Besides rose water, which is very popular in the Levant, orange blossom water is another ingredient that you definitely need to know. You can find it in desserts and drinks, for example, and even in cosmetics or room sprays. Sounds kind of contradictory, doesn't it? But orange blossom water is actually a real all-rounder. I'll show you exactly what blossom water is, what it's used for and everything you need to know.
What is Orange Blossom Water?
Orange flower water is obtained from the buds of the bitter orange. During the production of essential orange oil, condensed water is produced during distillation. This condensed water is the orange blossom water.
Orange blossom water originates from the Orient. Even back then, the essence was extracted from the flower buds of the bitter orange. The still closed blossoms are harvested in spring. Most orange trees grow in the Mediterranean region, Morocco, Egypt and France. As the name suggests, it is made from the blossom of the orange tree, not from the orange fruit. The floral water therefore also has a different taste than the orange itself.
So remember: orange blossom water is not the same as orange juice. One is obtained from the flower buds by distillation, the other is the pure juice of the fruit. Therefore, the floral water does not have the same taste as orange juice.
In the kitchen
Orange blossom water is indispensable in the cuisine of the Levant. In the Middle East, but also in France, it is often used for baking and cooking. It has a flowery-fruity aroma with a distinct bitter note. You can use it in cakes, biscuits, sweets and desserts such as puddings or creams, baklava, crèpes, jam or rice pudding. Its bitter note creates a good contrast to the sweetness. It also "perfumes" the food. But orange blossom water can also be used to prepare savoury dishes such as couscous or creamy yoghurt dips. And not to forget: Drinks.
Conjure up delicious cocktails or add a few drops of flower water to hot water and enjoy the aroma in your tea. You can also easily prepare a refreshing lemonade with it.
Particularly popular in Lebanese cuisine are, for example, shabiyat, crispy baklava pockets prepared with orange blossom water. Unlike normal baklava, they are not filled with nuts, but with a fine cream. But muhalabia should also be on your to-do list if you want to work with orange blossom water in the kitchen. The Levantine pudding is made with cream and milk and of course a decent portion of orange blossom water and is addictive.
Orange blossom water also goes particularly well with nuts such as walnuts and pistachios, spices such as cinnamon, aniseed or cloves, and also with honey, puff pastry or fresh lemon. It may smell a little like "granny perfume" at first, but you shouldn't let that put you off. Orange blossom water has a wonderfully fresh aroma when used discreetly. So be careful with the dosage at the beginning, because orange blossom water has a good bitter note that can be very noticeable. If you want to try it out for baking or cooking, start with tiny amounts. A few drops are enough to get you started. Then just feel your way around the flavour and try it out. Of course, I always give you the right amount in my recipes.
Orange Blossom Water & Beauty
Organgene floral water can be used not only in the kitchen and the bakery - it is becoming increasingly popular in cosmetics. It has a soothing effect on the skin, is lipid-replenishing and moisturising. The water is often used as a facial tonic or in masks. My mother likes to dip cotton pads in it and then put it on her eyes. Since orange blossom water, as the name suggests, is made of water, it can protect the skin from drying out and moisturise dry skin. Not only for your face, but also for your hair, orange blossom water can help. If you have dull, brittle hair, simply add a few drops of the floral water after washing and distribute it well. It moisturises and makes your hair shine again. If you're lucky enough to have a bathtub in your home, you can also add a few drops to the water and take a relaxing, aromatic bath. And if you've been out in the sun too much, you can also use orange blossom water as an after-sun lotion. Just put a few drops on a cotton pad and dab it on your stressed skin. The best thing about orange blossom water? It is free of chemical ingredients and you can use it on your whole body with a clear conscience.
Orange blossom water has a lot to offer when it comes to cooking, baking and beauty. But you can also use it in the household. For example, add a few drops to the washing machine and give your clothes a flowery, fresh scent. You can also use it as a room spray or fragrance, for example.
You can buy orange blossom water in health food shops, pharmacies, oriental supermarkets or on the internet. In the meantime, you can also get it in well-stocked supermarkets. It is sold in glass bottles and has a very long shelf life. When buying it, make sure that you get a pure product. Sometimes it is sold as a cosmetic product and has ingredients you don't want in your food. Generally, you will get the best results for your skin or hair if you simply use the orange blossom water in its pure form.