One of these things is not like the others, did you guess which thing…? If you guessed the pink pulled sugar rose, then you’re absolutely …right! It was made by Eric Menard, the National Gallery’s Executive Pastry Chef.
There is a much better photo of the pulled sugar rose from the National Gallery’s instagram. I read a story a long time ago about a boy finding the ideal gift for his sister, he had planted a sugar cube to grow a sugar tree. Perhaps the sugar cube that was planted was a rose variety, and that’s how this sugar rose really came to life.
I’d like to eat the sugar rose (which I assume tastes like happiness, bursting love-hearts and sunshine), but it’s better to keep it forever at the top of the pantry (for stealing furtive, sugar-longing glances). This means I’m doing the same thing as when Mum kept my brother’s icing booties from his christening cake for at least five years, maybe longer if she still has them. The booties had very fine detail and I used to lick them when I felt sad. I wonder if she noticed the imitation stitching getting fuzzed over the years. I had been reduced to slowly ravishing the booties, because a lock was installed high up on the pantry so it cut my regular sugar cube supply line. My brother and I worked together to reach the lock, then we would drink Ice Magic to condition our teeth against sugar.
The sugar rose has also been used by artist Liam Revell to comment on the transience of fashion. His sugar rose brooch that was gradually eaten by the wearer in Kate and Rose (2006). His wonderful photographs show the consumption of this impermanent decoration (Revell, Liam, A Decorative Effect (2012), scroll to page 19).
Another sugary element at the Gallery is Duchamp’s Why not sneeze Rose Sélavy? (1921 reconstructed 1964) with trick sugar cubes. Delicious!
It must be a rose day because I’m watching American Beauty while I’m writing about roses. A feedback loop…