One of the most engaging experiences for our brain is flavor and a lot of the flavor we experience is based on scent. While our tongues only sense five or six different tastes, the nose knows literally thousands of fragrances and that is how we experience most flavors: through our sense of smell.
It comes as no surprise then that flowers be used to enhance the flavor experience of food. There are many types of flowers used by culinary afficionados, our favorite is the most popular wedding flower: the rose.
The magical number for roses is five: five petals, five species, five gifted. There are at least 5 petals on a rose, though some have many more, even over one hundred like the rosa centifolia. Italian cuisine commonly uses five species – gallica, alba, damascene, centifolia, and hips – you may use more depending on what is available in your area. Be sure the roses you buy for cooking are organically grown and are not treated with pesticides or color dyes.
When cooking with roses, use low temperatures so the petals maintain their color; although traditional rose hues range from pink to white so they are not that flashy anyway. If you use fresh roses remember that they are best when they have just bloomed, and they do that only once a year.