Well as you all know I am fascinated by anything French, a serious Francophile, but this week I was taken back to my Asian roots.
The last few days were spent in New York's Chinatown, bakery hopping with my cousin who was visiting from the Midwest. Amongst the throngs of shoppers, my cousin - let's call her Crystelle - and I savored pastries, cakes and teas as if all the shops had closed down and only bakeries existed.
Crystelle was in town and as we usually do when we get together, we chose a cuisine to taste test and a few recipes to experiment with. Unfortunately on this trip we never got to the cooking part. Smile!
However, we did get to taste test a number of incredibly rich fares (lets say I may have gain a couple of pounds) and sample teas and smoothies all "Chinese" style. One of the interesting items that we came upon was the "lotus seed cake". It was not so sweet and I suppose didn't taste at all different from anything we have had in a while; a flaky crust covered a brownish yellow paste that went well with the oolong, yet we could not identify what it reminded us of. This in turn brought up another discussion of exotic foods in which one can easily identify with but don't usually venture into having.
Crystelle knew exactly what I was speaking about; she remembered that during the pregnancy of my first child, I craved anything with rose petals in it. I was actually obsessed, and now my daughter, if I don't say so myself, is a beautiful rose.
As I was saying, it all started with my Asian roots. Commonly rose petals, rose water, rose essence and rose oils are used in many cosmetic items such as astringents, cold creams, bath products and miscellaneous items like potpourri but did you know that in Indian and Arabic cooking, rose water and powdered roses are used as a flavoring for meats, yogurts, sauces and desserts. It is delicious, believe me and you would never look at your cold cream the same again.
Anyway, here are a few links to different recipes that I have found on the internet, I hope you will try one and taste test the exotic. Please be reminded, that anything out of the ordinary can cause a reaction, dietary or otherwise, so do experiment with caution.
So from the test kitchen of Lotus Blossom and Rose Petal (wink wink), we bid you sweet smells and happy memories and next time, I will tell you all about our adventures with the beautiful Hibiscus.
à plus tard,
Information on the Damascus Rose (lots of recipes at the end of this article)