The use of rose water can be traced as far back as 1200 BC, and its popularity has not waned. Whether used decoratively or medicinally, in perfume or as fodder for romantic poetry, the rose remains a highly valued flower. For culinary purposes the rose provides the vitamin C rich rosehip fruit; rose water comes from infusing rose petals in water, and the petals themselves can also be used in cooking, either as a decorative garnish or as ingredients in their own right.
Rose is a flavour commonly found in Turkish and Middle Eastern food (think Turkish delight) and is the perfect partner to nuts, honey and dried fruit - Greg Malouf combines two of the three in his stunning rose and buttermilk panna cotta.
It is by no means confined to food of this region, however - Anna Hansen uses rose syrup for a floral take on the Cuban Mojito, while on the savoury side of things Vivek Singh's aromatic hyderabadi biryani is enhanced by an enticing dash of rose water.