Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Mazaher from Maghdousheh
This is the season of mazaher (orange blossom water) in Lebanon. Mazaher is made by distilling the flowers of the bitter orange (Citrus aurentium) , and is very popular in Lebanon where it is used for perfuming sweets and in drinks. The season is very short (mid March to early April) and this year it has been shortened even more by two khamseen events which brought temperatures up to 33 celcius with hot dry winds.
One of the most famous mazaher in Lebanon is made in the Southern village of Maghdousheh, right above the city of Saida. In spring, Maghdousheh smells like paradise because of the thousands of bitter orange trees that come into flower at the same time. This is where I went today to take pictures for a forthcoming website (and book) on traditional Lebanese foods. Above is a photo of a man harvesting the orange blossoms in a sea of trees.
Here's a close up of the fragrant orange blossom.
And here's a proud producer showing his precious mazaher, with behind him the wood-fired alembic.