Yummy, pretty things...

19 July, 2012

When the edible plants certainly seem to be slowing down, I start to look a little more closely at the less obvious edibles. And in the last couple of sunny Melbourne days there have been a few popping out amongst what I had classified as the non-edible garden.

I'm talking violets.

I have grown these as a ground cover for a while, not realising they were the same edible flowers as the exorbitantly priced sugared violets I have occasionally splurged on to make a really special dessert. But at about $20 for a teeny tiny bottle of them, it had to be a truly special occasion. (Though they do elevate anything chocolate from delicious to the realms of absolutely spectacularly divinely delicious. Trust me. I love them finely chopped and sprinkled over chocolate mouse!)

So when seeing them in the garden and picking a fragrant bunch, I wondered - are the the same one's as the one's you eat?

And it turns out they are! Praise the interwebs! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_(plant)

So I decided that I could make my own sugared violets. So I went out and picked a heap.

Apparently there are two ways by which you can sugar a violet; either dip them in egg white, then in granulated sugar and let dry, or dip in a sugar syrup, then granulated sugar and let dry. So I thought I would try both and see which worked best.

I ended up with two aluminium trays full of drying sugared violets. Certainly more than $20 worth!

I thought the sugar syrup and then granulated sugar method worked best. The sugar seemed to stick better with less gaps and not clump as much. But I did learn that you need to let the syrup cool before starting to dip the violets, otherwise they cook in the hot syrup and shrivel. Not what you are after.

Here is a close up of the syruped violets:

Here are the egg whited violets:

But I do think they don't have as strong a violet flavour as the bought ones. I'm thinking of doing another trial of making a sugar syrup and infusing a heap of violets in it, then using that sugar syrup (cooled of course!) to dip the whole violets into, then granulated sugar.

But until then I have a heap of sugary violety goodness to enjoy!


  1. Great post. I have these in my garden too - in fact I largely ignore them and they tend to die off when it gets dry and then appear again once we've had rain. Perhaps they will get watered this summer...

    1. Thanks. I can't say I've paid them much attention in the past, but I'll definately be using them in future!

  2. I have never heard of these, but I suspect my friend has violets in her garden that I might be stealing soon as a result of this post!!
    - Christine