Native to the Mediterranean, lavender is an attractive, aromatic plant that is grown in herb gardens all over the world. The lavender most often grown for culinary use in cultivated in England and France. Lavender has a sweet, floral aroma with mint and citrus undertones. Its flavor is quite intense and can easily overpower a dish, so use sparingly.
Lavender works well in sweet dishes that contain cream, such as cake icing and ice cream. It is also a great addition to savory foods, including chicken, lamb, pheasant and rabbit. We use lavender in our Herbs de Provence blend. It can also be found in some recipes of the Moroccan spice blend Ras El Hanout.
Lavender also has many other household applications. The English word “lavender” actually comes from the Latin lavare, meaning “to wash,” and consequently, it is often included in many bath products. It is also included in potpourri mixes and sachets. When selecting lavender for culinary use, it is important to purchase the herb from a spice or specialty food store, as the lavender sold by florists or other retailers not specializing in foods may contain other oils, perfumes or non-edible ingredients added to enhance aroma. This unique herb has many uses both in the kitchen and around the house. Be sure to stop in and pick some up today to experience its’ wonderful aroma and taste!