Roses, mainly from the Eurasian hybrid Rosa x damascena, have been used for millennia from the Middle East through Asia, usually dried or in the form of an extract (rose water). Their aroma comes mainly from the terpene geraniol. Roses are most often used in sweets, but are also found in the savory Moroccan spice mixture ras el hanout, and in North African sausages.
From the book On Food and Cooking (2nd edition) by Harold McGee. © 2004 Harold McGee. By permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.