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Rose Water is a clear liquid, distilled from fresh rose petals. Rose Water is a distinctive and heady culinary ingredient that is a much used component of Iranian, Indian, North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. It infuses desserts such as the Iranian Rose Petal Preserves, Mexican Rose Petal Flan and Indian Rice Pudding with Rose Water. You'll find it in savory dishes such as Moroccan carrot salad, Indian Rose Water Biryani and Iranian Lamb Stew. The fragrant liquid is a distillation of rose petals that is formed during the process of removing the natural oil from rose petals. The oil is used in perfume and the water is used in food. Adding sugar to the water and boiling it down yields Rose Syrup. Rose Water has been used by Persians since the 8th century. It was thought to ease depression, (think today's aromatherapy), and used to cleanse skin and bathe in. Its culinary uses were myriad. Arabs learned about it from the Persians during their travels, and brought it back to the Middle Eastern area, where it became popular. Before long, Western Europeans discovered its tantalizing properties. Its subtle, often unidentifiable flavor must be used with discretion, lest it overwhelm a dish, and turn it perfume-y. Add just a few drops of Rose Water to a vinaigrette and use it as salad dressing for bitter greens. It elevates regular pound cake to a new and redolent level. It adds a gentle kick to lemonade. Add a bottle of Rose Water to your pantry, and experiment with it for both sweet and savory dishes.
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