The rose is a flower that fills gardens with its fragrance, but it also gives a wonderful flavor to certain dishes through the addition of its fresh or dried petals, or in the form of rose water. . This is quite common in Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, and India.
Roses are sold in the form of dried petals, and in the form of flavored water, similar to orange flower water. They are mainly found in Middle Eastern grocery stores, but rose water can also be found in large retail establishments in the same section as orange flower water. Rose extract is also used, particularly in pastry making. Make sure to use it very sparingly. Rose syrup can also be found. Fresh rose petals from a florist should not be used, because they will have been treated.
Rose petals can be candied, made into jelly, jam, and syrup. Crystallized rose petals can be turned into candies, flavored with honey. They can also be used to flavor tea. Mix a few petals with tea leaves so that the flavor of rose will diffuse throughout the infusion. However, because they flavor is so powerful, they should be used sparingly. Rose water is used to flavor cakes and confectionery, such as well-known Turkish delight, as well as almond paste, ice creams, and sorbets. In India, roses are used to make lassi, a traditional drink made with fermented milk. Rose syrup is mainly used to make cocktails.
Dried rose petals can be stored for quite a long time in an airtight container protected from light, moisture, and heat. Once a bottle of rose water has been opened, it should be kept in the refrigerator.
Because rose petals are always used in small amounts, they have no nutritional interest. This is not the case with jam, jelly, syrup, and crystallized petals, which are basically made of sugar.
Any variety of rose can be used in pastry making. However, you must make sure that they are not chemically treated. The Damask rose is the most desirable and prized. In France, the Gallica rose or rose of Provins is very famous for the jams and other products made from it.