Rose petal Jam from a Venetian monastery

Waking up on the Armenian monastery of the Island of San Lazzaro, floating in the mist of the Venetian lagoon, is like waking into a dream itself. Water softly laps around the edges of the monastery and that is about all you can hear except for the occasional speed boat on its way to the Lido.

I spent several weeks here over two years during my days interning as an art restorer. While I worked on the flooded etchings and photographs (one of the downsides of living on an island), I stayed as a guest at the monastery. In the evenings after closing the makeshift laboratory, I would catch the vaporetto, glide into Piazza San Marco and then wander the canals of Venice to my favourite wine bars, bridges and piazzas before heading back to the monastery by midnight.

But one of my favourite parts of the day was breakfast, where the monks supplied bread, butter and a deep pink jar of their infamous rose petal jam. Eating roses for breakfast, what an intoxicating, exotic, beautiful and romantic way to start the day.

The island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni was a leper colony about a thousand years ago, and then eventually abandoned until 1717 when the Republic of Venice gave the island to a group of Armenian monks to build their monastery. It sits a 15 minute ferry ride from Piazza San Marco, just west of the Lido, neighbouring the Island of San Servolo, now the Venice International University but previously an island for escaped nuns and the insane.

San Lazzaro is small (it probably takes all of 6 minutes to walk all the way around the island), but is just big enough for the Armenian monastery that sits quietly and proudly on the lagoon, where it houses a museum, a vegetable garden, olive trees, rose bushes and, one year I spent there, even a contemporary art exhibit for the Venice Biennale.

The monks of San Lazzaro are known for their roses and more so for their rose petal jam that they make every May when the flowers are in full bloom. The monks are quite private and only allow visitors to come to the island for a guided visit of the monastery once a day at around 3pm. It’s your only chance to get your hands a jar of their rose petal jam, but be warned that the shelves empty very quickly! Failing that, you can make your own if you can get hold of some wild roses, or roses that you know have not been chemically treated.

While the monks always guarded their special recipe secretly, one thing that they did reveal to me was their secret technique – the rose petals have to be massaged to get that beautiful rose perfume and fuchsia colour. Do not be tempted to take a short cut with this recipe and blend the rose petals – it does not come out half as nice, in terms of either colour, texture or taste.

This recipe is adapted of course from Artusi’s 1891 cookbook. It is quite a sweet jam, as the syrup serves to set the jam and to take out the slight bitterness of the petals. The syrup will be somewhat more liquid than you may be used to in a jam, so do not try to overcook it as the brilliant colour of the jam will darken. The monks’ massaging technique actually also helps soften the petals somewhat, as large roses can have thick, velvety, tough petals (wild ones tend to be thinner and more appropriate for this recipe). Artusi notes that the best roses to use are the ones that are in full bloom; in Tuscany these would be the ones in bloom from mid May to the beginning of June.

Rose Petal Jam

Makes about 700 grams of jam

  • 600 grams of white caster sugar
  • 200 grams of rose petals, preferably red or dark pink with a strong perfume
  • 600 ml water
  • The juice of one lemon

Very gently rinse and drain the rose petals and place them in a large bowl with 200 grams of the sugar and the lemon juice. With your hands, massage the rose petals with this mixture until you reduce the petals to a sort of “paste.” The petals should remain whole, not torn, but with the sugar and lemon they will release colour, perfume and wilt.

In the meantime, add the rest of the sugar to the water and heat in a large saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add the rose petals and bring to the boil. Allow to boil until the syrup thickens and the petals no longer float (about 30 minutes). Remember this is a jam made from flowers, not fruit pulp! It won’t be jammy, but more a lovely silky syrup. Keep an eye on it, and stir every now and then.

While still hot, place the jam in clean, sterilised jam jars and allow to cool. This delicately perfumed jam is beautiful on fresh white bread or brioche, with or without a little unsalted butter. Stirred into some plain organic yogurt is divine!


  1. Lovely blog, fantastic photos. Not sure that 30 minutes cooking is enough. You probably have to continue much longer…Lemon zest added could help.
    Kind regards.

    • Emiko says:

      Hello Anneliese, thanks for your comments! It’s important not to overcook this jam, remember it’s not fruit so it won’t cook like a regular jam (lemon zest I think will overpower the delicate rose perfume)! In my last batch I left it for about 40 minutes and it really darkened too much – the colour is one of the prettiest things about this jam! But people’s kitchens are different so see how you go – you want the syrup to be syrupy/sticky but not caramelised and the petals should be soft and no longer float.

