Salted cherry blossoms are not for everyday consumptions, but because of the appearance, they are used to mark special occasions.
The beverage made of salted cherry blossoms and hot water is called sakurayu (cherry blossom water in literal translation), and served on happy occasion, such as wedding ceremonies, instead of tea. They are also used as adornments on top of confectioneries.
To make salted cherry blossoms, multi-layered blossoms work better than single-layered one. (Single-layered cherry blossoms bloom first, and when the season is over multi-layered cherry blossom season comes.) Ideally pick 70% open blossoms for the best presentation.
You don’t need to harvest all of the blossoms from a tree. I picked them in a ziploc bag, and the whole thing weighted about 3.5 oz.
In Japan, umezu (vinegar like sour juice which is by-product of umeboshi) is often used to prevent the flower turning brown. But here in the U.S., where we can’t get umezu, I used apple cider vinegar instead.