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Jan 13, 2007 06:22 PM

help! ate some delicious flowers, don't know their names... Le Petit Vatel in Paris' 5th. Their vegetable plate had these fantastic purple and yellow flowers sprinkled on top that gave off a wonderful aroma. I asked what they were, but the hostess didn't know in English. My butchered memory of what she called them in french was "bleuex" and "cioucix" or something like that. Thoughts?

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  1. Hi,

    Would they look like this?

    If so, here what I know about "capucines" (Nasturtium):
    "Capucines" were made popular in cooking with Alain Passard's "moules de bouchot à la fleur de capucine". The chef of l'Arpège created a dish where the commonly used saffron was replaced with Capucine flowers to flavour the mussels.



    1. Purple and yellow flowers wouldn't be nasturtiums. (Though nasturtiums are good.) I think they may have been johnny-jump-ups, a sweet-smelling kind of viola, cousin to a pansy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Glencora

        I like to use nastutiums in salsa or bruschetta...just a side note!

      2. They weren't nasturtiums. The flowers were tiny with very thin petals -- about the size of lavender.

        I have a picture of there a way I can upload it?

        2 Replies
        1. re: tastytamarind

          If you do a Google image search with "bleuet" (centaurea cyanus)

          and "souci" (calendula officinalis)

          , you can check if the picture matches what you ate. If yes, a French-English dictionary should help you find the right flower.

          I'm sorry, I don't know the English names of these flowers.

          Otherwise, in French restaurants usually the edible flowers are "capucines". Don't know what it is in English, again.

          Hope this helps.

          1. re: tastytamarind

            Put the pictures on a site like Flicker and then provide a link to that site.

          2. I have been thinking that this flower could be viola too Glencora. How about this picture:


            1. The bleuet looks like what we would call a batchlor button, and do not know about the other.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Quine

                The other is calendula just like it's latin name, though it is often called pot marigold. It is a common edible flower, also used for color and teas. It does have a spicy, slightly bitter taste.