“We snaked our way among the merchants and the beggars, wandered through narrow alleys cramped with rows of tiny, tightly packed stalls. Baba gave us each a weekly allowance of ten Afghanis and we spent it on warm Coca-Cola and rosewater ice cream topped with crushed pistachios.”
–The Kite Runner
This week I had my first attempt at making ice cream. I had been brainstorming some delicate, springtime flavors when I recalled that rosewater ice cream is mentioned in a great read by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner. I discovered, that rosewater pistachio ice cream has Persian roots, one of the world’s most ancient and varied cuisines. In Farsi it is called Bastani-e Za’farāni and is typically, flavored with saffron and rosewater. I recommend serving it alongside baklava with black tea steeped with sage and sugar.
If you want to try this recipe and are thinking to yourself…when will I ever use rosewater again? You are in luck! Rosewater’s versatility ranges from flavoring baklava to cleansing the face. It is derived from fresh rose petals and possesses a high potency, so a little goes a long way. Splash it on fresh strawberries or oranges, try it in rice pudding or other desserts. Rosewater is also a natural moisturizer so you may apply it to your skin or use it as a conditioner for your hair.