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Saturday, 15 May 2010

Foodstuffs made from lavender

I love lavender and have a small garden full of the lovely smelling herb. Yesterday I went out and weeded the bare earth around my lavender patch and arranged some loose bricks to put some pots of lavender and rosemary on. From last year's harvest of dried lavender flowers I made myself a lavender bag and think I over did it. I popped the finished article on my pillow and zonked out almost instantly. When I woke up (hours later) I felt very groggy.

Lavender pillow

Lavender flowers

Now, did you know that you can cook with lavender? Oh yes. There's many a delicious thing to be made and enjoyed by breathing the scent of lavender on to your plate. Here's an enticing list of some of things you can make:

Lavender jelly
Lavender butter
Lavender wine sauce
Lavender honey
Orange and lavender thins
Caramelized lavender flowers
Lavender and peach sorbet

From the excellent book, Lavender in nature and garden,home and kitchen by Anne Simonet-Avril, I am aware of two French companies that introduce small amounts of lavender into their cheeses. The company Fromagerie Lou Canesteou sells lavender flavoured goats' cheese and the Fromagerie Du Comtat have a cheese that is infused with lavandine du Venaissin.

Lavender drying in my kitchen window

Another Parisian establishment called Goumanvat run by Jean-Marie Thiercelin (a spice wholesaler) sells lavender oil infused with lavender and lemon thyme, lavender honey and teas as well as crystallised lavender and lavender essence for cooking. Their website can be viewed at


Dean said...

The smell of Lavender always takes me back to my childhood when i used to live in Allestree as we had a large buzzing bush that was wonderful in the summer just by the door, I dont have any lavender at my new place...yet :)

Anonymous said...

I've never had any lavendar-flavored food except candied lavendar flowers on pastries.
You'll have to try out a lavendar jam.

Karen said...

I make lavender sugar, by putting sveeral heads of fresh lavender in a jar of caster sugar, leaving for a few weeks - then I use it for makes etc. And you can of course add lavender directly to cake mixture, or to biscuit dough, as well as to icing. Lavender shortbread is particularly good. Also, try adding a few springs of lavender to the inside of a chicken before roasting - adds an unusual flavour, which I like.
Your garden looks lovely Phil - my lavander plants are very straggly as I'm hopeless at pruning them.

Athina said...

I liked the pic of lavender drying in your kitchen window and was amused by your overdone lavender stuffed pillow.

When I was in NZ I really enjoyed smelling those lavender flowers I saw at the churchyard. Lavender don't grow in tropical Philippines.

French Fancy said...

I also love lavender and have it dotted around the garden. One of the loveliest desserts I ever had was a creme brulee flavoured with it and it was gorgeous. I'm going to be trying a few of your recipes here, Phil.

Phil Lowe said...

Thanks Dean. Dedene,Karen,Athina and French Fancy for all your lavender loving comments. The sun is baking hot today and I've just been out in the garden and run my fingers through those lavender fronds. My do they smell good.I can't wait for the flowers to arrive.