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Give your mom some flowers she can sink her teeth into on Mother's Day [Updated]

May 6, 2010 |  2:58 pm

Another Mother's Day, another gazillion vases of flowers wilting away on the sideboard. This year, why not skip that tired bouquet? Edible flowers are the best way to say "Thank you for not disowning me at birth" -- not to mention, they're a lovely way to combine a bit of jaw-dropping beauty with some good eating. Here are four delicious ways to tell your mother you realize you owe her your life -- literally. Give her some flowers she can sink her teeth into or -- better yet -- swirl into a cocktail. God knows, after putting up with you for all these years, the woman could probably use one.

Rivera's Tortillas Florales: What Times' restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila calls "a must," and what has been branded as "the perfect tortilla" by KCRW's Evan Kleiman, these little discs of heaven are some of the best tortillas in Los Angeles. Soaked, ground and crowned with the most delicate of flowers in-house at Rivera restaurant in downtown L.A., these corn tortillas are almost too pretty to eat. But you will eat them. Oh yes, you will. And if you're of the "flowers go better with chocolate" mindset (and who isn't, really?), make sure to get a side order of Rivera's Mexican chocolate-infused black beans. Heaven can wait, but these tortillas must be experienced now. And if you're strong enough to resist the seductive pull of chef John Sedlar's menu, grab a take-out order of four of these floral tortillas with a side of "Indian Butter," the creamiest of guacamole, for a mere $8. 1050 S. Flower Street, L.A., (213) 749-1460; www.riverarestaurant.com

Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup: Everything's wilder in Australia, and these edible hibiscus flowers are the proof. Pop one into a flute of champagne and you may just ditch that soul-sucking office job for a Walkabout. Originally touted as the perfect complement to pretty much any drink, alcoholic or otherwise, these ripe and succulent flowers are their own reward. What is hibiscus, anyway? Who cares? They're rhubarb, they're raspberry -- they're a mad taste explosion in your mouth. The best part about any cocktail made with these intoxicating flowers is eating the actual flower itself -- they deserve their own entry in the fruit dictionary. Better yet, you can spread them on crostini with goat cheese (helps soak up all the bubbly), or bake them into a pie. Check out the recipes at the Wild Hibiscus company site  or on their Facebook page. They give new meaning to that whole, "Eat? Drink?" conundrum. Always well-stocked at your local BevMo: $8.99 for 8.8 oz (and 11 flowers). [For the record, 5:15 p.m.: An earlier version  of this post stated that eight hibiscus flowers came per 8.8 oz. pack. The pack actually contains 11 flowers.]

St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur: Elderflower is its own beast: part pear, part honeysuckle, part ambrosia of the gods, and elderflower liqueur is possibly the most delicately delicious concoction of flower and booze known to man. And the angels at St-Germain have harvested the Alps to bring us the best of these delicate blossoms. If you don't immediately fall in love/lust with this complex liqueur, you'd be out of your mind to resist the Art-Nouveau design of the gorgeous bottle that is its own reward. $32.99 at BevMo.

Teaposy Flowering Teas: A delicate concoction of silver needle white tea and herbal flowers that actually blossom in boiling water, the Teaposy brew is equal parts tasty beverage and hypnotic work of art. Teaposy also makes their own line of hand blown, see-through glassware, the better to watch your flowers unfurl as they steep. And the whimsically named "Light My Fire" teapot warmer (fueled by a tea light, of course) really does work: after an hour, the tea still tested at a steamy 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is no mere form over function: these teas really do blossom on your palate. Fortunately, Teaposy is having a Mother's Day sale at Whole Latte Love with coupon code "TPLA10" (it runs through May 22). Gift sets start at $29.99.

-- Melissa Henderson

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