Traditionally, Romanians make preserves in May and June, when the first seasonal fruit appeared on the market before the supermarket era. Most popular are preserves and jams made of strawberries, cherries, and sour cherries, but also flowers, such as elder, dandelion, and roses. Roses also yield a very flavorful vinegar, but most popular is rose petal preserve. Only certain types of roses can be used, most popular being the Damascus rose, Rosa Damascena.
To make this, remove the petals, then wash them thoroughly and drain them. You need about 100 roses, one kg of sugar, and one lemon. Bring to a boil one liter of water with the sugar to obtain a syrup, skimming when needed. Add in the rose petals, and let them boil on medium heat. Again, skim the foam that forms on the surface. Add the lemon juice, and boil to your desired consistency. Check it by dripping a few drops on a plate. If it doesn't run, then it is ready to jar.
Jars with a lid are preferable to foil sealing. After pouring the preserve into them, sterilize them by boiling, or by putting them in an oven for half an hour, but without preheating. It is a great garnish for ice cream, but also for a nice roast.
(translated by: Calin Cotoiu)