In a nutshell: Widely used in Georgian cuisine, Marigold petals can be used whole or ground and add colour and citrusy flavour to dishes.
Marigold petals (Kviteli kvavili) are part of the essential spices that define Georgian cuisine. They are the petals of a variety of yellow-hued marigold that are harvested primarily for their colour and their delicate floral taste. Even though they grow in other parts of the world, their culinary usage is limited to Georgia.
Marigold petals are also found in Khmeli Suneli, the emblematic Georgian spice blend. Once ground, they add a distinctly yellow tint to dishes; undoubtedly the reason that it’s commonly referred to as Imeritian saffron after the Georgian province of Imeriti. Can be used in rice dishes and soups. The petals pair wonderfully with fresh herbs, such as dill and coriander, as well as with nut-based dishes and can be sprinkled on salads. You can use them whole or grind them with a mortar and pestle. Like saffron and turmeric, they give a distinctive yellow colour to dishes and are also high in antioxidants.
About Épices de Cru
Épices de Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.