It's not particularly popular in the US to eat flowers, so it's only sense I've started doing some of my own gardening that I discovered the joys of edible flowers. Pansies are a rather common and basic one, so it'll be a fun one to start off with.
Just a word of caution, do not eat flowers if it's been treated with pesticides! Growing your own from seed is the safest way since you know for certain where the plant has been. Also make sure you wash flowers before eating, but that should be common sense.
The entire flower of a pansy is edible, but it's good to be aware that some flowers only the petals may be. Make sure to look anything up before ingesting it. Pansies have a mild and somewhat minty flavor and they're great as a garnish.
Ideas on ways to eat pansies:
Fresh in a salad
On a cake
Frozen into ice cubes!
or my favorite, candied!
So how do you go about sugar coating a pansy or any other edible flower? The first time I did it, it was an intimidating and messy process with more failure than success, but a little practice and you'll get the hang of it for sure.
First gently wash the fresh flowers off (you don't want to bruise them) and pat them dry with a paper towel. Lay them out on a dry paper towel, which will help pull out excess moisture.
Next you want to prepare an egg wash using whisked egg whites. Paint the egg whites on with a food safe paint brush (not one you've used for other purposes!)
Using a fine sugar (not your regular sugar but not as fine as powdered, castor sugar should be fine) you can now sprinkle the flowers. Shake off any excess and place the pansies somewhere warm to dry for about an hour.
These can last a few days, but I wouldn't wait too long to eat them!