Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've been thinking about some different charcuterie applications recently..more out of the box kinda of stuff like kimchee bacon and maybe an mediterranean pancetta that kinda traipzes along the line of Francais and Italia with a bit of herbs de provence mixed with some black pepper and garlic.  In talking with a friend of mine, Melissa, I learned that she had nearly the full taxonomy of lavender and brought me a sampling of English, Spanish, French and Fern Leaf lavenders and it was very interesting to smell them side by side and get a comparison.  For the most part if they'd be smelled independently of the rest I would have just labeled them lavender but the side by side comparison brought out subtleties that I likely would not have previously noticed.

The French lavender is the quintessential lavender.  When you got to your local scentery be it Yankee Candle or Bath and Bodyworks and pick up a bottle lavender scented lotion, spray or whatnot this is the lavender you're getting..your basic run o' the mill eu de toilette lavender.  Light and floral and defiantly lavender.

The English lavender had what I felt was a more floral, almost brighter, lavender scent which I actually preferred because it didn't have the must-like quality of the French version, however, I would be concerned about the amount of flower available for use as there was much less flower as compared to the French variety.

The other two were nice but I felt wouldn't be a nice for my culinary applications.  The Spanish lavender had a citrus quality to it and reminded of lemon verbena and kind straddle a the line between flower, citrus and grassy/woody herb.  My least favorite was the Fern Leaf lavender.  It was nice and all but I didn't get a whole lot of lavender scent from it and it reminded me of a pansy or nasturtium, flowery but not distinctive.  Both would be great to look at but not so much for the eatin'.

Once thing I was warned about was that the flowers become more potent as they dry so I think for experiment #2 I'm going to hang the French and English varieties to dry for a week or two and give them them another test and see if one distinguishes itself as a winner.  At that point I can look at going all in which would lead to experiment #3, flower meet meat.


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