In almost every kitchen herb garden (at least around here), there is lavender growing. Is there anything that uses lavender for flavoring?
For sure! As you might expect, it's really good for desserts, as a light, spring-time flavor for cakes, frostings, paired with berries, etc. — but I have also seen it used with salmon and other savory dishes. Check out this for some ideas:
Definitely! Lavender is a traditional component of Herbes de Provence, and works well in breads. Dried flowers can be put in a grinder with salt crystals for an interesting flavor. For sweet applications, I steep into a simple syrup (great for cocktails, or pouring over cakes) or place in granulated sugar (for baking - excellent for a pound cake).
The first ice cream I ever made was honey and lavender (using the dried flowers). It's an unusual taste and not everyone likes it. The leaves can also be used as you would use rosemary.
I had thought all varieties of lavender were edible and have just used what ever was in the garden but I was reading a recipe the other day that said to only use culinary lavender (which I'd never heard of).
A bit of research leads me to believe this is just English lavender that hasn't been treated with pesticides, but having never bought it I could be wrong. This same research seemed to imply not all varieties of lavender taste the same which makes sense. This page in particular seemed helpful.
All parts of the Lavender bush are good for adding smoke to food in a wood or charcoal fired BBQ
When the BBQ heat is not on full, add crunched up bunches of Lavender to make a sweet and interesting smoky favour
I had a wonderful veal chop with a crust that contained lavender in Argentina so it's definitely used. That said, due to it's close botanical relationship to rosemary the most common meat I've seen it paired with is lamb.