A common herb that has a wide variety of uses, lavender is native to the Mediterranean. However, today, it is cultivated in different parts of the world, mostly in countries such as England and France. Lavender has been around for centuries and has significant historical uses such as for making scented soaps and baths in ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. It was also used for mummification purposes by the Egyptians.
Lavender has a floral aroma that is sweet with mint and citrus undertone. This makes it highly ideal for use as a flavouring agent in all kinds of dishes, especially in sweet and savory foods. Often, it is paired with dairy products such as butter, cream and custard. It is used sparingly to add a distinctive flavour to ice creams, frosting, biscuits, muffins. What makes lavender such a unique herb is that its aroma and flavour cannot be missed, but they are never too overwhelming as long as the right portion is used.
Additionally, dried lavender is an important ingredient in the popular herb blend known as herbs de Provence. Here, it is mixed with other herbs such as thyme, fennel and others, and cooked for several seconds in hot oil.