Winter at the top of the South Island usually means wet. I enjoy rainy days as much as sunny ones. I don’t mind a bit of humidity (cloudy, humid and mild is one of my favorite combinations). I like to see how things seem different when the weather changes. Also it’s a great time to stay in, work on my blog, read books, craft, bake… endless things to do.
As I sat inside looking out at the rain and pondering my garden, I got to thinking about the rosebushes. Particularly how they have these little berry type things where there used to be flowers. I wondered whether that was something I was meant to remove so decided to google it and discovered that the answer to ‘what are the berries on rosesbushes’ is: rosehips! Something I hadn’t given much thought to before, so I eagerly read on to satisfy my curiosity and find out what I could do with rosehips. I found a well-written and thorough explanation at Wild Foods & Medicines (a fantastic blog!). In summary, once the rose has been fertilized, seeds develop, the petals fall off, and the base of the flower grows to protect the seeds – that’s the rosehip. They can be eaten however humans cannot digest the hairy seeds so they need to be removed. While I did not have the motivation to go out in the rain and pick enough rosehips to make a syrup or jelly, I was intrigued by the idea of rosehip mint tea (inspired by that lovely blog) so I went out and snipped 8 rosehips and a sprig of mint and gave it a go.
I was worried it would taste… well, like roses. Floral and grandmotherly. I am happy to report that it was actually delightful, almost citrus and a bit earthy, complex in flavor. A new revelation in tea for me and one I will be likely to repeat.