Everyone Is Cooking Up Roses

I've always been a fan of roses, and enjoy burying my nose in their soft petals to inhale their heady fragrance, but until recently, I never really got the concept of rose as a flavor. I understand scents like cinnamon and clove as they apply to both body fragrances and baked goods, but for the life of me I couldn't imagine why I'd want to eat something that tasted like my grandma smelled.

Until recently, my experiences with roses in food came by way of cloyingly sweet desserts in Indian, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines and that was enough, I thought, to turn me off of it forever. All of a sudden, though, it seems like rose is the new pork belly and everywhere I look, chefs are playing around with its flavor in both sweet and savory applications.

My first introduction to a rose flavored food that I liked actually came about as a dessert that a client of mine insisted that I reproduce for her. Rose Ice Cream with Turkish Delight, Rose Petals and Fairy Floss seemed an impossible task (if for no other reason than I had no idea where to even begin,) but I somehow managed to convince the chef of Pearl Restaurant in Melbourne, Australia to share his recipe with me. After a week of searching for the right ingredients and converting from metric to standard measurement, I made the dessert. Much to the delight of my client, and me, the dessert was just as she had remembered. For me it was also the entry into a mystical culinary world where essence trounces flavor and the concepts of taste and smell meld to produce an intoxicating realm of potential.

A few months ago, it happened again as I was having lunch in a hip, little cafe in Greenwich Village. I ordered an iced tea and, upon my first sip, was struck by a subtle, yet familiar, flavor that I couldn't quite place. After a few more sips I realized that the tea was flavored with rose. I couldn't believe how delicious and refreshing it was. Unsweetened, the slight rose essence lingered at the back of my throat and each sip left me wanting for another. It paired well with my savory lunch, much in the way fruity iced teas do, and would have definitely paired well with dessert too.

Recently, as I was planning the menu for an upcoming dinner party, I fell in love with the idea of doing a vibrant red beet and strawberry salad. I thought that both visually and in flavor the two would be quite complementary. As I worked with the two main ingredients, trying to determine what might match well with them, I thought back to my recent positive experiences with the essence of roses and I decided to play around with a rose-water sorbet. The final version was simple, flavored only with tart pomegranate juice, rose water and a bit of sugar. The tart and fragrant magenta sorbet was an amazing accompaniment to the beets and strawberries. I topped the whole thing off with mint chiffonade, lime zest and shaved macadamia nuts.

As nice as the combination of rose and strawberry was in my salad, I think that perhaps I stumbled upon the ultimate combination when I was in Paris last month. At Pierre Herme, I bought a rather innocuous looking croissant with some dark pink sprinkles on top not sure what I was in for. When I got to the center I found that it was filled with an incredible, luscious raspberry-rose-litchi jelly. This flavor combination is an Herme signature, called Ispahan, and can be found in his patisseries enhancing macarons and pates de fruits as well. At first bite I got the raspberry and litchi, a perfect balance of tart and sweet. Then, just at the tail end of the bite, the essence of rose snuck up. It seemed to waft through the lingering taste of the fruit and grab onto the rich butter pastry, leaving behind a flavor combination unlike any I've ever had.

Needless to say, I am now a fan of rose as a flavoring and interestingly enough, my once strong aversion to lavender seems to be waning as well. I'm certain that there is a connection there.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found

            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            5 Program(s) Found

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.

            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
            Show more [+]