You can find culinary lavender in our Kitchen Garden and near the olive shed.
Interesting Facts about Culinary Lavender
Lavender is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the family Lamiaceae, which includes aromatic herbs such as basil, rosemary and sage. It is thought that it gets its name from the Latin word lavare meaning “to wash” due to its traditional use as an infusion in baths. Lavender’s aromatic properties make it a popular choice of fragrance in cosmetics, aromatherapy and perfumery. Its intense aroma also makes it perfect for adding flavour to a wide range of culinary dishes. It is documented as an ingredient in cooking as early as the 14 century, when it was used to add flavour to a spice wine called Hippocras. Despite its association France, lavender was not used for culinary purposes in France until the 20th century.
Culinary Uses for Lavender
English Lavender is the most popular variety of lavender used in cooking, although most varieties work well either fresh or dried. The leaves and stems of lavender are sometimes used with rosemary to add flavour to savoury dishes, but it is the buds that are used most often in cooking. Lavender buds are dried and used directly in cooking or they are put in sugar for a few weeks and the lavender-infused sugar is then used in jams, sorbets, and other desserts. The sweet, citrusy lavender buds add a lovely flavour to a variety of desserts. At the Green Olive at Red Hill, we use dried lavender buds to make delicious desserts such as the lavender meringue which accompanies our lemon posset.