Rose water is the liquid that remains after distilling water and rose petals. Demask roses are quite popular in the making of rose water due to their fragrance. The Middle East, with its ready availability of demask roses remains a predominant producer of rose water.
Now that you know what it is, let's fast forward to the first time I was introduced to this fragrant and what I can only call 'pretty' taste. But before I take you there, I'll tell you about the time when I was growing up when I was at a friend's house and trying a commercial turkish delight chocolate bar....and hating the taste of it. To me it felt like goo covered in chocolate and I wasn't a fan (ironically Mr Shady Pine still loves this particular turkish delight chocolate bar).
I remember coming home and telling my mother about it and her informing me that what I had tried was not in fact real turkish delight. A few days later having forgotten about this, mum came home with a little white paper bag with two large pink cubes dusted in icing sugar. Even as I write about this, I can remember that day and the taste of that first bite. It was nothing like the confection I'd tried a few days earlier and there was the most wonderful floral taste. So that was my introduction to rose water and I've not stopped using it since.
I was recently looking to make a hostess gift to take along to a friend's place who was hosting a lovely Sunday lunch and was in the middle of making an almond brittle when I literally looked over at my pantry and saw the bottle of rose water sitting there. Why not? So I decided to add a splash to the almond brittle and it was one of my better moves in the kitchen.
What resulted was not only a delicious brittle but a hint of glorious floral flavour that transported me straight back to childhood.
What's the taste or scent that transports you back to childhood?
Almond and rose water brittle
1 cup of blanched almonds
¾ cup white sugar
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp rose water
1. In a non stick pan over medium heat, toast the almonds until golden brown.
2. Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper.
3. Place almonds into a food processor and process until fairly fine but not quite into a meal
4. In a non stick pan over medium heat, place sugar and leave to dissolve for a few minutes. Do not stir the sugar; just leave it to melt until golden. Turn off heat when dissolved and turned into a bubbly caramel.
5. To the caramel, add the butter, processed almonds and rose water. Mix quickly and spread onto the baking tray. Use a spoon or spatula to spread and flatten out the mixture.
6. Leave the mixture for 15-20 minutes or until set. Break into large shards and serve.