i am curious. why would you want to use royal icing flowers, if they are too hard to eat, as well as the gumpaste? do you tell your customers that they are edible, but not recommended to be eaten? i have used fondant, but don't like the taste (i guess because it was the wilton store bought one), and it also gets a bit hard after a while.
That would pretty much be my case. My first attempt in making a bow with fondant , I had to tell all that it was icing and that they can eat it if they liked it. So of course all the kids gathered around took a piece and all ran to the trash..
The main reasons I use royal icing, fondant, gumpaste etc. is so that I can get the flowers, for instance, that I need done way ahead of time, rather than trying to get everything done at the last minute! Also with these products you are pretty much only limited by your (or others!) imagination. You can mold, shape, cut or whatever and make anything you desire. These products let you go way beyond flowers! Happy baking, Missey