Question: I work on an herb farm in Maryland. Recently, a customer asked if we knew what "Fleur de Provence" was. We were all baffled.
The closest guess i could make was instead of using only the "leaf" of the herb, you would add in, or substitute the flowering head (when the herbs have gone to seed.) Or, could this be cooking with edible flowers.
Of course, silly me forgot to ask where he came across the term "Fleur de Provence. I have checked on the internet and asked a couple neighboring chefs." Any thoughts?
Answer: Hi Julie, thanks for writing!
I have never eaten or tested this ingredient myself, but one does occasionally see recipes in France that call for fleur de Provence. I believe at this point it is not a generally used term like herbes de Provence, but it has been adopted by at least one manufacturer. Herbaria is marketing what they call Fleurs Sauvages de Provence, as an "herb" mix, particularly recommended for lamb and vegetables.
The list of ingredients reads: Fleurs d’hibiscus, de sureau, de bleuet, de lavande et d’oranger, fleurs et feuilles de thym, fleurs de violette, de bruyère et d’achillée, fils de safran.
That would be:
Thyme leaves and flowers
Wow! That has got to taste interesting.
As you probably know, dried lavender flowers have become quite popular as an unusual flavor ingredient in a wide variety of recipes. Perhaps we will be seeing more cooking with dried flowers in the near future.