Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender) and L. latifolia (spike lavender), both native to the Mediterranean region, is mainly used in perfumery, but has culinary uses also. The essential oils can serve to flavour foods; and the leaves and flowers of L. angustifolia can be incorporated in salads, vinegars, jellies, ice creams, and soft drinks; also, less commonly, in savoury stews. Bees which have an opportunity to visit lavender flowers give a particularly good flavour to their honey.

Crystallized lavender flowers are used for decorating confectionery and cakes. The small bluish leaves are most often used in dried form.