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Lavender is grown as a condiment and used in salads and dressings. Flowers yield abundant nectar from which bees make a high-quality honey. Monofloral honey is produced primarily around the Mediterranean, and is marketed worldwide as a premium product. Flowers can be candied and are sometimes used as cake decorations. Lavender flavours baked goods and desserts (it pairs especially well with chocolate), and is also used to make "lavender sugar". Lavender flowers are occasionally blended with black or green teas, or made into tisanes.Though it has many other traditional uses in southern France, lavender is not used in traditional southern French cooking. It does not appear at all in the best-known compendium of Proven�al cooking, J.-B. Reboul's Cuisini�re Proven�ale [ In the 1970s, a herb blend called herbes de Provence usually including lavender was invented by spice wholesalers, and lavender has more recently become popular in cookery.Lavender lends a floral and slightly sweet flavour to most dishes, and is sometimes paired with sheep's-milk and goat's-milk cheeses. For most cooking applications the dried buds (also referred to as flowers) are used, though some chefs experiment with the leaves as well. Only the buds contain the essential oil of lavender, from which the scent and flavour of lavender are best derived.
In the United States, both lavender syrup and dried lavender buds are used to make lavender scones and marshmallows.
July 19th, 2013
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