Rose Butter, from Fragrant Roses

Both pretty, and food!
There are lots of kinds of roses that are also wonderful seasoning and decorative herbs. How do you know which ones to eat? (Click this link to see my YouTube video on eating roses: http://www.youtube.com/longcreekherbs).

1-Don't eat roses from a florist shop. Those have been highly sprayed with insecticides. Additionally, they have little fragrance, and thus, no flavor.

2-Don't eat roses from your own garden if you are using systemic fertilizers - those include insecticides that are taken up by the rose bush with the fertilizer, and dispersed throughout the leaves and flowers.

Other than that, if the roses are un-sprayed, and have good fragrance, they will also have good flavor and are good to eat.

Roses are related to apples and several other fruits, all edible plants.

Rose butter, made with very fragrant dark pink roses. It's delicious on any good bread!

An easy way to start eating roses is by making rose butter.

Start with a pound of unsalted butter (don't substitute margarine, use real butter for this, your taste buds will thank you). Let it come to room temperature or soften it slightly in the microwave but do not let it melt.

Gather a heaping cup full of fragrant rose petals in the morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the heat of the day. Why? Because the rose oils are strongest then and the flavor will be the best.

Chop up the rose petals, or put them in a blender and gently pulse-blend until the petals are finely chopped.

Combine the finely chopped rose petals and the butter and mix well. Form the butter into a mound, add whole, fresh rose petals to the outside, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The flavors will be best after about 24 hours or overnight.

Food grade rose water is available in many whole foods stores.

Note, if you are using red rose petals, most red rose varieties have little flavor or fragrance ('Mr. Lincoln', a hybrid tea, is an exception, it has pretty good fragrance and flavor. But if you want rose butter and your roses aren't the tastiest, add 2 teaspoons of food grade rose water as you are mixing the rose petals into the butter.