  2. Adri says:

    Emiko this looks divine! As I’m currently obsessed with making interesting jams I will have to try this one out for sure. If only I could find some non-treated roses…

    • Emiko says:

      Thanks Adri! I got these roses from a friend’s garden where they were actually growing wild… you don’t happen to have any friends with some gorgeous rose bushes do you?

    • kuzina says:

      I, too, have been searching for pesticide-free rose petals that I can use to make jam! I have also been searching for a good source for already-made rose petal jam. If anyone has suggestions, I would be very grateful!

      • Emiko says:

        There are a few ready-made jams out there. Unfortunately I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but I know where to find it in Italy and Australia. Perhaps you can try some Mediterranean/Middle Eastern specialty food shops?

      • Madalyn says:

        Yukonwildthings sells wild rose petal jelly that is wonderful.

      • Arij H Khan says:

        I bought some from the supermarket under the Palais de Congress in Paris once metro station Porte Maillot. Also available at most of the better supermarkets in Paris.

      • Tina says:

        Good morning! Middle Eastern/ Greek specialty shops have lovely rose petal jam. I’m enjoying one made by Sarantis right now, very delicate. I hope to get to Venice and visit that monastery one day!
        Hope you find some where you are.

  3. Kimberley says:

    Absolutely, unbelievably gorgeous. I am envious!

  4. Garima says:

    Very nice Emiko! We have something similar in Indian cuisine as well; but it’s more a mildly sugar-ed syrup for making flavored milk/drinks/cocktails etc. Love the color on that jam 🙂

  5. Barbara says:

    This is lovely. I’d love to try it but not sure where I would get rose petals.

    • Emiko says:

      Thanks Barbara! I asked around friends and family who have gardens and ended up with a collection of roses from several places. In return for cutting down their roses, I’m giving them a jar of the jam!

  6. Just one word: WOW!!!

  7. mimi says:

    Hi Emiko,

    Beautiful site. I bought a rose petal jam in Damascus thinking it was from Middle East. Yours looks much prettier. Looking forward to seeing your next project.

  8. Francesca says:

    Lovely recipe and fantastic idea! Might be a bit expensive though…unless you have a massive rose garden at the back of your house (or nice neighbors… 😉

    Have you tried roasted quails with rose petals? Really romantic… 🙂

    • Emiko says:

      yes, I have nice in-laws and friends who offered up their roses to me (next plan is to buy a house with a garden and plant some roses!). If you have to buy them, as long as they’re in season they’ll be a bit cheaper I suppose. Roasted quails with rose petals sounds wonderful… it reminds me of a recipe in one of favourite books, Like Water for Chocolate 🙂

    • Giota says:

      Wow! You mean fresh rose petals as decoration, or cooked?

  9. Sarah says:

    A truly lovely recipe that exudes the romance of the region. I hope to find some usable roses this summer to give this a whirl.

  10. eda says:

    hi emiko-
    i made your fava bean crostini today and wandered over to your blog. it is lovely–i am absolutely getting lost in it. and how did you know I’ve been trying to figure out how to make rose jam? a friend gave me a jar from the mandarin oriental in hong kong last christmas and i’ve been trying to figure out how to replicate it. thanks for the beautiful post!

  11. Fantastic recipe! I have about half a dozen wild delicious smelling roses in my garden… The hardest part was choosing which bush to pick from 😉 I cooked my first batch about 10 minutes too long, so it came out too thick, working on my next batch…. I think the 30 minutes is just right! Thank you! This recipe is a dream!

    • Emiko says:

      Thanks Melissa, hope the second batch came out well! I’m about to put on another batch myself, while I still have access to a big rose bush! 🙂

  12. Istria says:

    Rose Petal Jam yum……But getting an “Organic” rose is bit difficult in this part of the world. Otherwise I would have definitely tried it. But just my looking at the photograph I can make out that it must be tasty.

  13. Jill says:

    What a beautifully evocative post. I was sent to this page by a friend who has made some of the jam, which was lovely. I tried the link to Artusi’s cookbook but it appears to be broken…

    • Emiko says:

      Thank you Jill. I’m glad you’ve tasted this jam! Thanks for letting me know about the link, I’m going to have to replace it with another one!

  14. alex says:

    me and my parents went on a cruise to europe for the first time this past june; we knew about St. Lazzaro and us being Armenian, made it a goal to visit; this was the most beautiful and historically educational stop we visited and of course, we brought home a jar of the rose jam. my dad would always eat it back home in Beirut, and i had it for the first time; a marvelous, delicious jam that is of course, a true representation of our Armenian heritage!!

