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Celebrating the 2012 Herb of the Year: Make Rose Vinegar

2/1/2012 5:07:40 PM

Tags: Patsy Bell Hobson, Rose Vinegar, Herb Of The Year, 2012, Herbs, Rose, Rosa, International Herb Association

PBHobson2Patsy Bell Hobson is blogging at Oh Grow Up!  When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri USA. Read more travel stories at Striped Pot . Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook . 

When I saw Susan Belsinger's book about roses on the International Herb Association website, I was thrilled. I am a self confessed groupie of her work here at The Herb Companion and everywhere else. If a story has her byline, I read it.

She was kind enough to allow me to share this Rose Vinegar recipe from her "The Roses in Your Vinegar" article. Photos are by Marge Powell in a book compiled by Susan Belsinger.   

Rose Vinegar 2-10-2012  Aged Rose Vinegar 2-10-2012
Left: Just bottled, this cider vinegar will absorb the vitamins and rosy color in a few weeks; Right: Taste the vinegar after one month. If you would like more flavor or color, leave the roses and herbs in the bottle, testing once a week.

How to Make Rose Vinegar 

"The mechanics of creating the infused vinegar are basic, but understanding why you would want to keep this vinegar as one of your culinary assets requires explanation.

First consider the medicinal value of the vinegar. The acid in the vinegar, over time, helps release the vitamins and minerals from the plant cells. The rose petals contain vitamin C. There are old remedies that use an infusion of rose petals to relieve cold and flu symptoms. There has been a Danish study that suggests rose petals, as well as rosehips, have anti-inflammatory properties. So after a few weeks, what has started out as cider vinegar with plants in it becomes cider vinegar with vitamin C. And should you add a sprig or two of flowering thyme and rosemary, you have added more vitamin C as well as vitamin A and calcium and potassium.

But then how do we use this vitamin-enriched vinegar? My suggestion is to taste your vinegar after it has infused for four to six weeks and tap in to your intuitive sense of the taste. We do this when we say to ourselves "Oh, this would taste good with _____".

... Try sprinkling some of this vinegar over fresh cut strawberries, or watermelon, or over pears before they are poached—you will definitely notice the difference. Another way to use the vinegar is deglazing a pan of sautéed chicken. Remove the cooked chicken from the sauté pan and add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar to the pan juices, stir to loosen the browned bits, and then pour over the chicken. I would also add a couple of tablespoons of this vinegar to soup, especially a light chicken-based soup or even a tomato bisque.

... If you decant the vinegar after four to six weeks, you will have a bottle of vinegar the color of rose wine." —Contributing editor to The Herb Companion, Susan Belsinger is a writer, editor and photographer who has written 20 books and been published in all my favorite magazines. She also blogs for Taunton Press’ Vegetable Gardener 

To read the full story, buy the 2012 Herb of the Year™ book or visit the IHA online. Herb of the Year™ books are published annually by the International Herb Association. Click to learn more about the International Herb Association.

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