Rose hips- culinary varieties

Happy 2016! I have a story and a question; please feel free to skip to the question at the end.

THE STORY:

Last year, I made rose hip jelly (fairly labour intensive) and rose hip jam (even more labour intensive) with some hips that I collected from a neighbour. These were from the Rosa Rugosa Rubra- a VERY healthy and hardy species with more thorns than St John read about but single, mid-pink flowers with a gorgeous perfume! The flowers are followed by large, crimson hips that are almost the size of cherry tomatoes.

For those of us who do not know, rose hips do not have the scent of rose flowers- they have a rather unremarkable smell actually; when cooking them, they smell like peeled cooking apples at best. They are a bit tart and do not have much pectin so a little lemon juice and some form of pectin is needed.

I therefore cheated and added a few drops of rose water image to get my 'rose fix' in a jar and I am very happy with the results! image Rose hips from the common dog rose (Rosa canina) are apparently also a good culinary choice, though smaller- I believe that this is the species popularly used in Hungary to make their rosehip jam (csipkebogyó lekvár). I have also heard good things about Rosa majalis (the 'cinnamon rose').

Naturally, I ordered my own bare-root rugosa roses last autumn. I ordered the semi-double flowered version (Rosa rugosa Hansa) at an extremely reasonable price from Buckingham Nurseries, whom I heartily recommend ( http://www.hedging.co.uk/acatalog/product_10296.html ). I planted them at the back of the allotment, where they seem to have caught on nicely and have some promising buds (to be fair, this is the rose that would apparently survive even if Trump won the US elections...as bad as that!).

QUESTION:

In my hip enthusiasm, I also ordered Rosa Spinosissima, also called Rosa pimpinellifolia (the 'Scotch rose'), which produces small, shiny maroon-black hips. Are these edible?? According to Ashridge Nurseries, they are inedible ( https://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/roses/hedging-roses/scotch-rose-rosa-pimpinellifolia )

I have read that some rose hips can have a very metallic taste, which makes them less palatable but I am not sure that this is what Ashridge is referring to. I don't want to go eating something actually toxic! I may do better by rehousing the Scotch rose and replacing them with the cinnamon rose...Lord knows that the thorns on the Scotch rose would require a little more justification for taking up allotment space than the wonderfully fragrant flowers and pretty hips. Put it this way: 'spinoso' is Italian for 'prickly'. 'Spinosissima' should give you an idea of the level of prickly I'm dealing with here!

Posts

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    No rose hip is poisonous. Some aren't very nice and some are so small they're not worth bothering with.

     

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,414

    The hips of Rosa pimpinellifolia are small (think very small hard dry black currants) and of no culinary use that I can imagine - that being said they're gorgeous little roses, lovely in a small vase, and one of my favourites image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 2,784

    From what I gather, the best roses available here for culinary purposes, producing the best tasting hips, are R. canina 'Laxa' and R. pomifera- the apple rose.

    'Laxa' is in fact the rootstock used to graft most rose varieties in this country, it produces gorgeous red hips from the single white flowers in summer.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,414

    Country children were sent out gathering the hips from R. canina (the wild dog rose of the hedgerows) during the war and afterwards to make rose hip syrup. 

    Loads of them out there for free in late summer/early autumn image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    I've made rose hip wine. It tasted a bit too much like rose hip syrup for my taste. Maybe I put too much sugar in. A lot of home-made wine recipes are over sweet for my taste

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,414

    It's years since I made wine, but I remember someone telling me that if a wine was too sweet he went for a secondary fermentation - not sure how he did that but the information must be out there somewhere .........

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,240
    nutcutlet wrote (see)

    I've made rose hip wine. It tasted a bit too much like rose hip syrup for my taste. Maybe I put too much sugar in. A lot of home-made wine recipes are over sweet for my taste

    Although I don't drink much these days, in my wine making era I always used high alcohol tolerant yeast which helped cut down the sweetness (but resulted in producing 'sleeping draught' wine at 14 degrees proof!) image

    Another 'trick' was to add a bit more water and re-ferment if the original wine was too sweet.  That also resulted in a rather high alcohol content though. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,087

    I haven't made wine for years Bob.  The proportion of really good ones was low in relation to the not great and the undrinkable. 

  • Dove has me somewhat sold on the idea of the Scotch rose's charm... image  I must admit, the name alone ('Scotch', not the thorn-fest 'spinossissima'!) is endearing (I adore Scotland and the Scottish) and I have read that they have a delightful fragrance. I will revisit what to do with them next autumn- that way, if I decide to re-house them, they will be in dormancy.

    Meanwhile, they can enjoy that hard-won, enriched bed that I prepared for them. I bought a pick-axe last year and it was the BEST gardening investment that I made in 2015! It took some very heavy 'negotiations' but the dense clay soil in this part of Buckinghamshire has learned to respect me and my pick-axe!image

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