    • Emiko says:

      Hi Alex, thanks so much for sharing your experience at St Lazzaro! I’m so glad to hear it. For me, just one taste of this jam takes me back to that island instantly!

  15. Evie says:

    Hi Emiko

    I found your site when doing some research on rose petal jam as I was writing a piece for my own blog about the Genoese sweetmaker Pietro Romanengo. They have have just been over to London to do a demo and tasting and brought the most beautiful rose petal jam with them. I thought your piece was enchanting and very evocative. I’ll be looking out for future posts and trying to get my hands on some rose petals untouched by London pollution.

    • Emiko says:

      Thank you for sharing Evie! untouched rose petals for eating seem to be difficult to come by anywhere these days but if you are lucky enough to know anyone who has a garden full of them, they might be quite happy to exchange a jar of rose petal jam for their petals! 😉

  16. Amy says:

    The silky texture is wonderful, though I’m also interested in giving making the jam have a thicker texture. Have you tried the recipe with pectin, or what are your thoughts about it? Thank you! And lovely website, by the way.

    • Emiko says:

      Hi Amy, thanks for asking. I haven’t tried it with added pectin, you might find it turns more into a jelly than a jam (as there is no fruit pulp in it). This is the way the jam made by the Armenian monks in Venice had it, so I try to stay true to that but if you do try it out, I’d love to know the results!

  17. heather says:

    I made rose petal jam firstly, 3 years ago on an experimental whim with beautiful perfumed results, i mixed a number of different varieties… bushes had come to a mutiple , strong flowering maturity.
    This year…..yesterday, I picked my first blooms of a particular bush, a lovely voilet/deep pink.
    Each jar I make this season will be from each of my beautiful, scented and very much enjoyed rose bushes.
    The jams will all be named for their particular bush and I wonder if they will be subtly different in colour (will have to be attentive during the cooking), and perfumed flavour !
    Thankyou for the history of this recipe.

  18. Liz says:

    Hi Emiko, I am of Armenian descent and have had the rose jam many times as a breakfast treat or anytime snack. When I ask other Armenians, I get a variety of answers on how to make this recipe. I have often been told that the rose petals need to be dried first and you can only use either fragrant or dark colored roses. The white ones do not seem to work well.
    So is this recipe with fresh roses? I have also heard that there is an ingredient which makes the color of the jam a bright red/pink. Any thoughts on this?

    • Emiko says:

      Hi Liz, all the answers are right here in this post actually! They must be red (or pink) and freshly picked (they say the morning is the best time to pick as the roses are more aromatic) and absolutely nothing is added to help colour the jam – but if you read through you’ll discover the secret to getting that beautiful fuschia colour 😉

  19. Kieran says:

    Hi Emiko, Absolutely stunning website, gorgeous pictures, stirring narrative and a most delectable recipe. My wife and I visited Venice some years ago. We absolutely need to go back and visit San Lazzaro. We’re blessed to be part of a community garden in Mountain View, California which is abundant in organic roses this time of the year. My wife’s first batch of rose petal jam was cleaned out in no time and she’s on to her second lot this weekend. Crunchy toast with rose petal jam – morning’s don’t get much better!! To quote Thomas Moore, “Rose! Thou art the sweetest flower that ever drank the amber shower. Even the Gods, who walk the sky, are amourous of thy scented sigh.” ….

    • Emiko says:

      Thanks Kieran, if you do go back to Venice and visit San Lazzaro, make sure it’s in May when the rose petal jam is made – those jars don’t last long on the shelves!

  20. Nicoletta says:

    Yesterday strong winds have blown over our roses’ arch; I was devastated this morning, but my husband stumbled over your lovely site, so I am going to make a lot of jam with Souvenir de la Malmaison, Madame Leontine Gervaise, Lady Hillingdon and Sombreuil!
    I shall probably make kilos of it.
    Thank you for the recipe. Lovely site, I think I shall become a fan.

  21. Dear Emiko,

    Thank you for this beautiful post – I visited that monastery on a freezing cold Christmas Eve about 10 years ago and have never forgotten the experience. The monks were so friendly and told us some incredible story about the island’s history and that of the Armenian people too, wow they have been through so much. Reading your post took me right back to that morning and I thank you for it!


    • Emiko says:

      Hi Sophie, what a small world! It’s one of the lesser known islands and sights in Venice, they definitely get much less traffic than the rest of the lagoon! It is an incredibly special place isn’t it?

  22. aha says:

    Wild roses, don’t get that around here, but I suppose any home-grown roses will do?

