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Culinary Lavender

Lavender is an herb that is often overlooked when filling your spice rack.  However, fresh lavender flowers are excellent additions to several desserts.  The dried lavender buds are more herbal and more suited for savory and meat dishes. The entire stalk of lavender with leaves and flowers can be used to infuse vinegar, oil, and sugar. Remember to use organically grown products. Culinary lavender is a versatile herb used in many recipes by professional chefs and people who enjoy spicing things up in the kitchen.  There are multiple ways in which the pretty purple hue of lavender adds to the look of a dish, and its flavor contributes a floral, citrus, sometime peppery, note to sweet and savory dishes. It always surprises me to learn the number of varieties that exist from a species of plant, and lavender offers an assortment of over 200. All lavender plants look and smell wonderful but not all are meant for use in the kitchen. Culinary lavender is suited for use in recipes and adds pleasant flavor to recipes.  The English lavenders have a sweeter fragrance and are most often used in cooking.  Non-culinary lavender varieties have more of an intense flowery perfume, medicinal, bitter or soapy taste.