Rose are red … Wait. There are so many varieties of rose that the exact number is still debated today. As the poem goes, I guess we can let it slide but let’s learn a little about this herb.
As the years have passed, the fascination with the rose has grown to catch the eye of artists, poets, as well as royalty. Have you ever been caught staring at the beauty of a rose or enchanted by its aroma?
“Perhaps it is our love affair with roses that has inspired us to define them as the greatest symbol of love and beauty.”
A poem by John Boyle O’Reilly says,
The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
Many believed in the captivating power of this herb, covering the ground with rose petals, and even using the essence of a rose as a perfume. It is said that Cleopatra covered the ground knee-high in rose pedals to win the affection of Mark Anthony.
The rose was most likely brought to Europe by the Greeks. Much like today’s traditions, roses were used to crown a bride and groom as well as to decorate the table with centerpieces. The fragrance of the rose was turned into an atta or otto, which means there was a rose essence as early as the 16th century. Rosewater appeared as early as the 10th century.
With all its culinary and fragrant benefits, it also has been known to help with medical uses. The most popular use for rose is in herbal teas, helping with digestion and even masking other flavors.
Rose is also used for coloring and flavoring medicines.
This wonderful experience I had for the first time of tasting rose was in a beautiful dinner party. It was added to a beautiful Chasselas white wine. (You can add to sparkling water if you are under aged or looking for a non-alcoholic choice)
I hope you enjoy this beverage at your next dinner party or event.