Saturday, March 31, 2007

A rose is a rose is a rose

But when Gertrude Stein wrote those most famous words, she certainly wasn't accounting for rose syrups. Just look at the difference in these two rosey contenders. Some are red, some are clear. Some are cloying, some are sublime. My job today is to make something divine, drawing on this morning's rosey inspiration.

I just returned from the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, every eater's dreamland. Between the brown-sugar smoked salmon "candy", the fiddlehead ferns and the coconut meat, it's perishable paradise. And I can't think of a San Francisco springtime activity I enjoy more: sitting on the pier, eating breakfast (this morning a prosciutto and arugula scramble on grilled bread), perusing the produce and just generally gathering culinary inspiration.

So while I was there, I snapped up some exquisite roses and hyacinths. The roses were everywhere, huge and bursting open and perfuming the air. And coincidentally, also while I was there, I was gifted with a gorgeous bottle of Italian rose syrup by my lovely sister-in-law and cooking conspirator, Adriana. I decided it seems only right that with such floral, fragrant resources at my disposal, I should be making a dessert that tastes like flowers tonight. (If only I could remember the name of that Italian late harvest rosé that tasted like rose petals to compliment my confection.) Wine aside, I'm leaning toward making a rose panna cotta because Adri bought a beautiful gingered one today and its delicate image is fresh in my mental kitchen. It's been on my list for some time to create a honeysuckle-flavored something anyway, so perhaps this afternoon is the time to let my creativity bloom. Like that? Hey remember, this is *cheese* and things.

Anyway, as far as the rose syrups, the red one is the gorgeous new addition. The blue label was purchased at my fave Indian market, Bombay Ice Creamery on Valencia. It's more of a rose water than a true syrup but it is a bit sticky-viscous, so I guess it qualifies. Now that I have two such sugary nectars on my hands, a true tasting is in order. So the test kitchen is open and I'll report back with my floral findings.

And finally, check out this little bit of serendipity urging me onward: the iTunes is set on "random" and it just served up Edith Piaf, crooning La Vie en Rose at me. If ever there was a sign from the universe!

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Blogger Reyn Lee said...


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