As unbelievable as it may sound, using rose petals in cooking dates back to centuries ago. Be it for their aroma, floral flavors, symbolism, or aesthetic appeal; rose petals can be a beautiful addition to the chef’s arsenal. All you need to do is find the unique or edible petals through a reliable online supplier, and then use them just as you like for crystallizing, cake decoration, and what not? As far as home-grown rose petals are concerned, make sure they are not exposed to any chemicals or sprays.
How to Select the Best Petals for Cooking?
The first step to finding the best petals for cooking is to look for the right place. All roses are not the same; some roses have a distinctive flavor as compared to others. The rose you select should depend on the dish you prepare and the flavors you want them to exude.
The more fragrant you want your meal to be, the more petals you can add. Damask roses, in particular, are known for their strong fragrance. You can also go for Rosa Rugosa, garden roses, and heirloom roses to add an extra special touch to the delights you cook up in the kitchen!
Health Benefits of Rose Petals
It may surprise you to know that petals of rose are used in cooking to enhance the flavor and aroma and for nutritional benefits. As per research, rose petals are full of minerals like potassium and calcium. They also have vitamins A, D, and E, along with antioxidants. Furthermore, the petals have been traditionally used as medicines for heavy periods and menstrual pain, respiratory issues, and strengthening immunity.
Cooking With Rose Petals?
Are you wondering how to use dried petals as a beginner? Well, for starters, you can grind them into a sweet or savory spice mix or use them to make flavored sugar. Then layer a 1:2 rose/sugar ratio in an airtight container, and then after a couple of weeks, you can sieve out the petals. If you want the rose flavors to permeate throughout the dish, you can add a splash of rose water or rose essence into a sponge mix or custard.
Yet another popular way of cooking with rose petals is infusion. Think in the lines of a simple rose tea, a sugar-water infusion for a flavored cocktail syrup, or if you’re confident enough, you can go for a more complex infusion for a set custard, gelatine, or opaline. However, some culinary experts simply like to use the petals purely for decorative purposes since they look attractive and safe for food.
What Do Rose Petals Go With?
Most commonly, the rose is associated with Middle Eastern dishes, amongst which Turkish delight is the most well-known one. Rose petals are generally known to create a wonderful collaboration with saffron, honey, dried apricots, cardamom, and coffee. You can make the most of the flavor by adding rose petals to desserts like almond sponges or semolina puddings. The flavor also blends amazingly with Western dishes.
When it comes to adding the petals in a savory way, one of the prime examples being a traditional rase el hanout spice mixes, accompanied by cinnamon, clove, cumin, turmeric, pepper, coriander, and various other spices. You can then let your imagination run wild as to how you can use the ras el hanout. Be it in chicken or lamb tagines, or a sa meat rub for traditional dishes like grilled quail.
Rose petals find wise usage even in Indian dishes! Just add a dash of rose water to Hyderabadi Biryani, and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Even dishes like kulfi or sweetened rise dishes get a different dimension altogether with rose petals.
As far as British cooking is concerned, clean flavors like cucumber or apple can complement rose petals. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find the same in a classic English afternoon tea, which often has rose petals dipped in hot water, along with cucumber gin and rosehip jams. Crystallized petals find their use mainly as decoration for wedding cakes, fairy cakes, or Victoria sponges.
It goes without saying that how you present a dish makes a huge difference in how appetizing your meal will turn out to be. Garnishing plays a significant role in the overall impression you create with your dishes, and with edible petals of rose, you can explore that to the fullest.