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From Bitter Blooms to Bliss: My Culinary Experience with Lavender

By now, I’m sure you are aware of how much we just love lavender.  There are so many neat things you can do with lavender.  But, did you know you can actually use lavender as a culinary?  Yes, that’s right, you can use lavender in some cooking, baking and even drink recipes.  There are many recipes to explore when searching on-line, but there is one minor detail in the recipe that you want to be sure to follow to make sure your recipe turns out just right:  Using English Lavender vs Hybrid Lavender.


There are a lot of different varieties of lavender on the market, and they all have great uses.  But, when it comes to cooking, baking or mixing up drinks, the culinary or English lavender is the best variety.  We found this out on the farm after mistakenly using a hybrid type of lavender bud called Lavandin, as the key ingredient in our lavender sugar cookie recipe. 


For those that are not aware, there are two specific varieties of lavender:  1) Lavandula, which is an English lavender and is the true lavender species of the Mediterranean. The lavender buds are typically sweeter with a gentler aroma.  2) Lavandin is a hybrid type of lavender. This type of plant is typically larger, more robust, and are cultivated for a higher essential oil yield.  That means the aromatic scent of a Lavandin bud is stronger making it less desirable for culinary use.


When we first began our journey with lavender, we tried creating like crazy with lavender.  We made lavender soap, lavender bath bombs, lavender lotions, lavender body butter, lavender lip-balms, but when it came to making our lavender sugar cookies, we quickly discovered using Lavandin as our key ingredient was the wrong choice.  After taking one bite, we were reminded of days long, long ago (lolol), when we… eh-um… slipped sayin’ a not so nice word and found a bar a soap placed in our mouths from our parents.  The cookies tasted just like that, like soap.  But alas, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  When we repeated the recipe using the culinary lavender, we noted a sweeter, gentler taste.  The results were great!  We had a sweet cookie that paired perfect with our hot tea. 

Lavender sugar cookies
Lavender Sugar Cookies

You may ask yourself; how can I tell the difference between English Lavender vs Hybrid?  Lavandula or English lavender typically has a vibrant purple or deep blue color.   Dried Lavandin buds typically have a grayish look to the bud.  When you crush the English lavender bud, you will note a sweet almost minty gentle smell, where the crushed lavandin or hybrid bud will have a strong aromatic or perfumy smell.  Little tip… if you are using lavender in a baking recipe try grinding down the buds to avoid a chalky texture in your cookies.


For storage, we like to use a small glass jar, like Ball or any other type of glass container.  It helps keep the lavender buds dry and we can look at the buds to make sure they are not changing in color or appearance.


If you are looking to order English Lavender, please reach out to us.  We expect our English lavender to boom early summer, and we’ll be sure to have it stocked in our on-line store.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.  As always, we love talking about lavender!

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