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Jan 30, 2009 04:11 PM

ISO Pansies or violets for cooking

Does anybody know where I can find pansies or violets to cook with in Philadelphia? Has anyone seen them at Reading Terminal Market?


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  1. Any nursery should have pansies and maybe violets. I would think that most florists would have violets.

    6 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Do you think that the flowers at a florist are safe to eat? Or do they use chemicals on them that aren't safe for food?

      1. re: megmosa

        I'll answer your question with a question :) Do you think the chemicals on the food in the markets are significantly different or better? Not trying to be snarky and I truly don't know the answer. I'm pretty relaxed about such things so probably not the best person to advise you on that. But whatever you're going to fix is certainly going to look beautiful, isn't it?

        1. re: c oliver

          I know the flowers at a florist's shop are not usually destined for the table, so it's possible that they use chemicals on them that are not safe for eating.

          1. re: megmosa

            I'd ask. I certainly buy vegetable and herb plants at my nursery.

            1. re: c oliver

              I understand. I had the concern with buying from a florist, not the nursery. My roommate who needs the flowers probably doesn't want to have to buy whole plants to just have the heads, so I don't think buying them from a nursery would be very helpful...unless they would let her pick off all the flowers and only purchase them, which is probably not the case.

              I was hoping that somebody might have seen bagged edible flowers sold at one of the produce markets around town. I used to see them a lot when I lived in San Francisco. I realize the climate might not permit that here, but I just thought I would ask.

              1. re: megmosa

                Pansy plants can be really cheap - like a dollar or so for a 4" plant.

    2. I've seen pansies at RTM (think it was Iovine's) one or twice - don't know if that's a regular thing, though. I haven't seen violets anywhere, but that's not something I look around much for so I could've just missed them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ali

        What Ali said. And yes, it was Iovine's.

        I'd call, as I'm sure they'd be willing to order them if they knew you ewre coming at a particular date

      2. I don't recall seeing them anywhere lately. For a while they were everywhere--must have been something of a fad. When I have seen them, it has been at places like Whole Foods in the same area as the pre-packaged fresh herbs, so that might be worth a check. I grow and use nasturtiums, but that's no help at this time of year.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          Oh wow...I didn't even think of whole foods. We'll have to give them a call.

        2. I haven't seen them around town lately, but here's an online source out of California. note that they are not cheap, about $40 for 25, but come in different glazes/flavors:

          1. Wegman's produce area sometimes has edible flowers. I don't know about pansies or violets specifically. I know I've seen nasturtiums there.