Also Known as
With vibrant blooms, velveteen petals and a primordial perfume, roses transcend mere floral status and seem to spring from the realm of the divine. The rose family, while mostly thought of as decorative, is used extensively as an aromatic seasoning for food, especially sweets. In China, the native rose has long been used for producing rose-flavored black tea. The rose family is more than 40 million years old. In ancient Rome, roses were often added to celebratory cuisine, and Middle Eastern fare still includes roses in numerous desserts. The flavor of rose petals is generally sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice.
How to Select
Roses bloom in summer and are best used in the kitchen in bud form or when newly opened. Roses are available all year. Rose petals can be found primarily in specialty markets. Look for fresh blossoms with no signs of wilting or browning. Store them loosely packed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Or try using roses from the garden.
To avoid toxic pesticides, make sure fresh roses are organic. If you're picking the roses yourself, the best time is in the late morning, after the dew has dried and before the strong afternoon sun. Hold the entire rose by the tips of the petals with the tips of your fingers, pull it off the base, and trim the white sections with scissors - this will save you time. Do not use petals that have been sprayed with an insecticide which is not intended for use on food.
" Roses are perfect for every occasion, including afternoon tea. This is a light and gently flavoured tea that will treat you to the sweet aroma of the rose garden
" Immerse blossoms in cool water to flush out any tiny insects, and dry thoroughly in a salad spinner. Add to field greens or use as a garnish for desserts
" Northern India is known for its delicious milk-based sweets, many of which hint of rose.
" Rose ice cream is enjoyed and relished in many parts of India.
" Rose preserves made with petals in heavy sugar syrup are sold in Indian markets
" In France, red rose petals are candied and used to decorate cakes and other sweets. Candied Sugared Rose Petals- Rose petals must be dry and clean. Dip both sides in slightly whipped white of egg or brush with camel-hair brush, and then coat both sides of the petals immediately with granulated sugar and lay carefully on waxed paper. Allow to dry thoroughly before packing in boxes. To hasten drying, turn the petals once. They will keep for a year.
" Rose-based medicines rose liqueur and rose-flavoured sweets, biscuits, jam, jelly and honey are also available.
a. Rose Honey Jelly, mix three cups strained honey and one cup hot water. Mix thoroughly and bring to quick boil. Add 1/2 bottle fruit pectin immediately. Bring to full rolling boil and remove from stove at once. Skim, add one teaspoon of extract of roses, stir thoroughly and pour quickly into sterilized jelly glasses and seal. Makes five glasses.
b. Rose honey - Cut off white base of sweet-scented rose petals. Mash pound trimmed petals with wooden masher. Boil in one pint water 15 minutes. Strain, add two pounds strained honey. Boil down to thick syrup. Pour into scalded glasses and seal. Pour one thin layer of paraffin and let set. Add a washed rose leaf or two and cover with another thin layer of paraffin.
c. Rose Ice cubes - Boil together for five minutes, two cupful of water and 1/2 cupful sugar. Pour this over 1/2 cupful finely minced rose leaves. Cool, add juice of three lemons. Strain. Freeze in cubes, use in fruit drinks and herb teas.
How to Store
To keep rose and its petals fresh for a few days, place rose in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper
" A bloom with benefits.
" Roses Promote Health and Harmony.
" Rose is a natural way to get vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K, and help to prevent and treat various infections, especially colds and flu.
" Roses are a good way to quicken the healing process for bruises and skin irritations. Inflammation and sore throat can find relief with rose which come in capsule form and are usually taken 3 times daily.
" Women receive extra benefits from rose which help uterine cramps, heavy menstrual flow and some breast disorders.
" Rose also enhances immunity, helping to restrain the development of infections through their cleansing action.
" An infusion of rose petals can relieve cold and flu symptoms, sore throat, runny nose and blocked bronchial tubes.
" An infusion or syrup of the petals or hips strengthens the lungs in their fight against infection and is particularly useful for those prone to chest problems.
" Roses also help fight infection in the digestive tract and help re-establish the normal bacterial population of the intestines.
" Rose petals and seeds have a diuretic action, relieving fluid retention and hastening elimination of wastes via the kidneys.
" In addition to vitamins C, E, and K, rose hips contain calcium, citric acid, iron, niacin, phosphorus, tannin, vitamin A, B1, B2, and P.
" As a natural stimulant it gently allows movement of the bowels, as diuretic rose hips cleanse the urinary system.
" Stressed and tired? Rose will help.
" Rose petals have an uplifting, restoring effect on the nervous system, and can relieve insomnia, lift depression, dispel fatigue and soothe irritability.
" Other health benefits include lowering abnormal body heat, relieving thirst, healing of internal hemorrhaging or spitting of blood, aid for dysentery, strengthens the stomach, prevents and helps relief chest infections and coughs, cleans the kidneys and bladder, prevents fluid retention, helps with gout and rheumatic conditions and nourishes the skin.