As Shakespeare wrote, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but how about roses combined with hibiscus? One word: intoxicating. The Wild Hibiscus Flower Company, the small, family-run Australian firm that has been selling wild hibiscus blossoms in syrup since the nineties, had the brilliant idea more recently of steeping them in rose syrup, producing a headily fragrant condiment in the process. Taste-wise, the flowers are unusually tangy/sweet: Think mild cipolline with a floral undertone. As for uses, the company suggests dropping them in the bottom of a glass of Champagne or stuffing them with chevre, black pepper and chive. On its own, the syrup can be used in cocktails, glazes and a range of desserts, from gelatins to pavlova. Get thee to a grocery!
$18 at retailers nationwide, including Kitchen Therapy in South Surrey, B.C. (604-536-6005) and Pusateri's in Toronto (416-785-9100); e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for others.