All About Orchids

The Culinary Delights of… Orchids?


Eating OrchidsLately I’ve been reading a lot of posts about edible orchids. Since the birth of civilization, the search for edible things has brought us the weirdest culinary delights, such as snails and insects. That is why it’s no surprise that even orchids found their way onto the tables and into the mouths of people around the world.

The common question I found about eating orchids is what can be eaten and how. The answer is basically easy. Everything! If you are not picky, actually every part of the orchid that can be chewed and swallowed can be eaten. But the most favorite part of the plant that people eat is the flower.

Aside from vanilla being the most recognized orchid that can be eaten, orchid flowers have been a part of the diet of people long before any of them found their way to cakes and cocktail drinks.

Clear examples to this culinary adventure are the people of Hawaii who have been said to have eaten orchids since the 1960’s. They eat them as salads and as candies. Singaporeans also use orchid flowers as a part of a stir-fried dish mixed with vegetables and meat.

In Turkey and the Middle East, they use orchid bulbs as flavoring in ice cream. People of South Africa use orchid tubers to flavor meat sauces. As a matter of fact because of this demand, the existence of the African orchids is now being threatened.

The taste is described to be ranging from bitter to sweet depending on the kind of orchid. Basically since no orchid is poisonous, all orchids are edible. They are also rich in fiber that is good for digestion and Vitamin C to boost the immune system.

Of course, this might not be for everyone’s taste buds. Some may think it’s a waste to eat these delicate flowers.  Do not worry.  There are certain farms that grow these plants especially for cooking. To those willing to try orchids as food, it is surely a new way of seeing (in this case tasting) these wonderful beauties of nature.

Have you tried any orchids lately? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below.

To grow your next orchid meal, follow these Orchid Care Instructions.

Your Comments

13 Comments so far

  1. Marina says:

    I always find it difficult to cut my flowers since I prefer to enjoy their beauty on the plant, so I am not sure that my orchid flowers will end up on my table

    • Mary Ann says:

      Well that’s perfectly understandable. 🙂 But it’s good to know your options! – Mary Ann

  2. Martin says:

    Epidendrums, the ordinary garden variety with all the different colors, I am told makes good eating and used in salads or even as a edible decoration in your main course is exiting. I used them to spice up some of my salads. They say that the eyes must eat first! well after that you can eat the lot.

    • Mary Ann says:

      LOL 🙂 Good point! 🙂 That’s a fun tip about salads. I’ll have to try that some time! – Mary Ann

  3. Jerri says:

    How about salepli dondurma, an orchid that is used to make ice cream in Turkey and a couple of European countries, but, I would prefer to enjoy their beauty.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Yeah – it’s hard to eat such a beautiful flower. But – have you had the ice cream? Just wondering how it tastes. 🙂 – Mary Ann

  4. shashidhar sastry says:

    I am told that in several parts of SE Asia, they eat flowers like snacks!!!. But for me let alone eating it, even i do not want to remove it from the plant. Now a days we don’t give flower bouquets, instead we give live plans. In southern India Bulbophyllum bulbs are eaten more for its medicinal value. However, this adds another dimension to the use of orchids, topping the list is its role in the ecosystem and its environmental value.

  5. pablito says:

    What an info!thanks for it I may try it to be part of my table. It’s amaZing to know orchid’s health benefits

  6. bridget says:

    I’m looking up more info on a tea you can make from orchids. My neighbor is from South America and she gave me some tea made in her home town not far from Ocopollo. When chilled it taste like grape juice. she said they also drink it in Jamica.

    • Mary Ann says:

      That’s very interesting. 🙂 If you find a great recipe or good information, please share with us. – Mary Ann

  7. Rich Fright says:

    I could not bring myself to eating something that has taken me a year to flower and devoured in five minutes.!!!!!

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