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ISO Pansies or violets for cooking

megmosa Jan 30, 2009 04:11 PM

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. c oliver RE: megmosa Jan 30, 2009 04:53 PM

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

    6 Replies
    1. re: c oliver
      megmosa RE: c oliver Jan 30, 2009 04:58 PM

      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
        c oliver RE: megmosa Jan 30, 2009 05:03 PM

        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
          megmosa RE: c oliver Jan 30, 2009 05:50 PM

          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
            c oliver RE: megmosa Jan 30, 2009 06:26 PM

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

            1. re: c oliver
              megmosa RE: c oliver Jan 30, 2009 06:52 PM

              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
                c oliver RE: megmosa Jan 30, 2009 07:02 PM

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

    2. a
      Ali RE: megmosa Jan 30, 2009 10:32 PM

      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
        coolgeek RE: Ali Feb 1, 2009 01:41 PM

        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. h
        Hungryin theBurbs RE: megmosa Jan 31, 2009 04:53 AM

        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
          megmosa RE: Hungryin theBurbs Jan 31, 2009 05:11 AM

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

        2. c
          croutonpiggy RE: megmosa Jan 31, 2009 07:18 AM

          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. CindyJ RE: megmosa Feb 1, 2009 05:13 AM

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

            1. b
              Bigley9 RE: megmosa Feb 2, 2009 05:57 AM

              Iovine's (in the RTM) will get them for you if they don't currently have them. You could also check the produce stand next to Downtown Cheese - I have seen them there - but I don't know if they would order them for you.

              1. m
                megmosa RE: megmosa Feb 2, 2009 02:22 PM

                Thanks everybody. My roommate wound up giving up on the flowers after all. She was going to candy them to put on top of cupcakes. She wound up candying lemon zest instead...and it turned out really well.

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