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Gulbesheker and gulkand, or cooking with roses

The flower world enchants us with its beauty and secrets that flowers keep away from humanity. We have been studying flowers for centuries and continue to study to learn more about them every day. We use flowers in perfumery, we arrange flowers, we use them to heal the soul and body, as well as in cooking. One of the brightest representatives of the flower world is the rose - the queen of all flowers. Roses have long not only served as a decoration for gardens, but have also been used as garnishes and culinary decorations because of the elegance of their flowers, pleasant aroma and delicate texture. While roses are definitely a wonderful decoration for your home or garden, we recommend that you invite them into your kitchen as well.

Rose has three main medicinal properties: it soothes, cools and moisturizes. Rose is an excellent calming property for nerves, emotional and psychological states, nervous tension, as well as heart disease. Almost any variety of rose is edible, and each species offers us its own unique sweet and floral scent, but some will be more distinct than others. Adding rose petals to your favorite dishes will add an amazing and delicate flavor that you will definitely love. A more fragrant rose will generally be more fragrant in a cooked dish, so trust your sense of smell when choosing roses for cooking.

Damask rose (Rosa damascena)

Damask rose (Rosa damascena) is a highly aromatic species that has been used for centuries for the production of rose water, aromatic oils and for culinary purposes. However, you can't go wrong with any pink or yellow rose, as well as white roses that smell delicious as well. Red roses tend to have very little aroma, so save them to decorate your meals. Whichever variety you choose, avoid industrial roses that have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals, as eating them can cause any disease.

Better to give preference to wild roses or roses from your own garden. The best time to collect them is noon. Collecting roses is necessary after the morning dew has disappeared, but before the heat of a summer day. Before cooking for rose petals, cut off a small white portion at the bottom of each petal. This part has a bitter taste that can ruin your meal. Gently wash the rose petals and place them on a towel to dry.

If your recipe calls for fresh rose petals, it is best to use them within two hours of being removed from the flower. You can store rose petals in the refrigerator for up to a week to prevent wilting. When drying rose petals, you can use a dehydrator or simply place them in the sun on a dry day. Dried rose petals should be kept in a sealed glass jar.

Although many people are not familiar with rose petals as a culinary ingredient, roses are quite common in Middle Eastern cuisine as well as in some Indian dishes. Turkish delight is a well-known example of rose-flavored food. North African Spice Blend ras el hanout includes dried rose petals along with hot spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, cloves and cinnamon.

Spice and rose mixes can be a great addition to poultry, lamb, and other meats. In Western cooking, roses are more commonly used in desserts and other sweet dishes. Rose goes very well with honey, dried apricots and saffron, as well as summer fruits such as strawberries and raspberries.

In France, pink liqueurs and rose-flavored sweets, pink biscuits, pink jam and even rose honey are excellently made. In Paris, you can easily find a unique culinary rose essence.And in Tunisia, Morocco and India, they make a uniquely delicious pink syrup. You can easily find rose jam and jelly in Poland or Romania.

Here are just a few examples of how to cook rose petals to inspire your culinary creativity:

Rose tea: Dried rose petals or rose hips can be steeped in hot water to make a delicate rose tea.

Summer drinks with roses: Rose petals can add delicate floral flavors to lemonades, juices and iced teas. Just mix fresh rose petals and stir in a cool, fruity drink. Rose petals can also be frozen in ice cubes for a nice and tasty punch.

Pink syrup: Mix equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce heat and add dry or fresh rose petals. Remove the mixture from heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Strain the rose petals with a fine sieve and let the syrup cool. Pink syrup can be used in cocktails, tea and lemonade.

Pink sugar: Cut half a cup of rose petals and mix with two cups of sugar. Put the sugar in a jar and store in a cool, dark place for about a week. Then sift the sugar through a sieve into a clean glass jar to remove the petals. Some of them may remain. This flower sugar is perfect for tea or as a sprinkle on homemade sugar cookies.

Candied flower petals: Candied flower petals are ideal as an edible side dish for cakes and desserts or simply as a sweet afternoon treat. This recipe can be made with roses or any other edible flower. Paint each petal or flower with lightly beaten egg whites, then dip them in granulated sugar. Place the petals on wax paper and let dry until set.

