I used to own and run two flower shops and and roses were always on order. I think I recognised and used over 100 varieties at that time in my life but my favourites were the delicate British grown varieties by David Austin and then by contrast the thick, long stemmed Ecuadorian wonders.
Roses are edible and have been used for generations across the world as a flavour for food. Rosewater is a by product of rose oil and in India it’s used in sweetmeats, rice puddings, drinks and tea. Nowadays the rosewater is often replaced with thick, pinky rose syrup. Rosehips are also made into tea.
One of my favourite rose flavoured drinks is ‘Falooda’. It’s a cross between a milkshake and knickerbockerglory! Sweet rose flavoured milk, with a scoop of ice cream, jelly cubes and a sprinkling of pistachio nuts. I always crave this when it’s really hot and humid like today. It’s inspired my Rose ‘Falooda’ Cheesecake which is simple to make but is an impressive part of an afternoon tea. I’m not sure the British Raj would have approved but my family certainly do!