Shoots aside, the TikTok trend involving eating flowers whole didn’t develop in a vacuum. In 2018, TV chef Andrew Zimmern gave Pennsylvania-based chef Tomasz Skowronski a shoutout on Instagram in a post describing the perfect sunflower to munch on. “The key to @aptekapgh sunflower dish is finding a sunflower that’s bloomed but where the seeds are still elongated and immature, soft, with no ‘shell’ forming yet,” Zimmern said about choosing the right sunflower to serve at your next party.
Delish spoke to chef Tomasz Skowronski, who confirmed that eating sunflowers is most definitely a thing in parts of the world, particularly in Poland, where he grew up. “In the countryside, it’s really common to see people eating whole heads of sunflower that are fully mature. Kids will be sitting on a fence picking and eating it, or you’ll have guys drinking a beer and eating it.”
And while the sunflower is edible from tip to root, Skowronski says he has his druthers on when the blossoms should be harvested if it is to be enjoyed for more than its looks. “We figured out a time period that [lent sunflowers] to being eaten more easily,” the chef said. That meant harvesting sunflowers sooner so the seeds wouldn’t be as tough.
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