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Canapè with bacon, cheddar and Yunnan rose jam

I travelled with the cookbook author and authority on Chinese cuisine, Fuschia Dunlop, in the village of Dali in the Yunnan province. I was intrigued by the number of people selling rose petal jam.

I later learned that Yunnan is the cradle of flowers for China and that it produces more than 200 metric tonnes of rose petals every year. The rose petals are bright and seen everywhere in the Province. The condiment and jam stores have heaps of these petals in bins at the store. Because of the very short life of these petals and their fragility, they are almost immediately converted into jam or mooncakes with flower stuffing. Making the jam is easy; with equal parts of petals and a mix of sugar and honey, the jam is briefly cooked and sealed in bags or bottles. I tasted a sample and had to bring a few bottles home to enjoy. Here is the first of the recipes I created with this jam.

This is a simple canapè that plays with salt and sweetness. The chilli bacon adds salt and spice, and the cheese salt combines beautifully with the sweet rose jam, which is a complementary colour. This is a rich and decadent canapè, but one that I love.

For more recipes from Zafar, click here.


Yunnan rose petal jam

Bacon, chilli preferred but plain also works, fried crisp

Sharp cheddar, thinly sliced


Country or multigrain bread

Lightly toast the slices of bread.

Layer with a few arugula leaves and top with a cheddar slice. Add a slice of bacon and top with a generous helping of rose jam. Serve immediately.

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