July 6, 2008

Lavender - Weekend Herb Blogging

Until some weeks I could not imagine using lavender in food. Somewhat one must think on soap if one smells those lovely purple flowers. The most common species in cultivation is the Common Lavender Lavandula angustifolia (formerly L. officinalis). A wide range of cultivars can be found.

Lavenders are widely grown in gardens. Flower spikes are used for dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, pale purple flowers and flower buds are used in potpourris. Dried and sealed in pouches, they are placed among stored items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and as a deterrent to moths. The plant is also grown commercially for extraction of lavender oil from the flowers. This oil is used as an antiseptic and for aromatherapy.
Lavender flowers yield abundant nectar which yields a high quality honey for beekeepers. Lavender monofloral honey is produced primarily in the nations around the Mediterranean, and marketed worldwide as a premium product. Lavender flowers can be candied and are used as cake decoration. Lavender is also used as a herb, either alone or as an ingredient of herbes de
Provence. Lavender is also used to flavour sugar, the product being called "lavender sugar", and the flowers are sometimes sold in a blend with black tea, as "lavender tea".

French chefs in and around Provence, France have been incorporating this herb into their cuisine for many centuries. Lavender lends a floral, slightly sweet and elegant flavour to most dishes. For most cooking applications it is the dried buds (also referred to as flowers) of lavender that are utilised, though some chefs experiment with the leaves as well. It is the buds however that contain the essential oil of lavender, which is where both the scent and flavour of lavender are best derived. (source:wikipedia)

I prepared some lavender sugar, lavender vinegar and lavender syrup. For the syrup I cooked 500 ml of water with 350 g of sugar and poured it over a bunch of lavender and added the juice of one lemon. I let it stood that way for 5 hours and after filled in a bottle.

I submit this post to the WHB created by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen this time hosted by Pam from sidewalk shoes.


Kalyn Denny said...

I didn't know much about how lavender is used, so this was very interesting. My neighbor has some in her yard, and I'm thinking of planting some just for the look of the flowers, even if I never use it to cook with!

Anonymous said...

that sounds awesome.

Gig Harbor florist

skoraq cooks said...

Great lavender ideas. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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