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How can you tell if lavender is the edible kind? I bought some at Trader Joe's and think it is, but I'm not sure!

asked by bonappetitfoodie almost 5 years ago
13 answers 22569 views
Cbfb27ea 071f 4941 9183 30dce4007b50  merrill
Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added almost 5 years ago

Unless there are added preservatives or the lavender is treated in some way, it should be edible!

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added almost 5 years ago

Thanks so much, Merrill!

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 5 years ago

Just to be sure, I limit food-use lavender to the organic stuff.

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SKK
added almost 5 years ago

I second boulangere. I would call Trader Joe's and ask them about it.

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added almost 5 years ago

I third boulangerie. I make tea and pot pourri and one mistake you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT TO MAKE is consuming something grown that is not intended for consumption. Like hemp vs industrial hemp. no bueno. Call and make sure they can confirm by sku. If it isn't specified for consumption it may have been grown with chemicals that are intended for pretty things like flower bunches rather than herbs.

Cbfb27ea 071f 4941 9183 30dce4007b50  merrill
Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added almost 5 years ago

I guess it probably depends on the department you found them in -- if they were by the fresh flowers rather than the herbs, I wouldn't chance it! As both SKK and chasey recommended, definitely best to call them and ask.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 5 years ago

I completely agree with chasey. Especially in dried form, everything is much more concentrated. First of all, trust your source, and there's been much "odd" press about Whole Foods lately. Second, educate yourself. Generally, if something is specified as "organic" you can trust that it is pesticide-free.

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added almost 5 years ago

And by organic she means USDA certified organic. Not just 'organic lavender'... The legalities around that word are annoyingly lax...

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added almost 5 years ago

Lavender is one of my favorite plants and flavors! When I buy lavender for cooking purposes, I search for 'culinary lavender'. Many packages of the safe-to-eat kind use this label. Once you find out if the kind you purchased is safe, add a teaspoon or so to some sugar and make a batch of chocolate chip cookies (let the lavender rest in the sugar for at least 30 minutes, and don't worry about filtering the lavender out... it tastes great in the cookies).

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years ago

Until last summer when some whack-job destroyed my herb garden, I solved that problem by growing my own. I'll be back at it next summer.

If you found the lavender in the produce section with the other herbs, I'm quite sure it's the edible kind. Just don't get any from a florist or bath store. That's been treated. and isn't edible.

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added almost 5 years ago

At my Trader Joe's there is a "laundry lavender": little pouches for throwing in the dryer. If that's what you purchased, I wouldn't use it for food. I would use it for cooking if only it was on the spice shelf.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 5 years ago

Fortunately I have some growing outside my front door...

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added almost 5 years ago

Call and ask to speak to the manager of the department that sold the item. A reputable grocer will honestly answer your questions about the provenance of any item they sell - and Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are certainly both reputable companies. It's just not in their interest to make false claims.