the Lavender Flower as a Culinary Herb?
Lavender is a lovely flower and its "easy to care
for" nature is responsible for its pick in Landscaping,
but did you know that world-wide it is a popular
& versatile Herb used in Food, Spice Blends, Jelly
and even Tea?
River, Oregon (PRWEB) January 1, 2007-Joel Orcutt
of Hood River Lavender Farms says "Lavender is
so much more versatile as an Herb and an accompaniment
to food and drinks than what we here in the United
States know." "It is often used in Parisian Bakeries,
as a Spice Herb and even ice cream in Europe.
When the proper amount of a good culinary variety
of lavender is added to sweets or citric drinks,
the imbiber is treated to a clean, non-perfume
fresh taste that is both pleasing and inviting
to the palate" says Joel.
is an herb, and one of the many members of the
Mint family. Extremely versatile in cooking, it
also adds nice color and garnish to a dish. One
of the more popular ways to use lavender is to
create an "infusion" of lavender with the liquid
used in a recipe. For example, in a cake recipe
one would take the "liquid" called for in the
instructions and put it into a pan on the stove
with approx. 1 TBS of culinary lavender, bring
the 2 ingredients to a simmer, remove from heat,
cover and let "steep" for 10-20 minutes. Then
merely filter the lavender out of the liquid let
it cool to room temperature and use as called
for in the recipe.
word of caution here, less is better when using
lavender in food. The goal is to create a background
flavor, distinctive and mysterious with a lovely
color, not a forefront flavor that can overpower
food. You want the dish to have a slight addition
of lavender to its aroma, not be like perfume.
varies in taste just as it varies in appearance
and aroma. The English Lavenders (angustifolia)
are the preferred lavenders to use as culinary
as they are milder, sweeter, and do not over-power
the dish. Within these varieties there is still
more variation when used as a culinary herb. Provence
lavender, a hybrid known as a lavandin, is an
exception to the rule. Because of its milder flavor
it is often used when English Lavender is not
available, and some cooks even prefer it above
angustifolia. "In all cases", according to Joel,
"make sure you know where your culinary lavender
came from." While many commercial lavender farms
are certified organic, some are not and still
use harsh herbicides and chemicals that you do
not want to consume in your food. Apparently,
lavender is still thought of as a flower for the
cut-flower business first, and as a culinary item
for ingestion as a secondary by-product.
culinary lavender blends very well with citrus,
mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, chocolates,
and even drinks. Lavender is finding its way into
syrups used in lattes and steamers, lemon and
limeades, Gourmet coarse salts, margaritas and
mojitos, scones, meats and seafood, cookies, cakes
& cobblers just to name a few. Lavender is known
for its calming ability and as a sleep aid, and
used in Teas and Tisanes it has a very practical
as well as flavorful use.
"Lavender is having a popular and profound affect
on the culinary front here in the U.S.", says
Joel. "We, as a lavender farm that offers culinary
lavender, recipes, and often samples of lavender
goodies, are still surprised at how fast the masses
are accepting lavender in food. Most of our favorite
recipes are coming from our customers these days.
One's imagination is the only limit when cooking
with this versatile herb."
and his Wife Diane, own & operate Hood River Lavender
Farms in Hood River, Oregon. Their certified organic
U-PICK farm is open from April-November 7 days/week,
and they offer culinary lavender and recipes on
can be reached at (888) LAV-FARM or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on cooking with lavender
visit these sites: http://www.whatscookingamerica.net
and on yahoo groups at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LAVENDER-RECIPE/