Rose (and Flower) Sugar

I expect to be back at my computer late tonight, if at all. Thus, here is an early and short recipe from the Kuenstlichs und Fuertrefflichs Kochbuch:

Image courtesy of wikimedia commons

80 To Prepare Rose Sugar or other Sugar

Take three Lot of sugar to one Lot of roses, but four Lot with lavender, and to a Lot of flowers (Pluemlein) also this much.

Rose sugar, and flower-scented sugar in general, is frequently mentioned in surviving recipes. Roses especially were thought to have medicinal properties. Anna Wecker writes specifically that it should be bought from apothecaries, but here we get instructions for making it ourselves. The process seems to be macerating the flower petals in the sugar over a long time, but I have yet to find exact instructions on this.

The amounts noted in this recipe are small, even smaller than those for the spice mixes preceding it. Clearly, the author envisions it being made in small batches which makes sense if the flowers are gathered from a garden. Even a single Lot (1/32 of a pound, about 12-14 grammes depending on which region’s measurements are used) would take a while to pick.

The short Kuenstlichs und Fuertrefflichs Kochbuch was first printed in Augsburg in 1559 and reprinted in Nuremberg in 1560 and subsequently. Despite its brevity, it is interesting especially as it contains many recipes for küchlein, baked or deep-fried confections, that apparently played a significant role in displaying status. We do not know who the famous cook referenced in the title may have been or if he ever existed.

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