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Westlands Nurseries

UK: Edible fragrant roses make début

Fresh fragrant roses from Westlands made their début into the fresh produce world at the London Produce Show last month. They were part of the eye-catching display of products from the specialist growers based in the Vale of Evesham.

"Cultivating roses for use as a garnish and spice ingredient goes back millennia," explains James Seymour, Marketing and Product Development Manager at Westlands.

"The Romans famously used rose petals as confetti at festivals and to decorate dishes and tables at banquets, but also as a key ingredient in food. We are now seeing an increased interest with recipes from yesteryear coming back on trend. In the UK, we have a long history of using roses to add flavour to our food. A spice probably brought back from the Crusades, it features widely in desserts like Rose Milk pudding celebrated by the Tudors and Stuarts, to rose fondant-creams confectionery popular in early 19th century."

“At this early trial stage we have selected a range of 8 highly fragrant English rose cultivars that bloom from May through to September. The plants heritage strongly influences a diverse range of Old Rose fragrances including delicious aromas and tastes of red fruits and mint, notes of tea and sweet dessert wine, and the spiciness of myrrh.”

"When developing new products we embrace our close relationships with Michelin star chefs in Birmingham and the feedback from our customers, to ensure that what we grow and supply meets their exacting requirements.”

“Dried rose petals are readily available now to buy in supermarkets but the visual appeal and floral sweetness of fresh petals make it the essential versatile ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes, as well as summer cocktails. Scatter petals over aromatic Indian curries, grind with chillies to make fresh North African harissa paste or infuse in a sweet syrup for jam and icecreams. They’re the perfect partner with dark chocolate, raspberries and a glass of prosecco!”

“Originally we were selling the roses only as a whole head flower but after talking to our customers, we will also be offering them as the convenience of loose petals. Kept chilled we expect them to have a shelflife of around 6-7 days."

“Westlands roses are grown as a culinary ingredient to LEAF Marque and Assured Food Standards. You can't just use roses bought from your local florist, they may have been sprayed with all sorts of chemicals and are not meant for consumption.”

"Initially we foresee demand will be from our food service and wholesale customers but hopefully they will make the transition to supermarkets in the near future”

For more information:
James Seymour
Tel: +44 1386 41436
Email: [email protected]
Skype: james_westlands
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