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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 over 6 years ago

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13 answers 37914 views
Cbfb27ea 071f 4941 9183 30dce4007b50  merrill
Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 6 years ago

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

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9eb4b634 a5ed 4494 b30b e869db466f63  baf logosmall
added over 6 years ago

Thanks so much, Merrill!

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F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 6 years ago

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

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8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added over 6 years ago

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

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035a52fc e796 44bc bbe0 fcc2808e063d  open uri20150319 15338 1uqsaq2
added over 6 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.

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Cbfb27ea 071f 4941 9183 30dce4007b50  merrill
Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 6 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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F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 6 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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035a52fc e796 44bc bbe0 fcc2808e063d  open uri20150319 15338 1uqsaq2
added over 6 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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69d2403d 88f4 4b72 b0b9 84a21f4d0561  img 1445
added over 6 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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4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 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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48dd002c 4c45 4b84 8006 ac8614d467cd  dsc00859 2
creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 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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Eed1fa70 e05b 43bb b687 bb2e48114f09  giphy
pierino

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

added over 6 years ago

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

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2269774e 64e7 47ec 8fb3 d6fb03cce199  debbykalk photo
added over 6 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.

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