Sometimes it seems, by chance, that a thin string sews together our days.
Last days a pink string appeared in my life.
I had to attend the presentation of a book of Ligurian dessert recipes under invite of my mother in law. When I got there I discovered that the book was entirely dedicated to the use of roses for cooking: “Rosa, rosae. Declinare la rosa in cucina” of Ilaria Fioravanti e Maria Giulia Scolaro. That morning for the first time Ilaria let me saw roses with chef eyes.
The day after a friend I met by chance in town brought me to the perfumery Caleri where, guess what, an event all centered on roses were organized: “Roses for the eyes, nose and taste”.
The shop were putting at the clients disposal a selection of perfumes with roses, the florist Mara (of Il giardino di Mara) realized an amazing floral decoration of the shop door and Profumo, an historical patisserie of Genoa (on which I will write a post soon) was offering a degustation of their superb rose ice-cream (recipe coming soon as well).
The very same morning, few minutes later, at the local organic market which takes places every Thursday in De Ferrari Square, I noticed a stand with two big boxes full of roses petals on sale. Not ordinary rose petals, of course, but those of the roses named “Rose della Valle Scrivia” i.e. a variety of cabbage-rose (rosa mucosa centifolie) and of rugosa rose (rosa rugosa) , wild roses selected and grown for generations in the Genoa backcountry for their use in cooking.
At that moment everything was clear and I did the only possible thing to do: I bought one kilogram of rose petals.
To give an indea of my enthusiasm to those of you who never bought rose petals, one kilogram is a huge shopping bag which opened on the kitchen table makes 1 square meter of rose petals!
What to do with that incredibly fragrant booty? No doubt: rose syrup!
It is easy to make, it is part of our confectionary heritage (it is a Ligurian Slow Food Presidia ), it is the main ingredient of many of the delicious recipes that Ilaria offers in her book (and which I will taste soon) and it remembers my granny who jealously kept a bottle of it in her pantry for the tea time with her friends.
Therefore, rose syrup because it comes first!
It’s preparation also revealed a satisfactory experience for all the senses. The red-pink color of the petals incredibly melted in the water during the maceration period leaving the petals pale and passing all in the syrup. The perfume of rose filled up the air from the moment the petals passed the home door until the syrup was firmly closed in the bottles. The flavor kept company with me for a day long, because the syrup needed to be tasted various times to check the result…
And the result was pretty good! Therefore here it is the recips I took from Ilaria’s book “Rosa, Rosae: declinare la rosa in cucina”.
If you wish to discover and visit the hidden rose gardens of the backcountry of Genova here is the link to the association Le Rose della Valle Scrivia .
In addition, remember that each second week end of June in Busalla, a small village in Valle Scrivia, the Roses Festival takes place. Unfortunately this year I was not able to attend but friends of mine who went said that it was amazingly fragrant and colorful!
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