Taste and smell are two senses that are highly connected. Have you ever smelled something and almost tasted it? Depending on what it is, that can be a good experience or a very unpleasant experience. These days, I am seeing more fragrant components in food than ever before. Unlike the craze for bacon as a novelty fragrance, some of the new food trends that are starting to take hold in the mainstream market are both fragrant and delicious.
I recently attended the Fancy Food Show in NYC with our buyer, Joanne. In case you’re not familiar with what this is, picture two football fields packed with tight rows of any kind of food and chocolate and treat you can possibly imagine. The best part is that you can sample everything. The worst part is that you can sample everything. It’s important to pace yourself or you’ll never make it past the third row. Trust me. I found out the hard way the first time I attended back when I worked at Disney.
If I had to pick one food trend from the show that I am excited about it’s the inclusion of lavender. Lavender has been used as an ingredient in food for a long time but this is the first time I saw it just about everywhere and on anything. We found lavender in chocolate, in tea, in meat rubs, in cocktail mixes, in olive oil and even in balsamic vinegars and ice cream.
Many of the products use either the essential oil of fresh dried lavender or dried lavender itself for flavor and texture. The effect is subtle and summery. It’s not overwhelming or flowery, but herbaceous. Try it on any recipe that calls for Thyme, it’s an interesting alternative.
If you are more of a traditionalist and would rather smell lavender than eat it, our Fresh Lavender and Vanilla Lavender are sure to please. You’ll get all of the wonderful aroma and none of those pesky calories!