Spotlight Spice: Orange Blossom Water

This week’s Spotlight Spice is Orange Blossom Water, which has been common in middle eastern cuisine for centuries. The fragrant water is made by distilling blossoms from the bitter orange tree in water, producing a fragrant, citrusy, slightly bitter liquid perfect for flavoring dishes. It pairs nicely with the flavors of almonds, pistachios, cardamom, and cinnamon, and a little goes a long way.

Orange Blossom Water is great for baking; in fact, it lives with the extracts in the baking aisle at AllSpice. But don’t let that limit your creativity – it’s good for much more. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Beverages: Try making a Moroccan-inspired coffee. Start with a shot of espresso, add a cup of milk steamed with a teaspoon of Orange Blossom Water. Top with a pinch or two of ground cardamom.

If coffee isn’t your thing, give it a try in black or green herbal teas, or more adult beverages like a Pimm’s Cup, gin fizz, margarita, or martini.

Desserts and Baked Goods: Add a bit of Orange Blossom Water to your favorite cookies, cakes, or sweet breads.

Not sure where to start? Try our Orange Blossom Scented Almond Cookies. The cookie’s primary flavor is almond, with sweet notes of floral and citrus. The icing drizzle and toasted almonds on top give the cookie just the right amount of sweetness and crunch.

It’s also a great addition to puddings, custards, panna cotta, and other confections.

Citrus: Punch up a plain old fruit salad with a few teaspoons of Orange Blossom Water. One of our favorites is a Moroccan-Inspired Citrus Salad with mint and cinnamon. Swapping out ground cardamom for cinnamon would also be an excellent choice. Don’t stop at citrus – this is great in fruit salads with banana, apple, kiwi, and other fruits.

Savory Dishes: Try a bit of Orange Blossom Water in salad dressings, marinades for meat, and soups to add a hint of floral, citrus flavor.

Pick up a bottle and give it a try. It’s likely to become one of your “secret ingredients,” adding a unique flavor that will leave your friends and family coming back for seconds.