    I have a recipe for pastiles from rose petals, which is rather vague to be honest:

    ‘stir rose petals with sugar, like for cooking jam, and boil the resulting mass on coal until it becomes thick; once cooled, roll out on a flat surface, cut to pieces and store in a cool dry place.’

    I’m atually tempted to try it with honey instead.

    • Emiko says:

      Home grown roses are perfect – anything that you know hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals! The pastilles recipe sounds interesting, haven’t tried ever making them myself but I would think that it works a lot like caramels in that the rose petal jam really sets because of the sugar, so you just keep cooking it down until it gets thick. Worth a try I say!

  23. Christine says:

    Your site rocks, this jam rocks! It’s fantastic. I was always sad that the roses on the bushes in my garden just bloom & fade. Now they have a 2nd life! Going to try on brioche with marscarpone.

  24. Julie in Virginia says:

    Dearest Emiko –
    A friend asked me for my recipe for making rose petal jam. I had not made it in 15 years and while looking, I came across yours. What a happy experience to see the lovely jam in your beautiful photos. I visited Venice last May and wish I had gone to the monastery. Well, I must simply go back. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to perusing your website and I’m so looking forward to trying your rose jam recipe next summer. Here is the recipe I made with my mother back in the 1970s. It came from a woman named Mrs. Hupp in California. It does have a lovely scent and flavor, but I’m sure it pales in comparison to the jam in your recipe. The benefit is that it is very simple, and makes a firm jam as it has pectin in it.
    Method — Into a blender: one cup packed rose petals (white bases cut off as it is bitter), 3/4 cup water, and the juice of one lemon. Blend well. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups sugar while blending. Into a saucepan, 3/4 cup water with one package surejell that is boiled for one minute until clarified. Add the hot liquid to the roses while blending. Continue blending until sugar is dissolved and all is liquified. Pour into sterilized baby food jars. Makes about 5 jars. Refrigerate for a few months or freeze. Really, it should be eaten as soon as possible. Makes a nice gift. Very romantic and sweet and memorable. Enjoy and Thanks.

    • Emiko says:

      Thanks for sharing Julie! It’s quite a different recipe, but I have a thing for collecting historical recipes, I think this will just have to be added to the collection.

  25. heather says:

    Hi there, I have just jarred my rose petal jam……I sought another recipe this year, having made it
    over the past couple of years with varying degrees of success. This year with weather
    change….my roses are not as strongly perfumed, though my Tess of the D’urbervilles
    is in beautiful full bloom.
    I omitted perhaps 25 – 30 gm less of sugar and instead of all castor sugar, I topped that
    up with organic raw sugar. I watched the clock till 30 minutes ….. the jam was alittle to thin
    even to be a syrup, so i gave it another few minutes.
    * Question *……do i remove/squeeze the petals from the syrup….they sort of clump
    together in the jar…..and chewing them, they are squeaky and alittle chewy. There is alot
    of petals.
    What is your opinion…..was Artusi’s jam very ‘petally’?
    Tomorrow i am going to do ‘Cardinal De Richelieu’ followed by ‘Portia’ and ‘William
    Shakespeare’…… lovely David Austin Roses.
    Cheers, Heather

    • Emiko says:

      Hi Heather, yes, you should leave the petals in the jam, they add to the bulk. It is a syrupy jam, so without them it’s just a syrup really. The monks’ trick was to “massage” the rose petals very well with the sugar before boiling and this step is crucial to helping soften the petals as well as bring out the perfume. It could also be that the type of roses used have a different outcome – the small, wild roses that you find in Tuscany in the spring (the ones in the photo) are perfect as they have soft, quite small petals. Larger, thicker ones will no doubt be chewy. Maybe have a play around with the different types of roses you have, but definitely something with small, thinner petals and wonderfully perfumed is ideal. Good luck!

  26. Barb says:

    Am so much looking forward to making this wonderful delight! I am so fortunate to have wandered upon your site! Thanks you so much! I will be finding out converting grams to cups!
    From” Minnesota, USA

    • Emiko says:

      Thank you! There are many conversion websites online that are great and easy to use – just remember when looking up conversions that every ingredient (ie flour, sugar, liquids etc) has its own different weight/cup ratio!

      • Ilona says:

        I weighed out all the ingredients on a scale and converted:

        600 gm sugar = 2 7/8 cups
        200 gm petals = about 15 cups loosely packed, freshly picked but not wet petals
        600 ml water = 2.54 cups (I seriously doubt the .04 water is critical, so 2 1/2 cups)
        one lemon

        Makes about 25 oz (a little over 3 cups) which would fill about six 4oz jars. (this part is untested – I’ll let you know how much it makes in a few days).

