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edible rose petals

d
Daniel C Feb 11, 2002 08:44 PM

I'm planning on rose petal sauce for a brined and roasted turkey breast this Valentines day, but it seems impossible to find roses fit for consumption. Flower shops have roses, but are treated with various whatnots, so they're not fit for eating. And food stores respond with "huh?", or at best a polite "sorry, but we don't carry edible roses."

Does anyone know a source for edible roses? I need about a dozen or so. Closer to Pasadena would be better for me, but I'm willing to travel.

  1. c
    Caitlin Wheeler Feb 12, 2002 09:07 AM

    It would be worth it to give a call to Nicole's in South Pas (El Centro and Meridian -- 626-441-9600) Actually, any chowhound anywhere near Pasadena should go into the shop, it's really amazing (French pates and cheeses, fresh truffles, baking supplies to die for, frozen duck ravioli, etc.) I would also try the Tea Rose Garden on Raymond in Old Pasadena. It's a florist and tea shop, and I know many of their dishes are served with flower petals as garnish.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin Wheeler
      d
      Daniel C Feb 12, 2002 01:18 PM

      Well, this has turned into an interesting telephone adventure. But first, thanks, Caitlin, for reminding me about Nicole's. I haven't had the opportunity to check out their digs in South Pas since they moved from their Allen locale in Pasadena.

      I called Nicole's and they told me that they don't carry edible roses. They did when they once carried produce, but not anymore. However, he (I presume the person I spoke with was Nicole's son) pointed me to West Central Produce, a wholesaler for the Los Angeles area.

      By the way, I also contacted Tea Rose Garden, but they don't carry edible roses. In fact, they seemed surprised you can eat roses. Pansies and nasturtiums and the like, yes; but not roses.

      I contacted West Central Produce and they said they do carry edible roses. But they don't have them now because it's too cold for roses, which is to say it's too cold for roses that don't require "additives". Besides which, roses forced to grow at this time of the year lack flavor, I'm told. On the bright side, I now know that edible roses are available between late March and April.

      Nonetheless, they pointed me to another seller that might carry edible roses: Phoenix Flowers. Just to satisfy my curiosity, I called them. They carry edible roses! Right now! All the time, in fact. They are, however, also a wholesaler, and by their description (one box? two boxes?), I'm concerned that I may need to buy a bulk amount. (Can you freeze rose petals?) I'm also concerned that their roses will lack flavor, if I'm to believe what West Central Produce told me about roses being out of season.

      The person I spoke with advised I drop by and find out what's available. So I'll be making a trip soon. Note the interesting wholesaler hours: 1am to 3pm. Although I'm unlikely to make a pre-dawn trip, I'm relegated to before-work or lunch break.

      I'll report back on my findings.

      1. re: Daniel C
        j
        Jerome Feb 12, 2002 06:20 PM

        There's always rose petal jam and rose ice cream. And you can make your own rosewater for flavoring and substitute for vanilla in some recipes.

        1. re: Jerome
          d
          Daniel C Feb 12, 2002 06:37 PM

          Rose water is my back-up plan. I have a supply on hand.

          I'm still hoping that the rose petals at the wholesaler is good stuff. I'm looking forward to saying, "Yes, it's made with real rose petals."

    2. d
      Dolly Feb 12, 2002 11:07 AM

      you might want to try a local farmers market.....so much there is organic & should be perfect for consumption.

      1. f
        fat kitty Feb 13, 2002 03:55 PM

        i am dying to hear how this all turns out. pls report back! thx.

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