A new sensation of eating rose petals Rose petal jam made with great attention to detail
Updated: Jun 19, 2019
There are times when one product becomes the center of attention amongst people.
The Sauce and jam made with rose petals by Ms. Amemiya and her fellow members of “Fuefuki Rose Petal Jam Association” are exactly like those products on the spotlight. They are increasingly attracting people’s attention at the moment.
Their jam has a lovely color and a gorgeous aroma, but most of all, its texture is what amazes you when you taste it…
Here, we’re going to talk about their rose petal jam that they make “with great care like raising children”, its production process and the makers’ passion and vision.
Ms. Chizuko Amemiya works at a restaurant called “Kokubutei” in Fuefuki city. Apart from the restaurant job, she started working on food product development using roses, which are known as an official flower of Fuefuki city with a wish to vitalize her community using the flower. She found a number of jams made with rose petals but none of them impressed her, so she decided to make their own and established “Fuefuki Rose Petal Jam Association”. She serves as the head of the said association.
The life of the flower is so short that prompt action is required when it comes to flower picking
Ms. Amemiya and other members grow roses themselves in their own gardens at home and in their best flowering season which is in May, they pick two shopping baskets of rose flowers each day. Only the petals are collected then get processed and simmered in a pot…
“Fuefuki Rose Petal Jam Association” led by Ms. Amemiya began making jam using roses, which are familiar to locals as an official flower of Fuefuki city. It’s their fourth year since they started this activity.
“You need to pick the flowers early in the morning as soon as they enter full bloom. It requires prompt action because those flowers fall off on the second night after they bloom.”
The variety of roses they use for their jam is called old roses, which are known to have been cultivated in the back garden at the Palace of Versailles since BC era. They specifically use these two following kinds of old roses, which are “gallica officinalis” aka ”Apothecary’s Rose” and “Baron Girod de l’Ain”. They are the oldest amongst the variety and are called the original old roses. Ms. Amemiya tells us that they chose those two kinds after trying many different types of roses.
“We only use the petals from the flowers we pick. We also cut off the calyxes which taste bitter using scissors then simmer them with sugar and water.”
For their jam, they carefully select petals that haven’t been exposed to pesticide. From the cultivation process to aphid control, Ms. Amemiya and her fellow members do everything manually.
“What was harder than growing roses was to bring out the color of roses beautifully when you make them into jam. We finally achieved this color after a continuous process of trial and error.”
Meticulous production with great attention to color, aroma, texture and packaging
“We’ve tried new things every year”, says Ms. Amemiya.
They did a lot of research to achieve not only their ideal color but also their ideal sweetness, aroma and texture that enables you to feel the petals.
“Bottling at the end is also a delicate process. When it’s not done properly, the jam quickly loses its flavor and there’s also a risk of mold growth.”
Their jam made with great care is attracting attention from not only women but also men, and they are getting repeat customers as well.
“It takes a lot of time and hard work to make this jam so we cannot make in large amounts. Also it’s quite pricey for jam. However even though it’s pricey, I feel that it’s finally getting attention from people”, says Ms. Amemiya.
A product they put so much time and effort in that people would say “What’s the point doing this much?”
It took them four years to get to the point where they feel confident in the color, flavor and aroma of their jam. Additionally, they’re also particular about packaging so that people can also purchase the jam as a gift.
“I wanted to add value to it. So we looked for ideal packaging boxes to put jars in that look beautiful and decorative just sitting there, and we also use washi paper for labels on the boxes. You can say the same thing about the production process of our jam, but we take great care of every detail making this product so much that people might say ‘What’s the point doing this much?’
However that way we can feel a sense of achievement and proud of what we make when we see people impressed with our product. So we’re particular about the packaging as well in order to add value to the product inside.”
When you hear “rose petal jam”, there might be quite a few people out there who would expect it to be too sweet or having a strong aroma.
However the rose petal jam that Ms. Amemiya and her fellow members make has a mild and gentle aroma while its color is vibrant, and it has a subtle and elegant sweetness that you would never get bored of… It betrays your expectations in a good way.
You feel great pleasure when your product that you put so much effort in receives high praise and you see your customers’ satisfied smiles. Lastly Ms. Amemiya tells us about her vision for the future.
“We’ve put so much effort into this product so what I want to achieve now is to make it into a signature product of the city. Apart from the jam, we also make rose petal sauce and started selling sundaes that have soft serve ice cream with the sauce on top at a tourist facility, and since then there has been an increase in the number of visitors coming there for the sundae.
Just like that, I would be over the moon if our jam and sauce could contribute to bringing more people into our city and vitalizing our community.”
＼Let's go see Ms. Amemiya／
Store ： Kokubutei
Address： 482 Kokubu, Ichimiya-cho, Fuefuki city
Opening hours： 11:00～17:00／18:00～22:00（Reservation required）