The authentic taste of an English summer has been captured in our unique culinary food essences, giving chefs and home-cooks exciting new possibilities for sweet and savoury use. Our Culinary Essences have been featured in numerous food magazines and used on TV by Gordon Ramsay and several Masterchef winners.
The food essences are made from our pure Kentish Lavender Oil. (The oil itself is not generally suitable for cooking – except in chocolate-making – as it can leave a bitter sensation on the tongue and will be smelled rather than tasted.) The Culinary Essences are an extract of the flavour element of the oil, formulated so they will integrate with other ingredients in recipes and give reliable, consistent results – making them ideal for commercial and domestic use. The flavour can be supplemented by sprinklings of Culinary Lavender Flower-heads for decorative effect. We select the buds of a special dark blue, sweet-flavoured variety of Lavandula angustifolia.
We offer two distinct types of Food Essences:
- Hot Lavender Essence – (for baking and high temperature use in cakes, biscuits, fudge, stewed fruits, jellies, marmalades, chutneys and sauces)
- Cold Lavender Essence – (for use in ice cream, cheesecakes, cold drinks etc).
Some simple suggestions to get the most out of your lavender when cooking are below, but click here for more Lavender Recipes;
- Lavender Essence softens the sharpness of some fruits, reducing the need for sugar. Add a few drops to stewed fruit such as plums, rhubarb or gooseberries and use with berries in summer puddings.
- Lavender works brilliantly with citrus flavours, so use ‘Hot‘ essence in delicate lemon sauces for chicken or fish or in powerful orange marmalades.
- Combine culinary lavender heads with ground coriander seeds for a spicy taste in chutneys or as a crust for roast beef or lamb – and then serve the meat with lavender jelly.
- Try using lavender with tomatoes – it really works!
- Marinade chicken pieces in honey and lavender flowers for barbecues.
- NB. Chocolate is the one foodstuff that requires an oil rather than essence in its making. For that we generally recommend Kentish Lavandin Oil rather than lavender because its sharper character is great with a rich dark chocolate.
For more Lavender Recipes see here:
Some are available online but you need to come to the shop for the full range including jams and chutneys. Try the Gooseberry and Lavender or Apricot and Lavender Jams, and especially the Tomato and Lavender Chutney which is spectacular.
The calming or reviving properties of Lavender and Lavandin can still be appreciated when the flower buds are used in food or drinks and so we asked a Master Tea-blender to create a unique range of lavender teas for different times of the day. He devised ‘Morning Booster‘ with lavandin and rosemary, ‘Lavender Grey‘ with oil of bergamot and a sprinkling of sweet lavender flowers, ‘Peppermint & Lavender‘ with lavender and lavandin to aid digestion and our favourite ‘Sleepy Tea‘ with its soporific hops, camomile and lavender to help you have a relaxful night.