Flowers of the bitter orange trees are picked in early spring to prepare the orange blossom water, following a traditional water distillation process.
The petals are separated from the green parts of the flower and are put in an alembic with twice their volume of water. The mixture is heated, first at high temperature then gradually down to a very low heat towards the end of the distillation. The steam, carrying the perfume and the essences of the flowers, rises through the tubes of the alembic and is then cooled down to condense into the water of the orange flowers, collected in recipients at the end of the circuit.
The orange flower water is then put in bottles and as it still contains the Neroli, the essential oil from the flower, it turns to a yellowish color after some time, and that’s an indication of the good quality of the product.
Orange blossom water is a key ingredient of many Mediterranean desserts, pastries and fruit salads as it adds a very aromatic fragrance to the preparations.
Looking for recipes that call for Orange Blossom Water?
This recipe for Pine Nut Brittle is great for nibbling or gifting.