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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 about 3 years ago
13 answers 11936 views
Merrill
Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added about 3 years ago

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

Baf_logosmall
added about 3 years ago

Thanks so much, Merrill!

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 years ago

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

Buddhacat
SKK
added about 3 years ago

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

Default-small
added about 3 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.

Merrill
Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added about 3 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.

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 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.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

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

Img_1445
added about 3 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).

Junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 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.

Dsc00859_2
added about 3 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.

Zester_003
pierino

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

added about 3 years ago

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

Debbykalk-photo
added about 3 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.