The orange flower comes from the bitter or Seville orange tree, a tree that originated in India (or China, opinions vary) that can grow to a height of 10 meters. The fruit of this tree are bitter or Seville oranges. The highly fragrant white or pink blossoms produced by this tree are used in cooking, but also for making perfumes: The essential oil extracted from the orange flower, known as neroli, belongs to the Hesperide (citrus) family.
Orange flower is found as a water, extract, or oil. Orange flower water is the form used for cooking.
Orange flower is used to flavor pastries (mainly North African and Middle Eastern, such as gazelle horns and other desserts), and gives an unrivaled flavor to French toast. It is used in fritters, brioches, and madeleines.
Store orange flower water in the refrigerator for less than six months.