Have You Tried Rose Water?

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This century-old liquid is gaining momentum as a hot culinary trend. Have you stopped to smell the rose water?

What Is Rose Water?

It’s exactly what it sounds like: fluid made by steeping rose petals in water. You may also find some varieties in the form of alcohol-containing tinctures. The final product is a clear liquid with an almost overpowering floral scent and robust rose flavor; a little goes a very (very) long way. It’s commonly used as an ingredient in beauty products, but it can also be used to flavor sweet and savory dishes.

Rose water has long been a common ingredient in Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cooking, but it is now finding its way into baked goods, cocktails, confections and frozen treats. You can find bottles of all shapes and sizes online and at specialty food shops; prices range from $1 per fluid ounce to more than $4 per fluid ounce.

Healthy Attributes

Most forms of rose water are calorie-free; those mixed with alcohol contain about 15 calories per teaspoon. Rose water is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, plus it offers some vitamin C.

5 Ways to Love

The elegant floral sweetness of rose water is a lovely complement to fresh fruits like strawberry, mango, raspberry and lime. Rose water can also highlight the delicate creaminess of cheese and chocolate. Here are five amazing ways to use it in cooking:

  • Make a batch of mango sorbet.
  • Drizzle a drop into a steamy mug of hot chocolate.
  • Mix up some rosy sangria or a gin cocktail.
  • Add a touch to shortbread cookie dough.
  • Make a batch of rose-permeated rice.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.