Rose salads: Fresh rose petals perfectly complement fruit and mixed greens salads. Create a salad with other herbs and flowers from your garden for a refreshing summer meal.

Dried rose in muesli: Add dried rose petals to a sweet mixture of muesli with dried cranberries, apricots and honey. This flower granola pairs well with vanilla yogurt or can be eaten as a healthy snack.

Rose oil: Grind fragrant rose petals and mix with softened butter. Place the butter in a mold and refrigerate until tender. You can also add finely ground sugar or almond extract for extra sweetness. This delicate butter is perfect with cookies, crackers or fruit cakes.

Pink water: Rose water is a great way to incorporate rose flavor into another dish like custard, biscuit, or other baked goods. Rose water can also be added to drinks or used as a perfume or toner. A spray of rose water on your face and neck will refresh and tighten your skin.

When preparing dishes with roses, be sure to add them in moderation. You'll love the delicate fruity scent of roses when it doesn't overwhelm, but allows for an exquisite complement to your food or drink.

Musk rose Nur Mahal

Let's talk separately about the famous rose petal jam... Rose petal jam is a type of dessert made by boiling the petals of usually pink or red roses with sugar. This jam is traditionally considered an integral part of Turkish cuisine, where it is called "gulbesheker". But many other peoples are not ready to agree with the "Turkish" primogeniture, this type of sweet food has become widespread in many other eastern countries, and is also often found in Europe (Bulgaria, France, Italy, Portugal). Rose petal jam contains vitamins K and C, as well as carotene, B vitamins, iodine, copper, potassium, iron, selenium and a number of other equally useful substances.

The traditional Bulgarian rose petal jam is widely known in the world. The Bulgarian version of this floral delicacy has a great scent that reflects the magical scent of the famous Bulgarian rose. The original traditional Bulgarian recipe for this jam dates back to the late 1700s, and it originated in the villages around the town of Kazanlak in the Bulgarian Rose Valley. Made from the fresh petals of the world famous Bulgarian Damascena rose, harvested during the first dew before sunrise, this healthy tasty treat has been bringing sweet happiness to homemade food for hundreds of years.

Italy is also proud of its version of rose petal jam, which is prepared in the Armenian monastery of the island of San Lazzaro, which is a 15-minute ferry ride from Piazza San Marco, west of Lido. The monks of San Lazzaro are known for their roses and are even more famous for their rose petal jam, which they make every May when these plants bloom. The monks live quite secluded and only allow visitors to come to the island for excursions to the monastery once a day around 3 pm. Tourists and gourmets from all over the world come here in huge numbers, as this is the only chance to get their hands on a jar of the world famous monastery rose petal jam.

Another ancient oriental version of the original Gulkand rose petal jam. Gulkand is considered to be one of the most delicious Ayurvedic foods ever known to mankind. You can find a jar of real gulkand in India and some other Asian countries. The very name "gulkand" comes from the word "gul" - "flower" in Persian, and "kand" - "sweet" in Arabic. Gulkand is an exquisite sweetness made using the technology of gradual natural caramelization of damask rose petals with cane sugar under the sun's rays.

The recipe comes from Indo-Persia. This sweetness has an original texture and aroma, which are obtained only as a result of the ancient method of production using the sun's rays, and allows you to maximize the aroma and all the beneficial properties of rose petals. A real gulkand is made only from damask rose petals (Rosadamascena) and cane sugar.

Gulkand has pronounced medicinal properties. Ayurveda classifies gulkand as Rasayan - anti-aging remedies that prolong life. This food really has high antioxidant properties and high calcium content. It strengthens the heart, cleanses the blood from toxins, and normalizes metabolism. It is effective for high stomach acidity, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue and muscle spasms. It is also a powerful aphrodisiac, equally useful for both women and men.

The possibilities for preparing a variety of rose dishes are almost as endless as your culinary imagination. Add roses to salads and drinks, make jams and jams with them, make gulkands or dry them and mix with your favorite spices.

Tasting the exquisite rose petal delicacies will forever change the way you think of roses as just beautiful flowers! And having learned how to cook these royal pink dishes, you can not only admire the majestic beauty of roses and admire their aroma, but also taste them!

Cooking recipes:

  • Rose petal jam
  • Gulkand
  • Vintage rose petal jam