Fragrant and Fanciful Orange Blossom Water

Orange blossom water is a unique ingredient used to impart a fantastic fragrance to a number of recipes. Read on to learn more about this aromatic ingredient and discover some of our favorite ways to utilize it. 

What is Orange Blossom Water? 

Orange blossom water is a heavily fragranced liquid made exclusively from the distillation of Seville or bitter orange blossoms. There are 2 main uses for orange blossom water. One use is as an ingredient in perfume and cosmetics. The other use for orange blossom water is for enhancing recipes. 

The Middle East, Morocco, and parts of the Mediterranean use orange blossom water in their recipes, primarily in desserts. The resulting dishes are amazingly fragrant with mouth-wateringly delicious scents of orange. Here are a selection of recipes that highlight the use of orange blossom water in very tasty ways:

How is Orange Blossom Water made? 

Orange blossom water is made using just the flowers of the orange plant. These blossoms are gathered, combined with water, and then steam-distilled to extract a concentrated aromatic liquid. The distillation process is not that much different from how alcohol is distilled, even using copper stills (called kataras) to accomplish the task. 

How to source Orange Blossom Water

As with most other extracts, there are pure and artificial varieties of orange blossom water. The real, pure variety is the best to use in your kitchen, providing the best flavor and results. When shopping around for orange blossom water, look for labels that say ‘extract’ or ‘pure’ vs. ‘imitation’ or ‘flavored’.

Middle Eastern and halal grocers would be the best supplier of orange blossom water along with reputable online sources (Nielsen & Massey being one of the best). 

Feature Image: Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

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