A botanical garden in your mouth

Slow foodies and locavores have embraced cooking with a variety of herbs but if you are still a bit intimidated about how to recreate that lavender shortbread you enjoyed on holiday in Provence, try Botanical Bakery Garden Shortbreads.

Botanical Bakery Garden Shortbreads or "Shorties" are available in six flavors: Cardamom, Lemon Thyme, Ginger Squared, Lavender, Cinnamon Basil and Fennel Pollen sold in three sizes 1oz/28.4g for $2.25 (€1.84), 3.5oz/85g for $6.50 (€5.32), 6.5oz/170g $12.50 (€10.23). 

Currently the Shorties are only stocked in a variety of US specialty stores, and though purchases can be made online, with international shipping you would be paying double the price of the cookies; so you may want to get your local market to carry them (simple via their wholesale program) or get adventurous with baking with herbs.

If you decide to become a botanist/chemist in your kitchen you may also want to try these pairings recommended by BotanicalBakery.com:

Cardamom: chai tea, strong coffee, dry Sauvignon Blanc, pinot noir, or no oak Chardonnay
Cinnamon Basil: English breakfast tea, espresso, cappuccino, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc or Chianti.
Fennel Pollen: either delicate white or deep black tea, Sumatra coffee, Cabernet Franc, or Cambria Pinot Noir.
Lavender: Earl grey tea, medium blend coffee, white Port or floral white wine, a dry Gewürztraminer or Syrah.
Lemon Thyme: Chinese green tea, breakfast blend coffee, or citrusy white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc.
Ginger Squared: oolong tea, Guatemalan coffee, Cabernet Franc, or Cambria pinot noir.

If shortbreads aren't your thing, you can still enjoy a subtler botanical garden in your mouth with an herb-infused martini made from Crop Harvest Earth organic vodkas (tomato, cucumber or artisanal) or their new Farmer's Botanical Small Batch Organic Gin (750ml for $32/€26.20) made with organic USDA grains, elderflower, lemon grass, angelica and juniper.

Expect to see a lot of new botanically infused specialty foods and beverages popping up in your markets after this year's The Summer Fancy Food Show taking place June 27-29 in New York City. Over 180,000 products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural and organic goods are to be presented. For more information, visit: http://www.specialtyfood.com/fancy-food-show

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