Searching for rose hips
- likaluca Oct 9, 2007 07:07 PM
Does anyone have any ideas about where to get fresh rose hips?
I'm dying to make my own jam with some, but I have no earthly idea where to get some. Actually, they seem not to be so common here in the US--or so says my googling. I don't have any idea when they are in season. (I'm assuming if I knew anything at all about gardening, I would!)
So if anyone has any ideas about where to get fresh rosehips as well as dried, any help would be appreciated. Not to mention that if you DO happen to know where these elusive things can be found, any ideas about what to do with them (other than jam) would be great too.
I think it's too late to get fresh roses unless they're greenhouse-grown here in the US. I don't know where to get fresh rose hips exactly, but I'd imagine if you could find edible roses you could pick off the petals and use those hips? (You could make rose water or rose petal jelly with the rest of the flower.) For dried rose hips, I go to a local shop that carries loads of hard-to-find organic spices: http://gaylesthyme.com
Looking at the website catalog, they have seedless and whole, but I suggest calling or emailing and asking what they have in stock. Last I knew, they do ship, and happily.
If you do order, I suggest picking up some lavender and rosebuds too. Get yourself some airtight canisters or saver containers, and some plain white sugar. For every cup of sugar, add 1-2 tablespoons of either rosebuds or lavender. Close the containers up and let them sit for at least two weeks before using, stirring every few days. The sugar picks up a subtle flavor from the dried flowers, and the most amazing perfumes. You have no idea how good rose-scented sugar cookies are.
You can strain out the flowers before measuring the sugar for use, or grind them up and add them right in for some extra flavor.
All rose bushes produce rose hips if the flowers aren't "dead-headed." Roses are pretty much past blooming now but you might have a friend with a climber that bloomed in the Fall who hasn't yet trimmed it. The hips may still be fresh. The hip is actually the "fruit" of the rose and some varieties of roses have more prominent hips than others. Some are actually grown for their hips rather than their flowers.
They're a great source of vitamin C and you can make tea from them, as well as jellies and other fragrant products. They were used for a lot of herbal remedies.
So they are as common as rose bushes - in the US and everywhere that roses are grown.
I don't know where you are, but the best source of the best hips is beach roses. If you're near the coast in the northeast, you can just drive and pick. There are many places that they grow wild and usually are covered with ripe(orange or red) hips, with which you can make wonderful jelly or tea
an afterthought. you can find fence roses in out in the country throughout the midwest and south. the only problem is that they frequently adjoin fields that may have been sprayed with insecticides, herbicides or other fun chemicals. You can look for fencerows that don't appear to hve activly cultivated fields nearby.
Don't anybody take my word for it (seriously!) but I think all roses/hips are non-poisonous. (The flowers anyway, it's not at all uncommon for different parts of of plants to be toxic as well as non-toxic, so don't extrapolate either.) BUT I can say from personal experience that all roses aren't created equal. Random rose hips are not "proper" rose hips. I grew up around beach roses, and did actually collect hips once in a while, and they're pretty aromatic. From what I remember as a kid, hybrid garden rose hips were worthless as food. I don't know for sure, but for a start, I'd skip hips from non-fragrant roses except as part of a bigger taste/aroma survey.
This is no help to you, but I picked a huge bunch of them a couple of weeks ago with the intention of making rose hip syrup (reportedly very good on rice pudding) from a recipe given to me by my English MIL. Unfortunately, however, I had to dump them because I never got around to using them. I'd have sent them to you if you'd posted about two weeks ago!
Here in England, there are wild roses growing all over the place, often in the same places I find blackberries, and at the same time (September). You've got to look where there are lots of roses that are just past flower, and the hips should be firm. I hear that their nutritional content (very high in vitamin C) deteriorates rapidly after picking. I hope you find some and report back.
Almost a year later and I'm totally out of luck on the fresh rosehips! I probably haven't been the most proactive about seeking out wild roses, but as a committed city person--one doesn't come across them often in New York.
Still dreaming of homemade rosehip jam.
And to make matters worse, i can no longer find Nyponsoppa (Swedish Rosehip "Soup") at the IKEA. Grrr.