwischen ein fast Mann.
Er ist stolz Mich zu überragen und seinen Vater auch inzwischen über den Kopf gewachsen zu sein. Die Mädels zeigen auch schon das erste Interesse. Ganz schlimm wird es wieder werden wenn er im Juni 2 Wochen mit den Pfadfindern auf Sommerlager geht. Dann ist er bestimmt wieder gewachsen und die Stimme ist noch tiefer geworden.
ach ich bin ganz schön stolz auf meinen großen Jungen. aber ich liebe es auch wenn er im Garten verrückt spielt mit ihrgendwelchen Sachen oder Freunden.
Ich wünsche euch beiden alles gute und lasst euch vom Wetter nicht unter kriegen.
Alles liebe
Doris

pinkpaillette said...

Liebe Doris
ich musste lachen. Ohje, ich werde also bestimmt nie Sonnenblumen probieren. Danke für diese Information.
Herzliche Grüsse, colette

Janine said...

Ha ha ha, was für ein mutiges Experiment.
Nun so richtig lecker sieht es auch nicht aus.
Aber Versuch macht klug
Ich wünsch dir eine schöne Woche
Janine

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Our friend got sunflowers ... will let them know. It is very interesting. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Mildred said...

I can just imagine the "green" taste - oooohhh! Thanks for "warning" us.

I agree with you about GA's storms - we have had the worst thunder/lightening this spring and summer. My pets hide under the bed for hours!!!!!

Ann said...

oh you are much braver than I am. I don't think I would be willing to try them and especially not now since you said they were awful :)
Loved your last post. I laughed at the ducks running up while Gizzy is barking away at them

Julia said...

HAAAAAA! That was funny. In a good way. :)

Chatty Crone said...

You are a nut - but that is why I love you - you are brave. The only thing I like from sunflowers are toasted seeds with salt>

the booker man said...

as i was reading this post, i kept thinking that you should be on one of those tv shows where the host eats strange and exotic foods. ;)
i don't know much about sunflowers...how long is a bud in bud form before it blooms? maybe that has something to do with the flavor...maybe the bud becomes less bitter the closer it gets to blooming?
at any rate, you get a gold star for being adventurous with your food. :)

the booker man and asa's mama

Aaron Dalton said...

Thanks for sharing your first-hand experience.

As you say, "everyone" says sunflower buds can be eaten when steamed and that they taste like artichokes.

But I think (as often happens on the Interwebs), one source just parrots another.

So I'm grateful you shared your personal experience. Now, I know they may not taste good, but at least they *smell* good while cooking! ;-)