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Oranges and Sunshine

When we first came to Mallorca, it was one of our first ambitions to have a lemon tree in our garden. We pretty soon succeeded in planting our very own specimen.

Only much later we came to realize that the sweet aroma of orange blossoms was an equally important addition to our perfumed garden, if not much more so. You have to smell an orange tree in full bloom to know the fragrant smell; words alone can’t describe it. Orange blossoms are all prim and virginal when the buds are shut tight. But when those petals part and the plump and sticky, frilly and feathery bits of pistil and stamen spill out, orange blossoms look just a bit promiscuous. Pollinating bees everywhere respond to this sensory scent like a moth is attracted to the consuming flame.

Not all that long ago, Mallorcans were busy producing Agua de Azahar or Flor de Taronger, an orange flower water also known as Fleur d’Oranger. I imagine that this stimulant was first initiated by the Maurish settlers on this island, hundreds of years ago. Today, no such tonic water is produced here in Mallorca. One can buy Fleur d’Oranger in a Morrocan corner shop, though, and a cheaper version in one or the other supermarket. Fleur d’Oranger is a welcome ingredient for some baking and patisserie pastries and can also be used in cooking or to flavour drinks. In North Africa you will be offered Fleur d’Oranger to clean your hands as you enter a host’s house.

The photo was taken in Costitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 1st, 2012. The time was 12:46:59.

4 replies »

  1. I love the photo of orange blossom! I can almost smell it! I wonder if you can tell me if it is possible to obtain orange blossom, also fresh oranges with a small length of stem and leaf attached to put on the tables for my son’s wedding breakfast in Majorca in mid-June next year? Any information would be very gratefully received! Thank you.
    Regards, Amanda

    • Hello Amanda,
      you should be able to get orange blossoms with some stem and leaves for your son’s breakfast in June 2015, but there won’t be any fresh oranges around, at least not here in Mallorca. Oranges ripen every year around Christmas and will not be available past April or May, at the latest. But the orange blossoms with twigs and leaves should make for a cheerful decoration.
      Best wishes,
      Klaus

      • Thank you Klaus! Your response is very much appreciated – and very helpful! We are looking forward to visiting Majorca very much and I am sure that orange blossom will feature in the wedding somewhere! The blossom smells so delicious! Thank you again.
        Best wishes
        Amanda

  2. A French friend used Orange flower water as part of a salad dressing, based on a Moroccan recipe. Would be the same thing as Fleur d’oranger?

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