Lavender Flowers[ PURCHASE INFO ]
Lavender Flowers: Lavender Flowers are a popular ingredient in many Herbes de Provence spice blends. Fields of lavender flowers are a popular sight in the Provence region of southeastern France. Native to the Mediterranean and parts of Africa and India, there are 25-30 different types of lavender flowers. Their floral flavor and aroma is used to flavor sugar, vinegars, water, various light deserts and ice creams, or to decorate glasses of champagne. Dried lavender flowers have a stronger flavor and aroma than fresh, so use about 1/3 as much dried if a recipe calls for fresh. Lavender Flowers have a lot of nectar so they make an excellent and aromatic honey for beekeepers. Also popular in soaps, perfumes and sachets for their distinct aroma, lavender flowers have become a profitable commercial crop. There is a difference between food grade lavender and the lavender sold for it's fragrance which may contain additives and preservatives not intended for human consumption.
Lavender Flowers contain volatile oils which are extracted for their fragrance. English lavender is harvested withtin a one week period to ensure the oil is of the highest quality, and the flowers are distilled immediately to remove the oil. Lavender has long standing reputation in folk medicine as a nerve tonic, with the ability to ease hysteria and also as a stimulant. A primary component of "palsy drops" in the 18th century it was used to treat many types of nervous disorders. Dried lavender flowers have a stronger aroma and flavor and will drive away insects and moths while adding a relaxing fragrance to fabrics and linens. Lavender was believed to help ward off the plague which may have had some basis in fact as it does repel fleas which carried the disease.
Where to buy: Lavender