        The petals, of course, is where there will be the most variance. Mine were mixed from about 6 different damask roses.

        I attempted this last year (twice!), and not being an experienced jam maker (or syrup maker in this case), tried adding the pectin to get a thicker result, and it ended up being way too firm and so sugary that the rose part was sadly non-existent. Lesson learned. Have just picked this year’s petals from a friend’s garden and will follow directions!

        There are a fair number of rose petal jam recipes online, but the story here is so lovely and romantic (in the bigger sense of the word) that it seems like it should be the only way to make rose petal jam. Thank you for sharing it with us!

        • Emiko says:

          Thanks for passing this info on for other readers who aren’t used to weighing out ingredients (I find it more accurate, especially as you say, the petals will differ enormously depending on how they are!). It’s a 120 year old recipe and it’s quite an unusual jam so don’t expect it to be too “jammy” like other jams we’re used to (after all, there’s no pulp, per se) but it shouldn’t be too sweet or syrupy either. It should be just right to spoon onto some toast without being too liquid or float on top of some yogurt. Hope it works out this time, nice to have petals fresh out of a friend’s garden! 🙂

          • Ilona says:

            I did it! Twice! I’m lucky to be the yearly recipient of tons of damask (sp?) roses and I believe I finally managed to follow your recipe and get it right! The first batch I sprinkled with the 200g sugar and left over night, adding the lemon juice and massaging the next day. The second batch, I did the lemon juice and sugar massaging about an hour before cooking. I think leaving the petals in sugar overnight really made a difference – the “paste” and liquid was a much deeper pink. Next year I may try doing sugar and lemon overnight. I also massaged one batch quite a bit more than the other and that seemed to make a difference in the aroma.

            Now that I’ve done it, I think the syrupy jam is the perfect consistency. I may have cooked the jam a bit to high in the last 10 minutes with one batch and it came out thicker, but also with a slight burnt sugar smell. Either way, I’m beyond excited!

            Oh, also, I got five 4oz jars out of each batch, so my guess on the yield earlier is off a bit.

            I can’t wait to deliver a jar to my flower-providing friend along with a print out of your story. Thank you again!

          • Emiko says:

            You are lucky to have such a great supply of fresh roses! I’m glad it worked out for you in the end and thanks for coming back with your feedback and sharing your experience!

  27. Eva Turner says:

    Dear Emiko:
    I just read a book “The man with the sharkskin suit” by Lucette Lagnado where she recounts her family history in Cairo, Egypt. She tells about the wonderful food they had, in particular apricots, and also remembers the rose petals. They were flavorful then.
    I have 10 rose bushes in our garden here in San Diego, with various grades of perfume. The best are “Bolero” , white, and with a wonderful perfume. Some “double delight” have smell, too. I arrange the roses vases and enjoy them, until the petals fall off. I will try definitely rose petal jam.
    My questions is: since the roses bloom a bunch at a time, how can I keep the petals fresh until the next petals become available? Right now, they are in full bloom. I would appreciate a comment. Thank you, Eva Turner

    • Emiko says:

      Thanks for sharing that story, sounds wonderful. For the roses, I can’t think of any way to preserve them (they even say the best jam is made with fresh roses picked in the MORNING when they smell their best), other than making small batches of jam with the freshly picked petals and then combining them once you have all your batches done. Then again, it might be nice to try each type of rose separately – single origin rose petal jam! 😉

    • Varty says:

      Dear Eva,

      I am Armenian, and in Aleppo, Syria (today at war), rose petals were sold in batches on large wicker trays in the market in May. That was the season, for 2 weeks, rose jam perfume dashed out of all households into the streets… the same was for cherries and apricots, whose liquidy syrup used to be thickened on rooftops in large shallow containers under the sun. Now in Canada, the best way to collect a sizeable bunch of the rose petals, is as described by our monks, in the morning before 10AM, (this is in June, and not in May), you clean the petals by nipping the buds at the bottom, with your fingers nipping the white part, then arranging them in rows in a large pan, covering each 2 inch row with paper towels, and placing them on the bottom shelf of the fridge, waiting for your next bunch.

      The way to cook, I am amazed to find out, is the same as the hundred years old recipe described in this wonderful blog… just don’t overcook (my mother used to say, don’t leave the kitchen, to do something else… it needs to your absolute attention… if you want to taste this delicious jam).

      another tip: in very hot summer afternoons, my mother used to offer guests with rose-petal soft drink, called in Armenian “varti osharag”… just pour some of the syrup in a glass of cold water and stir… it’s million times better than any soft drink you have ever tasted.

