Orange blossom water

 In TasteHistory

Preserved and processed in different shapes and forms, the orange or any of its by-products, would continue to enjoy special attention as science and folklore emphasized its nutritional value throughout the centuries.

A particularly popular by-product in the Mediterranean region is orange blossom water. Known as ‘Ilma Żahar’ in Maltese, this concoction is produced by boiling orange flowers with water in a distiller, ‘lampik’ in Maltese, and extracting the essence which evaporates from them.

This famed mix has for ages been hailed as a medicinal tool, especially against stomach aches, when added to black coffee or some warm water.

Orange blossom water is also mixed with alcoholic drinks and especially sweets.

Image: P. Leonetti, Distiller, detail from the refectory decorative scheme, 1762, Archbishop’s Curia, Floriana (Image by Daniel Cilia with the courtesy of the Archbishop’s Curia)

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