Originally made from grain - it got its name from the French word orge, meaning “barley” - orgeat syrup is now most traditionally made from a combination of almonds (sometimes other nuts as well) and orange flower water. it has a subtle perfume from that orange flower water. This non-alcoholic sweetener is typically made one of two ways: either steeping finely chopped nuts in a simple syrup or making a syrup by adding sugar directly to a prepared nut milk that is then cooked low and slow.
In Cyprus, a similar syrup is known as soumádha (σουμάδα). Soumada has a very ancient history at least in Cyprus, stretching back into the Roman period, and it was given as an exotic delicacy by King Peter I of Cyprus to King Casimir the Great of Poland at the Congress of Krakow held in 1364.
The ‘Did You Know’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and the Active Citizens Fund.