[Sca-cooks] Orange Flower Water, was Orange flavored wafers ( was Pomegranate and Onion Juice)

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Thu Mar 8 05:02:24 PST 2007

When I did my book on oranges, I didn't make an extensive study of 
orange flower water
but I can say that it's used in English cookery and Buttes writes of it 
in 1599

/Story for Table-talke./

The flowers of this plant are silver-coloured; and from them is 
distilled a water surpassing all other in fragrancy and sweete smell. 
The leaves are in colour like an Emeraud : The fruite like Golde. Whence 
they are called /Aurantia /of /Aurum/, gold in Latine, and in Greek 
/Chryfomela/, golden apples, In English properly and truly /Aurange/, 
but we have both them and their name by tradition from the French. So 
wee both speake and write it /Orenge/.

So keeping this in mind-- looking under "orenge" it can be found in

The seconde part of the Secretes of Master Alexis of Piemont in 1565
as in To make oile of Orengeflowers, and other swete flowers. TAke 
freshe and cleane flowers of Orenges one pounde...

The Newe Iewell of Health from 1576 uses it in medicinal concoctions.

It also turns up in the 1598 A vvorlde of wordes, or Most copious, and 
exact dictionarie in Italian and English, collected by Iohn Florio.

It turns  up in print under "orange" in such passages as

And as I suspected, euery potte had seuerall water, as it were, one with 
Rose-water, another with water of Orange flowers, another of myrtle, 
tender greene Lawrell leaues, el|dér flowers, and diuers such lyke 
sociable symples. And these boyling together, they did yeelde a most 
pleasant and fragrant smell. p 55r
Hypnerotomachia. = The strife of loue in a dreame.
Colonna, Francesco, d. 1527. printed 1592.

Maison rustique, or The countrey farme¨ Compyled in the French tongue by 
Charles Steuens, and Iohn Liebault, Doctors of Physicke. 
[Estienne, died in  1564. It was translated and printed in England in a 
number of editions including the 1616 edition that Markham worked on.]
also has numerous mentions.

By the 1650's at the same time that La Varenne was recommending it, it's 
appearing in works like The Queens closet opened as in
Take a little Gum Dragant, and lay it in steep twelve hours, in Orange 
flower water or Damask Rose-water...


Lilinah wrote:
> Strangely, I haven't seen recipes using orange flower water within 
> SCA period (anyone know of any?).

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