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(Credit: Vera Chinese)
Edible flowers must first be washed and then laid on a paper towel before eating. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Have you ever tried a whipped butter infused with fresh chives, dill and the petals of a rosa rugosa flower? No? Well making it yourself is likely easier than you imagine.

That’s probably why Jeri Woodhouse’s introduction into making food with edible flowers was a full house on Saturday afternoon.

The workshop, part of Hallockville Museum Farm’s “Preserving the Harvest,” was taught at Woodhouse’s commercial kitchen on Cox Lane in Cutchogue where she runs her business “A Taste of the North Fork.”

Rosa rugosa, pansies, violas, geraniums, begonias, English daisies and calendula are all great options to use when making food with flowers, Woodhouse said.

“The reason I choose these was for the color,” she said of the varieties used in Saturday’s class.

The class learned to make butter, sugar, goat cheese, brie and edible cake toppers with flowering plants grown right here on the North Fork.

“I’m interested in eating what is available out here on the East End,” said participant Monique Singh-Roy, who runs yourpotluck.com, an East End food blog. “The more unusual, the better.”

Woodhouse recommends the following pointers when selecting flowers:

1. First know that you can only eat flowers that you know are edible. Some flowers are poisonous.

2. Eat only flowers that have been grown organically. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers.

3. If you have hay fever, asthma or allergies, do not eat flowers.

4. Do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road.

5. Remove pistils and stamens. Eat only the petals.

6. There are many varieties of any one flower. Flowers taste different when grown in different locations.

7. Introduce flowers into your diet the way you would new food to a baby — one at a time and in small quantities.

Read on for four ways to incorporate the edible flowers into food.

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