      • Emiko says:

        Thank you so much for this comment. What a beautiful description of a truly wonderful tradition and the most amazing jam I’ve ever tasted. Those tips are priceless – it is true that overcooking will ruin this jam, and that rose petal drink sounds like something I must try! Thanks again.

  28. Marilyn says:

    I planted antique rose bushes for this very purpose. Once planted they are completely carefree. You can choose roses from Antique Rose Emporium or Rogue Valley Roses. My favorite is Indigo from Rogue Valley as it blooms over a longer period and has darker pink/ red petals which seem to make a darker pink/red colored jam. The others I planted are light pink but make marvelous jam also as they are incredibly fragrant. I live in zone 5A so was limited to which roses would survive in my region. My favorites from A. R. Emporium are Fatin Latour, a pink Centifolia rose that is 4-6 feet tall. Mine has 6 feet tall arching canes completely covered in deeply double roses in May. The other is Ispahan which is also pink but is a Damask rose. Again it is tall arching canes covered in extremely fragrant very double roses. They both make a light pink rose petal jam. From Rouge Valley, Indigo blooms on and off almost all summer on a smaller bush, only 3-4 feet tall. This is a Gallica rose and does spread so it needs a place of it’s own. All of these roses would be wonderful along a fence in rich soil. As they are hardy to zone 4 and bloom on old wood they require little to no maintenance and produce boat loads of petals. Yum! I’m going to try your recipe this year and one called Gulkand from Poland. Last year all the neighbors loved the jam. My daughter is looking forward to the whole process. Thank you!

    • Emiko says:

      That sounds wonderful, it’d be quite amazing to have ‘single variety’ jams made from each of your rose bushes! They so say that the darker pink/red roses make the best tasting jam, but I’m sure the fragrance has a lot to do with that too! I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  29. hanna says:

    Emiko! Today I made rose petal jam for the first time in my life and I used your recipe! I made it with 500g petals and a half of it with pectin. The sweetness of it is perfect. Thank you for your recipe.

  30. Zilla says:

    Emiko, are you bored to tears of grateful responses yet? I just finished making this jam, and I almost licked the pan clean. The flavor was more subtle than I imagined it would be. Not nearly as overpowering as rose turkish delight. Thanks so much for posting this.

  31. Denise says:

    Hello Emiko,
    I have been making rose petal jam for many years from an old type rose that blooms once a year in the spring. My recipe called for strawberry juice and the petals are not cooked. I have to say eating roses is divine! I hope to try your recipe next year when the rose blooms again. Thank you for sharing. Your walnut pasta sounds wonderful too!

    • Emiko says:

      Hi Denise, strawberry juice sounds like a lovely addition to the jam – very interesting technique, I hope you get to try this one too. Eating roses I think is the most romantic thing you could eat!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Hallo Emiko, I live in a small village of about 50-60 people, in the south west of Hungary, called Terecseny. Most of us forage the Zselic woods for things like ramsons and mushrooms and rosehips; keep rabbits, chickens, goats and pigs for organic meat and eggs and milk, and try our hand at potting almost everything we can get our hands on that nature gives us – I came across your wonderful recipe last year as one of my neighbours was making rosepetals jelly and I grew curious. This year I made it at last and we already ate most of it already in crepes. The sour cherry crop is exceptional this year so I am making the recipe again but this time using the cherry juice I have left over from potting the sour cherries in their own syrup (no water added), in order to try to marry both the flavour of the cherries and the rosepetals. It’ll be one of the products we intend to place in the gift baskets of our own homemade products for Christmas. Massaging the rosepetals makes indeed a world of difference. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe in its context with us. P.S. the walnut crop will be also very good this year and I’ll definitely try the walnut pasta recipe, any other wonderful recipes with walnuts? I already make pesto, use it ground instead of flour, pickle green walnuts, and use it through salads and vegetarian stews.

  33. Sue O'Bryan says:

    Dear Emiko,

    I just made this recipe yesterday substituting some of the sugar with honey and I added 3 black peppercorns . . . my home smelled otherworldly . . . the jam was so beautiful and delicious, and we had just a bit of it with goat cheese on toast. Such an elegant recipe. So happy to have found your website, too, it is full of beauty and deliciousness!

  34. Jean Margaret says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! Last year I searched for the right recipe to use my very aromatic roses from the back yard in. I get so many, it was always such a shame to just let the petals drop to the ground. The history and simplicity drew me to try this method. Massaging the petals was an amazing, sensual, tactile method in setting up the rose petals. The result: one indulger sighed and said “decadent.”, savoring each bite. Now I’m picking roses for this year’s preserves. They also make lovely gifts, as I love sharing wonderful concoctions from the garden.

