Cooking With Lavender
Cooking with lavender has been an integral aspect of our "lavender lifestyle" since the beginnings of Pelindaba Lavender. In the farm kitchen, we cook up a broad range of lavender products for the kitchen and the table to share the extraordinary flavor of lavender with culinary adventurers far and wide.
Lavender's time-honored place in the kitchen extends much further than Pelindaba's story, however. Queen Elizabeth I of England is reputed to have required that there always be a jar of lavender conserve on her table, and took lavender tea whenever her monarchical duties caused her stress, which, given the events of her times, was very likely often. Up through the 19th Century, lavender was as much of a culinary staple as rosemary is in the 21st. It then appears to have largely disappeared from kitchens in the early decades of the last century, perhaps due to the turmoil of cataclysmic events of those times. In the last three decades or so, however, more venturesome chefs and bakers have rediscovered its many culinary virtues.
Savory and Sweet Recipes
What is truly distinctive about lavender is that it is one of the very few herbs that can be used across the entire food spectrum, from the savory to the sweet. Lavender is in the same family as rosemary and, as such, it lends itself very nicely to savory dishes. Where you spot rosemary in a recipe, usually lavender can be added or substituted with delicious results. Equally delectable is the way lavender's own subtle sweetness is enhanced in sweet dishes, be they chocolate-based or fruit or citrus inspired. The range of tastes to which lavender can contribute is extraordinary.
Try these at home using our organic culinary lavender and other savory products...
Try these at home using our organic culinary lavender and other sweet products...
The best lavender for cooking
We have found that a portion of the wariness of some to venture into the world of culinary lavender lies in a lack of awareness or insufficient experience with its remarkable versatility. Most often, in fact, it is due to a previous unpleasant taste experience. If non-culinary lavender is used it can create a bitter or overly floral taste that is, understandably, unwelcome. When good quality culinary lavender is used appropriately, however, the aforementioned wariness rapidly evaporates once the results are tasted.
Tips for using lavender in the kitchen
Although some recipes call for fresh lavender, we tend to use dried lavender flower buds in preparing the dish itself, reserving fresh flowers for garnish. We find the dried flower buds fully retain the lavender taste experience and are generally easier to handle.
Where to start
The foundation to all cooking with lavender is our organic culinary lavender. Paired with our lavender cookbook, which contains more recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything inbetween, you are ready to start exploring this tantalizing taste.
In recent years, we have noticed with interest and a smile that our personal affection for the flavor lavender is being increasingly shared by other chefs and bakers (both at-home and professional) who have chosen to travel the same delicious road.
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