Tulips are a beautiful spring flower that comes in almost every shade of the rainbow, but what many people didn’t know is that tulip flowers were also a popular famine food in the World War II ages.
When food and money were scarce, many people were looking for more creative ways to feed themselves and tulips were an edible resource right outside of their doors.
While tulips have been used to feed people during hard times, they are not an ideal food source. A tulip salad was common during a famine. but they provide no nutritional value and don’t taste very pleasant either. However, if you have no other food sources than what’s in your garden, tulips can keep you fed.
Are you interested in learning more about eating tulips? If you do decide to eat a tulip, you will need to know what parts are safe to eat and which parts might be toxic. Today we’re going to go over what you should know about this edible flower.
What Happens if You Eat a Tulip?
Different sections of a tulip will have a different effects. While many people have eaten these flowers without any issues, some people have gotten sick from the experience. If you do decide to eat tulips, you will want to do it safely.
The petals of this flower are safe to eat. Many people think they taste like peas or beans. While they don’t have any vitamins or nutrients, tulip petals are a fun and colorful addition to salads.
Next time you’re hosting a barbeque and want to impress your guest, throw a few colorful tulip petals in the salad bowl.
One thing you should keep in mind is that certain tulip varieties will taste different than others. Some tulip petals have a sweet lettuce-like flavor, others have a flavor more similar to pepper.
Since the petals are edible, many people like adding them to charcuterie boards with different cheeses and walnuts.
While it’s safe to snack on the petals of tulips, you may need to be more careful when it comes to other areas of the tulip. Eating tulip bulbs does present more risks than petals.
Are Tulips Poisonous to Humans?
In some cases, humans have been poisoned by tulips. The tulip bulbs contain compounds of alkaloid and glycoside, which are toxic to humans. During the famine of World War II, many families in Holland got creative when it came to cooking with tulips.
While tulip salads were high in demand, they wanted to use more of the flower to make meals.
Many people would boil the tulip bulb because they believed the flavor was somewhat similar to a boiled onion. The taste wasn’t ideal, but it was something they could work with since they were very hungry.
However, some people ended up in the hospital from eating tulip bulbs because of the toxic compounds found in them. Some of the symptoms included:
- Abdominal Pains
- Convulsions (rare)
- Death (rare)
What Part of The Tulip Is Poisonous?
If you do want to try eating tulips, it’s important to know that the only part of these flowers that are edible are the petals. Their mild yet sweet flavor could be an inviting ingredient in your salad or add some extra color to your cheese board. Eating tulips isn’t always a risk, but you should be careful when it comes to these flowers.
While the petals of these flowers are safe to be eaten after just a wash, you need to be careful with other sections. Always discard the stems and leaves of tulip flowers because they are poisonous. When it comes to the tulip bulbs, it is a different story.
The bulbs have toxic ingredients, but they have been used in recipes in the past. If you do decide to prepare a meal with tulip bulbs, they must be prepared properly. The bulbs will need to be fully peeled and then they will need to be cut in half.
Once they are cut in half, you should notice a yellow core inside. This core has a very bitter flavor and it is where all the harmful toxins lay. The tulip bulbs will be poisonous until this core is removed.
Once the core has been removed, the bulb will be safer to cook with. However, you should always use caution when cooking a bulb.
Only certain sections of the tulip are edible. The colorful petal of the plant is always safe to serve, but other parts of the flower are toxic to humans.
However, one section of the tulip that has always been up for debate on whether or not it’s safe to be eaten has been the bulbs.
As long as they have been peeled and the core is removed, they will be safer to make a meal from.