Culinary Uses of Lavender – Recipes

Lavender is a member of the mint family… Other herbs such as basil, rosemary, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, thyme, and perilla also belong to the same family.

Some Lavender has high levels of camphor…

Camphor does not taste good…

Culinary Lavender is from the true lavender Lavandula Angustifolia and contains less Camphor.

FAMILY: Labiatae (Lamiaceae)

GENUS: Lavandula

SPECIES: 3 synonyms -vera, officinalis, and angustifolia
vera is Latin for true – officinalis is the term used to indicate the “official medicines” listed in the historic pharmacopeias – angustifolia is the botanical name.

…. Two thoughts…
1-lavender Mohito…it is hot here today…
2- The camphor side of lavender might have a use as a vapor rub or balm come to think of it …hmmmm. I will have to work on that but anyway…

What lavender varieties are best for cooking?
The flowers and buds of L. Angustifolia (English Lavender) are the best because they have the lowest levels of camphor. The buds of L. Intermedia hybrids (a hybrid of L. angustifolia and L. latifolia (spike lavender)) are also used although they have a harsher smell and taste.
Both of these tend to smell sweeter and bloom earlier and in some cases, as in the Betty’s Blue, are smaller. Here is a list of the most commonly used culinary Angustifolia.
*Each variety has it’s own subtle flavor and aroma*

  • Alba Nana
  • Ashdown Forest
  • Baby Blue
  • Beccles
  • Betty’s Blue
  • Blue Cushion
  • Blue River
  • Bowles
  • Buena Vista
  • Cedar Blue
  • Croxton’s Wild
  • Dwarf Blue
  • Folgate
  • Graves
  • Hidcote
  • Hidcote Pink (Jean Davis, Rosea) – Milder flavor
  • Lodden Blue
  • Maillette
  • Martha Roderick
  • Melissa
  • Munstead
  • Norfold J-2
  • Premier
  • Royal Purple
  • Royal Velvet
  • Sachet
  • Sarah
  • Sharon Roberts
  • Skylark
  • Tucker’s Early
  • Twickle Purple