It’s July and the smell of roses is still in the air. You probably picture them on your window sill. On the table, in a vase. Given as a gift to someone you love. In fact, the rose is one of the most formidable flower there is, often called the Queen of Flowers.
But have you ever imagined it.. on your plate? Yes, roses come in all colours and sizes but they’re all edible. Yes, this rose is edible.
And so is this rose.
And this rose- from our garden!
Just pay attention to one thing: first of all, the roses you can buy at the florists’ are often sprayed with pesticides. And, some of the cultivated roses have been bred for their gorgeous shape and color but the scent got lost somewhere in the process. But the scent is exactly what you want. Roses don’t taste much, but they do smell like heaven.
What you want to find in particular is this beauty: the dog rose (also known as wild rose)- see in the picture, or any other type of wild rose you’ll find growing in the woods. Just make sure they smell nicely.
Petals are most commonly used, I think, but the fruit (known as rosehips) are also edible. So here’s the question: what can you make with roses?
I only know two uses in this post (jam and syrup), but have looked around and found more. I’m not claiming to have found all possible uses for roses in the kitchen but I think I came close. Images below belong to the recipe’s creators (please click through for their recipes).
Rose Water/Rose Oil
I’ve never tried making it and it seems like a rather labour – intensive process, but this recipe makes it look easy! If you want to keep the scent of roses for eternity, you can make rose oil. It sounds easier to make than the rose water. Maybe one day I’ll make my own.
Rose jam is one of my favourites but it took me a few years to gather up the courage to make my own. I’m glad I did. Check out my blog for the recipe.
A friend from a food-related Facebook group said she made rose harissa and my heart almost skipped a beat. Harissa? The wonderful, just-the-right-kind-of-hot harissa combined with rose petals? This must be divine. The recipe? From Jamie Oliver, of course.
After my big great discovery of rose petal harissa, I thought what else can you make from rose petals that is both amazing and unconventional? Chutney was my first thought. However, I can’t seem to find a rose petal chutney recipe, but this rosehip chutney looks amazing.
Rose Ice Cream
If it must be possible to make harissa and chutney out of roses, surely ice cream isn’t that much of a stretch? I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pictures on this blog. Feel free to salivate as you look through the pictures. You’ll find the recipe at the end.
My mom would buy Persian rose bud tea for me sometimes. Which is basically dried rose buds. Put 5 of them in a cup and pour boiling water over it. The taste is amazing. I like it very light (even though I do not shy away from strong tea), but you can steep it however you like. This blogger uses white roses but red or pink are nicer, I think.
Photo use courtesy of vegrecipesofindia.com
Because of the beautiful colour petals can be added to milk, turning it a beautiful pink colour. Also, this seems a perfect drink for a Princess birthday party. It uses rose syrup but I think I’d let rose petals steep in the milk for a while. This recipe calls for basil seeds- although I think chia seeds would do just as well.
No, I certainly don’t mean cake in the shape of a rose or decorated with roses made of frosting. I mean rose cake, with rose-scented batter. I found this one on BBC food, but otherwise you can add a few rose petals and a drop of rose syrup to your favourite cake batter (I think a simple sponge cake is great for this purpose)
Rose-infused jello shots / rose syrup
Or even better, rose-infused jello shots! I’d go for the vodkaless version but feel free to add the alcohol as well. You can buy rose syrup sometimes but here are not one but three ways to make rose petal syrup. Pick your favourite.
Same thing: take your favourite cupcake recipe and add rose syrup and/or petals .Otherwise, these rose water cupcakes look amazing and I’m sure they taste that way, too.
Photo by courtesy of Random House, Inc.
These dumpling squashes are filled with rose petals and among the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Another revelation. I hope it tastes just as good.
Rose Custard or pudding
Of course you can make rose custard. How can you not make rose custard? Especially when it looks like this? And if this custard is too rich, go for the pudding. I think I will give it a try one day.
Rose Juice/lemonade/rose-infused water
This rose juice– or I guess it should be called lemonade- is a perfect summer drink. In fact, I think I need it in this heat. At a friend’s house, I saw a jar with sparkling water, oranges, cucumbers and strawberries. I thought roses would make this drink interesting. Buzzfeed is of the same opinion- especially check number 8.
The recipes vary but this is one I use sometimes- with fruit: In a jar, make a layer of rose petals, add sugar. Repeat with another layer of fruit until you’ve filled the whole jar. Then, add alcohol (really strong vodka or pure liquor) and let it sit for a few weeks. I haven’t tried it myself but am sure it’s amazing. Here’s another recipe you can try.
Rose Quail/ Chicken
If you’ve read “Like Water for Chocolate,” you’ll know that one of the most amazing recipes is Quail in rose petal sauce. This romantic blogger has figured it out- using chicken instead of quail.
A rose is a rose is a rose… is delicious!
[…] This year, I am on a mission to make my own rose-petal syrup . . . and tea . . . and water . . . and boy does this English rose cake look and sound good, as do all the rose-petal recipes here. […]