Edible Flowers: Rose

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”  — Emma Goldman

Roses are mostly thought as a decorative and fragrant addition to life, but it is used extensively as a seasoning, specifically to sweets, in the Arab world, India, central Asia, and Iran.

History and Folklore

Roses have been seen as a symbol of love.  They are believed to have originated in Persia, Bulgaria or Turkey; eventually spread through Mesopotamia to Palestine.

In Pagan religions, the rose symbols love, happiness, psychic powers, healing, luck and protection.   Roses have been associated with numerous mythological deities such as Hathor, Hulda, Eros, Demeter, Isis, Adonis, Harpocrates and Aurora.



Roses usually bloom throughout the summer months, but it available year-round in specialty stores dried, candied, as rosewater and rose oil.


1. NEVER pick flowers that have been exposed to animal excrement. That is a sure way to get sick.

2. NEVER pick flowers that have had insecticides sprayed on them. If it can kill bugs, it can make you sick!

3. If you use fertilizers on your flowers, make sure that the fertilizers are for food consumption.

4. Flowers on the side of the road have been exposed to trash and carbon monoxide. Who wants to eat that?

5. If you are unsure if the flowers are edible, then do not eat them. Why take the risk.

6. Check with your doctor. If you are allergic to dandelions, then eating them will probably make your allergies worse.

7. If the flowers look bruised, or eaten by an insect, don’t eat them. Part of eating flowers is to enjoy the beauty of them.

8. There are some flowers that are edible and some are poisonous. Before you eat any flower, please make sure to research whether the flower is safe to eat. When in doubt, go without.

Food Affinities

Allspice, almond, cardamom, cassia, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, coffee, coriander seed, cream, fennel seed, ginger, lavender, lemon, mahlab, mastic, nutmeg, pine nuts, pistachio, poppy seeds, rice, saffron, sugar, tea, vanilla, walnuts, wattleseed and yogurt.


6 whole petals = 1 – 2 teaspoons dried = 1 teaspoon rosewater

1 cup of fresh rose petals = 4 – 16 roses (depending on the size of the flower)

Health Benefits

Rose Hips, the very heart of the rose, are an important source of Vitamin C.  They also contain high amounts of carotene, bioflavonoids and B complex.

Rose Hips are excellent for the skin; they can stop an infection, cramps, dizziness, colds and stress.

The essential oil of rose is the most expensive in the world, but is used as a sedative, anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory remedy.  It has been used for thousands of years to help treat and prevent wrinkles.



Rose Liqueur

  • 4 cups vodka or dry white wine
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1–2 cups rose petals

Gently bruise the flower petals. Place in a jar with the alcohol and allow to steep for a minimum of two days. Add the sugar to the jar and shake. Allow this mixture to steep for a minimum of two weeks. Shake the jar each day twice to make the sugar dissolve. Strain into a clean decanter.

Instant Chartreuse or your own flavored Stoli!




Rose Butter

  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh or dried rose petals
  • 1 pound sweet unsalted butter, room temperature

Finely chop flower petals and mix into softened butter. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature overnight to allow the flavors to fuse. It is good for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, or freeze for several months.

Wonderful on breads or used in sugar cookie or pound cake recipes.



Rose Honey

  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh or dried rose petals
  • 1 pound honey

Chop petals and add to honey. Using aluminum foil, cover jar and place in a pan of hot water until boiling. Once it reaches boiling, turn the heat off and allow the jar to sit in the water until it cools. Keep the honey in a cool, dark place.

Try in tea and salad dressings, or on croissants, scones, muffins, and bread.



Rose Jelly

Makes 4–5 half pints

  • 2 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 cup rose petals
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 ounces of liquid pectin
  • Fresh flower petals

Bring wine to a boil and pour over petals. Cover and allow the flower petals to steep until the mixture is cool. Then, strain the petals out of the wine.

Add the flower infusion to a pot with the sugar and lemon juice. On high heat, bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved. Then, stir in the pectin. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly for exactly 1 minute. Take the jelly off the heat and skim off any foam. Allow the jelly to cool slightly; then add more flower petals. Pour into sterilized jars. If petals do not stay suspended, stir jelly as it cools until petals stay in place. Process in hot water bath or seal with paraffin.



Rose Oil

  • 1/2 to 1 cup dried rose petals
  • 1 quart vegetable oil

Put flowers and oil into a bottle. Place the bottle in a pan filled with water and simmer water gently for at least 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover bottle tightly and allow the flavors to infuse for at least a week before using.

Use in salad dressings, marinades, hot pasta, stir-frying.




Rose Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 cup rose petals, whole or crushed

Boil the water, sugar, and flowers for 10 minutes, or until thickened into syrup. Using a cheesecloth, strain into a jar. Keeps up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Can be added to iced tea or poured over pancakes. 

Another idea:

Try freezing petals in ice cube trays filled with water for a unique addition to your favorite lemonade or iced tea!




Rose Scones

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • ½ cup dried culinary rose petals* OR
  • 1 cup culinary rose petals, fresh*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Adjust the baking rack to the middle shelf. Lightly grease a metal baking sheet. In a small bowl, beat an egg and add one tablespoon of heavy cream to it. Set aside. Whisk remaining egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract together in medium bowl.

Sift flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in together until blended in a large bowl. Add butter and rub in with finger tips until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Make well in center. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until batter forms moist clumps. Carefully stir in rose petals.

Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead gently until dough comes together and is smooth, about 10 seconds. Pat dough into 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick. Using sharp knife, cut circle into 8 wedges. With pastry brush, remove excess flour from wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet, brush tops with egg and cream glaze, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center of scones comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 15 minutes. Transfer scones to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cooled scones can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 days, or they can be frozen for a month.)



Rose Sugar

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup rose petals, fresh

Chop the rose petals into small pieces.  Mix together with the sugar (or pulse in a food processor).

Place in an airtight container.

Uses: Can be used in coffee or tea or in baked good recipes.


rodopetalaRose Vinegar

  • 2 cups champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dried rose petals

Place in an airtight container.

Allow to seep from 2 weeks.

Use in any recipe that needs white vinegar, such as salads.


bath salt rose 2

Bath Salts

  • 3 – 10 drops rose essential oil
  • 1 cup Epsom salts or baking soda

Place in a container. Shake well.

Dissolve in a hot bath.


IMG_1930Rose Lotion

2 tablespoons glycerin, heated

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup rosewater

Mix together and place in a jar.

Will last a year in a cool dry place.


toner-and-roses-600Rose Toner

  • 1 cup rosewater
  • 1 cup witchhazel

Shake before each use.  Cleans pours without over stripping the skin.


rose shortbread 2Rose Shortbread

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
  • 1/4 cup dried rose petals
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

Cream the butter and sugar together, until smooth and creamy.

Add the rosewater, and gently fold in the rose petals.

Add the flour, and mix together.

Roll out the dough and cut (with cookie cutters, if you like) into 36 cookies.  Prick each cookie with a fork to allow steam to escape during baking.

Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets in a preheated 325 degree oven for approximately 18 minutes.


Rose-Water-TonerRose Air Freshener

  • 6 drops rose essential oil
  • 1 cup distiller water

Place in a spray bottle. Shake before using.

Spray the air, but be careful with wood and other water sensitive materials.



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