I know, I know…the scent of lavender often makes me think of old-lady body wash and bath salts. But have you ever tried eating it?
Well you should — it’s delicious. In fact, I dare say that lavender is the new pomegranate. (Remember when pomegranate became the trendy flavor and was added to just about everything?)
Lavender is all the rage in Seattle, possibly because the lavender capital of North America is in Sequim, WA — just 2 hours outside the city. Sequim even has a lavender festival every July to celebrate the tasty flower. I’m hoping to attend this year and consume large quantities of purple goodies and cocktails. Sounds fabulous, right?
But if you can’t venture all the way up to Sequim to sample some flower-inspired food fear not, Seattle has plenty of options. Here are a few of my favorites.
Lavender Cupcake at Cupcake Royale
Did you know Cupcake Royale has Happy Hour? Unfortunately, cocktails are not involved, but when business is slow, the sell 6 cupcakes for the price of 3 ($9). If you go an hour before close you’ll usually hit them up in time for the deal. (They place a sign on the counter so you can tell when it’s happening.) All of their cupcakes are totally scrumptious, and if you’re not brave enough for the lavender, I highly recommend the Lemon Drop. Cupcake Royale’s original store is in Ballard; they also have locations in Capitol Hill, West Seattle, Bellevue and Madrona.
Honey Lavender Ice Cream at Molly Moon’s
Molly Moon’s is a Seattle staple, and always has a loooong line outside the door. Yet most people will tell you it’s well worth the wait. All of Molly Moon’s treats are made with dairy from hormone-free Western Washington cattle and incorporate local, organic, seasonal flavors and ingredients. This particular flavor features locally harvested Olympic Mountain honey and organic Sequim lavender bits. The result is a creamy vanilla like ice cream with a divine yet subtle twist. Perfection.
If you’re not in the mood for lavender, the salted caramel is without a doubt the most popular flavor. But beware, on a few occasions it’s been the perfect balance of sweet and savory, yet I’ve often found it to be a tad bit heavy handed on the salt. Balsamic strawberry is another good choice.
And just in case you wanted a cherry on top of all this goodness, Molly Moon’s also just debuted their traveling ice cream truck which is most likely coming to a Seattle neighborhood near you.
Lavender Latte at Firehouse Coffee in Ballard
Coffee + Lavender? Ummm…..yes please!
When I heard about the Lavender Latte at Firehouse, I just had to give it a try. After dropping Scott off for a sailboat race yesterday morning, I hit up the drive through for a cup of joe, flavored with lavender syrup from, you guessed it, Sequim. My first sip did not disappoint. The Barista recommended I try the lavender mocha next time, as the flavor of the flower really compliments the taste of chocolate. Yesterday’s latte was so delicious, I might not make it through the end of today without finding out what this mocha business is all about.
Did you know you can also make your own lavender syrup at home? How cool is that!? All you need is 1 quart of simple syrup and 1/4 cup of lavender flowers. Simply combine the syrup and flowers in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for about ten minutes, then remove from the heat and let steep for another 30 minutes. Strain, cool and voila, you’ve just scored yourself some tasty lavender syrup.
The syrup is not only great in lattes and mochas, but can also be incorporated into cocktails, like this recipe for a Sparkling Lavender Lemon Drop from the Pomegranate Bistro in Renton. (See, I told you lavender was the new pomegranate.)
Lavender Lemon Drop:
2 oz Citron,
1/2 oz triple sec
3/4 oz lemon juice
1 oz lavender syrup
a splash of Chambord
1 oz lavender dry soda
Did I mention that lavender fights insomnia, nervousness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and gas? Really, everybody wins. Cheers to that!