You’ve probably therefore guessed that this year’s Pantone Color of the Year is a shade of blue—and, if so, you’re right. For 2020, Pantone has chosen Classic Blue (19-4052) for these reasons: “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”
You can find information about this year’s color, and those from past years, at Pantone’s British website—and here’s more about the color blue from a Pantone press release:
“Imbued with a deep resonance . . . a boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication. Imprinted in our psyches as a restful color, PANTONE 19-4052, Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser-like clarity, PANTONE 19-4052, Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.”
Cindy Disbrow, the director of product management and production at The Chef’s Garden, watches each year to see what color Pantone will select, and she’s happy they’ve chosen blue. She says, “Blue, for me, symbolizes peaceful seas, skies, and times. In times of stress, we search for this, even in our old pairs of favorite jeans.”
Cindy predicts this color will “permeate our world, become fashionable. We will see it this year in homes, clothes, even sneakers.”
And, of course, in our choices of flowers. Blue edible flowers.
As luck would have it, The Chef’s Garden grows a bountiful amount of blue edible flowers—and you can find inspirational ideas about how to use them in dishes and menus in our deliciously deep dive into edible flowers. In this post, Chef Jamie Simpson from the Culinary Vegetable Institute shares the benefits of using these flowers to add layers of flavor, texture, and aroma to dishes, as well as providing eye-catching visual appeal.
We invite you to read the entire post; here’s just one snippet.
Besides the qualities inherent in the edible flowers themselves, when they’re used in dishes and menus, this usage is typically perceived as going above and beyond to create a special experience for the diner . . . these extra touches can make a big difference in pleasing diners and guests and gaining their loyalty and positive reviews and recommendations.
And, here’s another deep dive we’ve created into the miracles of edible flowers—and insights from the Culinary Vegetable Institute about how edible flowers are being considered a “big wedding reception trend for 2020,” having them frozen in ice cubes or infused in water to sprinkle on desserts or tossed in salads.
Before we talk more about edible blue flowers, here’s more about the blue food trend, overall.
2020 Blue Food Trend
The demand for blue is definitely here, including in food and beverage applications. FoodIngredientsFirst.com, for example, shares how food and beverage companies are “increasingly looking for lively colors that occur naturally and can support clean label status . . . But health-conscious consumers want to go even further in their quest for transparency and must be provided with fully clean formulations, as minimally processed as possible.”
In other words, taking a food stuff and adding blue food coloring just isn’t going to do it. The demand for blue foods really translates into a demand for foods that are naturally blue.
The New York Times, meanwhile, recently published an article on this trend, noting how blue food even “plays an outsize role” in a Broadway musical, “The Lightning Thief.”
Pinterest is providing plenty of inspirational blue food ideas, as well, with Good Housekeeping noting how the color blue is expected to be “one of the top trends in sweet treats this year.”
Now, here’s more about beautifully blue and deliciously edible flowers.
Blue Edible Flowers
First, here is our comprehensive edible flower list. Not all of them are blue, so we’ll tease several of them out to make them easier to find.
Blue Bachelor Buttons
Blue bachelor button flowers—also known as cornflowers—add very mild cucumber/raw green bean flavor to dishes. Vibrantly gorgeous blue petals also add unexpected pops of rich and vivid color to your plates. (These edible flowers aren’t sharp when diners bite into them, but the non-crunchy blossoms sure look pointy!)
Blue borage flowers are star-shaped, vibrant blooms that add beauty to the plate, along with a mild cucumber flavor that some describe as a sweet honey taste. It’s also mildly salty. The texture of these gorgeous edible flowers is delicate with very small hairs. The entire flower is deliciously edible.
Blue Raspberry Violas
Blue raspberry violas blossom in rich shades of purple, adding touches of flavorful beauty to sweet and savory dishes alike, from the salad course to dessert and more. These edible violas float, making them ideal for unique cocktails and mocktails, as well as anywhere else edible flowers provide crowning touches.
Blueberry Cheesecake Violas
Blueberry cheesecake viola blooms offer up stunning final touches for dishes and drinks. Violas blossom in gorgeous shades of purple that, as you move towards the center, turn white; at the very heart of this edible flower, the hue is beautifully golden. These violas intensify flavors, adding crunch and aroma.
Blueberry Cream Violas
Blueberry cream viola blooms are delicate beauties, cream blossoms brightened up by intense purple and gold centers that add flavor. These edible flowers offer a crowning touch to salads, desserts and other culinary masterpieces, and remember—violas float beautifully, making them ideal for creative cocktails and mocktails.
Blueberry Lemon Sorbet Violas
The blueberry lemon sorbet viola offers dramatically beautiful contrasts in hue, a combination of intense purple and stunning yellow with purple lines; the center is golden. This eye-catching edible flower is ideal when you want to focus a diner’s attention.
Blueberry Swirl Violas
Blueberry swirl violas provide a stunning contrast in colors, from rich purple to bright white, adding flavorful beauty to your dishes and drinks.
You may notice that some of our edible flowers have hues that hug the line between blue and purple. Interestingly enough, more than one of the articles we’ve read about the blue food trend note that it is also encompassing foods (including edible flowers!) that are more like indigo in hue.
So, what does that mean?
Well, as a culinary trendsetter yourself, you already know this, but we’ll say it, anyhow. These sorts of food trends should be used, in our opinion, as sources of inspiration—not as hard and fast rules that box you in. Here’s an example of how Jamie does exactly that.
“You can create a drink with violas, for example,” he says, “and an acidic ice. This cocktail can start out as blue or dark purple and, as the ice melts, the violas get muddled and the drink turns pink.”
We’d love to hear about how you take a trend, play around with it, and create something new and extraordinary!
Blue Edible Flower Desserts
Because it’s being predicted that blue foods will particularly find their way into sweet treats, we thought we’d share another suggestion of Jamie’s. You can create candied violas, choosing any of the ones listed above, using egg whites and superfine sugar. Or, you can make deliciously sweetened granita, adding blue edible flowers for pops of unexpected color.
How about one more idea from Jamie? “Because time is often of the essence in restaurant kitchens,” he says, “you can dehydrate edible flowers to create a flower flour dry mix where you simply add egg and oil—and then bake desserts containing deliciously edible confetti.”
One More Blue Food
We have a real passion for our edible flowers, including our blue beauties. We also have another delicious and nutritious blue food that deserves a mention: blue potatoes!
The oval-shaped all blue potato offers up a creamy flavor, spiced like black pepper and tomato skin. Amethyst hues range from lighter to darker shades from the outside in, from light to medium and then dark rich purple tones. These uniquely delicious and nutritious farm-fresh potatoes turn blue when boiled.
Contact The Chef’s Garden
We’re always on the lookout for new and unique crops to grow—and we often choose them specifically because chefs would like to use them in culinary dishes and creative menus. It’s just part of our ongoing chef and farm relationship.
Might we say that the [blue] sky is the limit when it comes to serving our chefs? (If that’s too corny, please ignore that!)
Here’s something else to consider. The blue foods mentioned in this post are really just a snapshot in time. We’re deep into the research and development stages of numerous new crops, some of them close to being released to our chefs.
If you’re already a customer, we invite you to contact your product specialist to talk about how we can help you with your creative dishes and menus. If you’d like to become a customer, you can contact us here.