    • Emiko says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, this really warms my heart. You’re so fortunate to have these roses in your backyard.

  35. Allison T says:

    I have never made jam but yours sounds very simple! I wish I would have seen this recipe a couple of weeks ago when my rose bushes were blooming. I make all of my families bread homemade, I know this jam would be amazing on a slice of fresh baked bread! I will keep this in mind for next year!

  36. shruthi says:

    Hi Emiko,

    Just wanted to let you know my summers will never be the same again. I have made your jam twice now, and with great results. I love how decadent it is and the story about the recipe makes it that much special too.
    I even blogged about it recently because this gift has got to be shared. Thank you for sharing with us.

  37. special says:

    how is it that you add 200 g of one thing and 600 g of another thing and it only makes 700 grams of finished product?

  38. Thank you for the lovely recipe with rose petals! I featured it on my blog:

  39. Jayne says:

    Thanks so much for the lovely post and recipe. I made this last year using dark red petals and again using pink – they were both wonderful! The only thing that I did differently was that (based on the recommendation in a story being told about how a woman’s grandmother did hers) after I gently bruised the petals by rubbing with the sugar, I refrigerated them (covered) over night. That is supposed to help intensify/develop the flavor. I don’t really know how it compares to not doing so, as I did the refrigeration step in both batches that I made. But, we absolutely love the jam! My husband was a little uncertain about tasting it when I first presented it to him, but now it’s one of his favorites. Thanks for the lovely background information about the monastery as well – it makes me smile as I imagine the monks making theirs every time I open a jar of mine.

  40. Sam says:

    Sounds amazing! Question for you…when you say to “add the rose petals and bring to a boil” do you mean just the petals themselves, or the entire “massaging mixture” of lemon/sugar/petals? I ask so I don’t mess this up – I want it to come out great! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe! 🙂

  41. lou says:

    Thank you so much for your blog and the rose petal recipe embued with your story.will attempt this recipe tomorrow keen for the “massaging” step!!!

  42. Marie says:

    Dear Emiko,
    I found your beautiful website while I was searching for Rose Petal Jam recipes. This recipe sounds and looks wonderful. Thank you! I am of Armenian descent and live in California. I am dying to make this recipe, but feel confused about which variety of roses to use. I don’t have nor know anyone with a rose garden, so I would have to buy them, but not sure what kind of rose to look for. ..Also, in my search for authentic recipes I have found that most Turkish/Armenian rose jam recipes are very similar to yours, except for the use of “Limon Tuzu”, which means Lemon Salt, and looks like salt grains. I looked up what it is and learned it is citric acid. Is that a good substitute for the lemon juice? Or should I stick to using lemon juice?

    • Emiko Davies says:

      Bought roses can be tricky because so many are sprayed heavily with pesticides and you absolutely do not want this for jam. You really do need to find some rose petals for consumption. I have heard of this being made with dried rose petals, and though I’ve never tried it myself edible rose petals would be much easier to buy (even online). Lemon juice is also citric acid, which is what I prefer to use, though some like to use powdered citric acid to have better control over the precise amount of acid (since lemons are all different sizes and have different acidities).

      • Marie says:

        Thanks so much for your reply, Emiko!
        I will be on the quest for garden grown roses as you recommend; opposed to commercially grown roses. Perhaps I can score some from neighbors. 🙂 Thanks also for your input about the lemon juice vs. citric acid. I will be sure to visit again and let you know how it all turns out. Thank you for your wonderful post, recipe, and tips!

      • Laurie says:

        I personally would avoid the citric acid as it falls under the msg umbrella, containing free glutamates which gives people headaches/migraines and gastrointestinal distress… just use pure fresh squeezed lemon juice… ;D

  43. Tihana says:

    Dear Emiko
    Thank you for lovely website and recipes for jam definitely will try to make some from my roses.
    Also l read all comments so if you don’t mind l will introduce myself like farmer with 1000 bushes of Rosa Damascena all organic and some saffron. I planted them three years ago and started producing rose petals liqueur and saffron liqueur. I am living in Serbia and my farm is in area where is no pollution, Belgrade is 70km fare.
    For sure will include some rose petals jam as well

  44. Ellen LaPenna says:

    Hi Emiko, I’ve so enjoying pouring over this post and the responses. I’m blessed to have many fragrant rose bushes in my small yard in Albuquerque and am so excited to try your recipe! Like others suggested, I like the idea of letting the rose petal and sugar paste sit overnight. Your recipe reminded me of a recipe I’ve made for a natural, homemade fertilizer using mugwort. In the Natural Korean Farming method, a fermented plant juice is made by blending brown sugar with mugwort leaves harvested at dawn. The paste then sits unrefrigerated in a glass container (covered by a paper towel and rubber band) and ferments. After fermentation, the liquid is strained for use. Very small amounts are then added to water in a spray bottle as a natural fertilizer. It make a lovely, deep green syrup. Thank you for sharing your exciting recipe and the story, as well!

