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Is it okay to tear open some lavender tulsi herbal tea bags?

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It would certainly be safe, but it might not taste very good. –  SAJ14SAJ Aug 5 '13 at 2:16
    
@SAJ14SAJ Why not? –  MarkE Aug 5 '13 at 2:16
    
Because it is old, dry, and flavor balanced to be tea. –  SAJ14SAJ Aug 5 '13 at 2:17
    
@SAJ14SAJ Are there any substitutes then? –  MarkE Aug 5 '13 at 2:18
    
See Jefromi's answer... but you have to ask yourself, what does kind of ingredient is something? If it is a signature ingredient, then you cannot substitute for it without losing the identity of the dish; if it is not, then omitting it or substituting for it just doesn't matter. –  SAJ14SAJ Aug 5 '13 at 2:24

2 Answers 2

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Quite often teas go through a fermentation process that changes and intensifies the flavors. Herbal teas often mix a dried but non-fermented main aromatic like lavender with some sort of green or black tea which is fermented. A good example of this is mint tea, which is generally dried mint mixed with green tea. I wouldn't use mint tea as a substitute for fresh mint, it's never going to work the same.

Ripping open a tea bag and sprinkling it on a tuna salad isn't likely to win you any awards when people start crunching into bitter dried leaves. To be honest it would be hard to think of a more effective way to ruin it. Just add some fresh basil leaves instead, or ask around where you can gather some fresh lavender, it grows all over the place.

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You can certainly try it. I don't know if the tulsi flavor will be what you want or not, though.

I also don't think I've ever heard of eggplant niçoise with lavender (and couldn't find a recipe with it) so it's probably also fine without it if you don't think the flavor's going to be what you want.

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