Orange flower water

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Orange and rose flower waters

Orange flower water (orange blossom water) is a clear, perfumed distillation of fresh bitter-orange blossoms.

This essential water has traditionally been used in many French and Mediterranean dessert dishes, but has more recently found its way into Western cuisine. For example, orange flower water is used in France to flavour madeleines, in Mexico to flavour little wedding cakes, and in the United States to make orange blossom scones and marshmallows. Orange flower water is also used as an ingredient in some cocktails, such as the Ramos Gin Fizz.

It has been a traditional ingredient used often in Middle Eastern cooking. In the Arab world, it is frequently added to hard or otherwise bad-tasting drinking water to mask the unpleasant flavour. Orange blossoms are believed to be used in this manner because they are seen as the traditional bridal flower and, therefore, symbolize purity (white, small and delicate).

In Greece and Cyprus orange blossom water is called anthonero (ανθόνερο).

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