Gulkand - A descriptive overview
Type of Spiritual Experience
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A description of the experience
Gulkand is a luxurious sun-cooked preserve of Damask rose petals. It’s said that Gulkand was originally formulated in ancient Indo-Persia (900 B.C) for its intense flavours as an ingredient and for its healing properties as a coolant. It is quite possibly the most complete and authentic rose experience as slow sun-cooking concentrates the flavours of the Damask rose in an easy to use gently caramelized preserve. “Gul” means flower in both Persian and Urdu whereas “Kand” translates into sweetness in Arabic. It is believed to possess cooling & calming properties which is why it has been traditionally associated with regal recipes to create a wide range of desserts and bakery preparations to beat the summer heat.
The lavish costs and seasonal nature of Damask roses coupled with the arduous process of sun-cooking and curing Gulkand make it one of the finest and most sought after delicacies coming out of the Indian sub-continent after the world famous Kashmiri Saffron. Regal, exotic, authentic & opulent, a ‘rose experience’ that remains unmatched. We can assure you, just one teaspoonful of Gulkand will forever change the way you look at roses!
HOW IS IT BETTER THAN ROSE JAM / CONFITURE?
It would be inaccurate to draw any comparisons between Gulkand and Rose petal jams/confitures, as the taste, texture and aroma of Gulkand is vastly superior to any Rose petal jam/confiture available in the market. To explore these differences more technically, one should focus on the most important difference between these two products which lies in their respective manufacturing processes.
Gulkand is sun-cooked and cured over a period of 29 days with just Damask rose petals and candy sugar. Rose petal jams/confitures on the other hand are prepared by boiling Rose petals and sugar (usually with pectin) and are ready to serve in just a couple of hours. Slow sun-cooking imparts depth & richness to the already concentrated floral, fruity and caramelized flavours of Gulkand. With a combination of these intense flavours, the flavour profile of Gulkand easily surpasses the uni-dimensional and at times tart flavours of Rose petal jams/confitures.
Unlike usual Rose petal jams/confitures, Gulkand is best relished when one slowly unfolds its abundant & luscious rose petals. Every petal releasing a variety of different flavours with each bite. If one compares rose petal volumes, most Rose petal jams/confitures have less than 20% of rose petals in the final product. In stark contrast, it’s fairly easy to conclude that close to 95% of the “Gulkand experience” is about sensual exploration of these of sun-cooked Damask rose petals.
There is documented proof that ancient Indian (Ayurvedic), Greek, Persian & Arabic (Unani) physicians prescribed Gulkand to mitigate a wide variety of summer/heat related ailments. Gulkand was primarily consumed in these regions for the cooling properties it imparted to the user. Ayurvedic texts which can be traced back to 900 B.C list Gulkand as a “Rasayana” which is Sanskrit for “tonic”; a tonic which helps in alleviating summer specific health issues like sun-strokes, acidity, indigestion, lethargy, inflamed eyes, excessive perspiration.
Damask roses have always been associated with all things related to love, romance and adventure. Historical evidence suggests that Gulkand has a calming effect on one’s nervous system and is considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac as well. If that isn’t convincing enough, it also acts as a fragrant by reducing body odour when consumed regularly during summer months. The scope of benefits extends to beautification by purifying one’s blood. This improves one’s complexion by mitigating skin conditions like rashes and acne.