Rose water is created by distilling rose petals with steam. Rose water is fragrant, and it's sometimes used as a mild natural fragrance as an alternative to chemical-filled perfumes. Rose water has been used for thousands of years, including in the Middle Ages. It's thought to have originated in what is now Iran.
Black olives or ripe olives are picked at full maturity when fully ripe, displaying colours of purple, brown or black. To leach the oleuropein from olives, commercial producers use lye, which neutralizes the bitterness of oleuropein, producing a mild flavour and soft texture characteristic of California black olives sold in cans. Such olives are typically preserved in brine and sterilized under high heat during the canning process.
The orange has a long history in many Mediterranean countries. So does orange flower water. It is distilled from bitter orange blossoms and used to flavor drinks, salads and desserts. Early on people discovered that the bitter orange blossoms when distilled would produce a liquid that can be enjoyed as is, or used in an abundance of desserts. In the U.S. one of its greatest uses was in a cooling cocktail, which seems to be enjoying a renaissance, Ramos Gin Fizz. In Morocco, a salad of grated carrots is moistened with olive oil and lemon juice, and then liberally doused with orange blossom water. It is finished off with toasted pine nuts and decorated with orange segments. Try it! Your guests will be forever trying to figure out the secret ingredient. The Cortas is a product of Lebanon.