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lavender warning FWIW

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lavender warning FWIW

jen kalb | Aug 22, 2001 06:11 PM

In a thread about lavender last week I had mentioned a warning in its culinary uses in the just published Brooklyn Botanic Handbook on Gourmet Herbs.

To close the circle this is what it says.

(1) for most useful culinary variety L. Angustifolia (cultivars Hidcote, Munstead, etc., you should not eat the leaves or EVER ingest the oil; only the flowers are safe to eat. Note-Im not sure this advice would preclude the use of the leaves in infusions, in smoke cooking or marinades; I have also seen recommendations that we not ingest bay leaves.

(2) Strip the flowers from the stem and use fresh or dried (for dried, use 1/3 the quantity)

(3) The varieties called lavandins including lavendula x intermedia,stoechas and dentata, which smell wonderful, dont taste good; they are high in euca and camphor.

I conclude that to be on the safe side, if I wanted to use the leaves, rather than the flowers, for flavoring, I would remove them from the dish before serving.

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