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While rose flower water is not a familiar item to most Americans, it has a long and interesting culinary history. This flavoring agent is used for a wide variety of desserts and pastries in Europe as well as the Middle East, India and North Africa dating back to the middle ages. Rose flower water has the full, rounded fragrance of fresh roses. Too much is overpowering, but a small amount adds the alluring fragrance of one of the world's truly great flowers to your cooking. If you are looking for uses for this very distinctive flavoring, there are many traditional recipes, but the vast majority is for sweets. Baklava from Turkey wouldn't be the same without it. Rice pudding with cardamom is another favorite. You can also substitute rose water for vanilla in cupcakes and puddings. Morocco's classic carrot salad demands a bit of rose water. Rose flower water mixed with a little Riesling is great sprinkled on fruits such as strawberries, sliced melon, plums or peaches. Don't confuse rose water with rose syrup, which most probably has added sugar that will change your recipes and not necessarily for the better. And yes, you can put a few drops in your linen drawer!
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