  45. laura b says:

    Quick question – I just want to confirm that one shouldn’t strain out the petals. I would have thought those would have to be removed, but I don’t see mention of that. I want to make sure I get this right – thanks so much for an intoxicatingly romantic post. Sublime and lovely!

    • Emiko Davies says:

      Oh definitely not, the petals are what make up the “bulk” of the jam since there is no actual pulp like in a fruit jam. If you strain it out, what you’d have is a rose syrup, which sounds rather lovely too.

  46. Rachel M says:

    My family is Turkish and I love rose petal jelly. I’ve always wanted to make it, but my mother has insisted that there is only one type of rose that is best suited for rose petal jam. I imagine the more fragrant, the better the rose is for this as well as being darker pink/red as mentioned before, but is there a particular variety that really needs to be used for thud tea? I just came back from visiting the Portland Oregon rose test garden and I’ve purchased a rose that was the most fragrant I’ve ever found so excited to eventually try this receipe with those roses. The variety was “Fragrant Cloud” and i couldn’t smell it enough! It is an apricot color so hoping it is enough to make a nice colored jelly. I don’t agree with my mother, I think you could use any fragrant rose but I’d love to know the type of variety the monks use and most Turkish people. Thanks for your post!

  47. Sarah says:

    I grow my own (Louis Philippe) roses, and am collecting petals these days – to dry for use in sachets, handmade paper-making, etc. They bloom profusely several times a year. I am excited to try this Rose Jam recipe.

    Southwest Fla., U.S.A.
    adjective: infamous
    well known for some bad quality or deed.

  48. Wonderful site. Lots of helpful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans additionally
    sharing in delicious. And of course, thank
    you to your sweat!

  49. Beautiful photos!

    I’m interested in this recipe, but I can not have sugar cane or other refined sweeteners. (My neck literally paralyzes over night the day after consuming any refined sugar at all, even a pinch. It’s been this way for me since I was a pre-teen, and I’m thirty now.) I’m very interested in rose petal jam, particularly as it was recommended to me for my Ayurvedic type (Vata-Pitta). I’ve been looking around the web for a rose petal jam recipe without cane sugar, agave, etc, but have not been able to find one. Do you know if it is possible to make this recipe with perhaps fruit juice instead of water and sugar? I grow my own concord grapes in abundance, so I could juice them and try that. I’m not sure if the grape flavor would just entirely drown the rose flavor, however? Perhaps part water, part juice?

    • Emiko Davies says:

      I do believe that concord grapes would really take over the flavour (and colour) here. The sugar really serves to preserve the rose petals as well as provide texture (in the form of a syrup) to the jam. Possibly some not too sweet apple variety would be a good option?

  50. Vidhya says:

    Hi Emiko
    Chanced upon this recipe through a search as the harden of my newly bought home is bursting with perfumed roses of all kinds! The results are amazing- so delicate 😊 I added a touch of finely grond black pepper to create another layer to the flavor- not masking but lifting it – extraordinary! Thank you so much..

  51. Maureen Lenahan says:


    If I sterilized the jars, put the jam in, do you think placing the jars in a boiling canning bath for 10 minutes would harm the jam? My jams seem to last better when I put them in a canning bath.

  52. Milo Dodds says:

    Before my Armenian friend passed away (Jacob Tsitrian) quite some time ago he shared with me the secret of how he made rose petal jam. The roses he used are called “Fragrant Cloud” which is an orange colored rose. He would add a few other darker red color petals for color but the flavor comes from this orange colored rose. In honor of him I share his secret. More about who Jacob was can be found here: Jacob made the most amazing cheesecake and he would pour rose petal jam on top of each slide he and his wife Helen would server at their restraurant called “The Generous Armenian” that was located in Eureka, CA for many years.

  53. I stumbled across your sight, while searching recipes for my “Louis Phillips” rose bush…
    I pinch off the buds after they flower to dry them… Have you used dried petals for your recipe?
    To thicken, I was thinking to use agar agar… just the smallest amount to give some texture… Your thoughts?

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