Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Rosewater

I've just discovered rosewater, and I love it! I've got lots of recipes for it, and I know that Nigella loves it - loads of the desserts in Forever Summer have flower waters in them. But I had always been reluctant to try them, because the mere thought of flower water summons to mind ideas of incredibly sweet, over-perfumed soapy tasting desserts which I must have tried in my childhood, and absolutely hated. And I would have hated to buy a whole bottle of the stuff, only to use it once and have it sit untouched in the pantry for all eternity.

On Monday, I went to Aix Creperie, a tiny bolthole of a cafe in a lane in the city, and noticed on the menu "Mango Crepe with Rosewater Yogurt". At only $6.80, (and probably a bit healthier than all the chocolatey, creamy, sugary alternatives) I thought I may as well try it, to see if a bottle of rosewater would be a worthwhile investment. Unfortunately, they were out of mangoes. However, they also had "Mixed Berry Crepe with Rosewater Yogurt", so I went for that. And it was really delicious! The rosewater flavour was subtly present, but not overpowering, and really complemented the tartness of the berries. It added a new level of flavour to the dish.

So this morning, Mum and I made a trip down to Nuts R' Us, a nearby Iranian store. We picked up rosewater, orange flower water, pistachios, pine nuts, sumac, pomegranate molasses and saffron. What a wonderful store!

And by coincidence, later on today, I had another rosewater experience! Mum, my brother, my godfather from Penang and I all went down to Brunswick street for a bite to eat, and we came across Trampoline, a really lovely gelati store, which has its own chocolate fountain! (I know, droolness!) Well, when it comes to me and gelati, resistance is futile, so I had a cup with three flavours - blood orange, lime and lychee sorbet and "love" flavour.

"If love was an ice-cream, it would taste like roses!"

So basically it was rosewater flavoured ice-cream, adorned with little heart shaped chocolates... It was so beautiful! In taste AND appearance. Now I would like to give it a go making it at home...

I can't wait to start using rosewater in my cooking!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

heya- if you're looking to give your orange-flower water a purpose, look no further than the almond and orange-blossom cake in the cooking in advance chapter in HTE. i can't tell you how delicious this is sprinkled with icing sugar and served with creme fraiche and berries. the rosewater sorbet sounds great too- how would you make it, and the little chocolates? dg x

Sarah said...

Hi DG,

The almond & orange-blossom cake sounds great, thanks for the suggestion! Unforunately I don't yet have How To Eat, but I'm hoping to get it for my birthday!

Well with the rosewater ice-cream, I was thinking of making an egg custard ice-cream base and then just adding a spoon of rosewater. I'm not sure if this would taste too eggy, though. The ice-cream itself I remember as being very smooth, creamy and pale pink (colouring possibly). The little chocolate hearts (storebought) were just for decoration on the side, but I dunno if I'd use them... it might interfere with the amazingly smooth texture of the ice-cream, which is one of the reasons I loved it so much. I think it would really be perfect for dessert for a romantic meal but I'd probably serve it with rose petals to complement its dreamy delicate taste and texture.

xox Sarah