You'll never fully know the sweet perfume of violets in all its intensity, until you pick a basket full of them, dip your nose in, and inhale deeply. What an incredible scent from such small flowers! Violets owe their botanical name, Viola odorosa, to that sweet fragrance, which this year we've really been able to appreciate. Our cool and wet spring, in fact, has created the perfect environment for them to thrive, and this year, for the first time, we were able to really smell the violets - in a basket.
I wanted to capture the fragrance of spring violets, bottle their intensity. In fact, I wanted to be able to eat it. So . . .
. . . I made violet infused honey. It's a quick and easy recipe, which involves heating raw honey in a double boiler, and steeping violets in it (how-to here).
Each day for a week now, we've been opening our infused honey jar, hoping to smell the violets. But so far, at least, the main aroma in the jar is faint and herbaceous - the smell of fresh spring greenery, but not aromatic violets. I wondered if the violet flower-essence had gone into the honey's taste rather than its smell? Someone had to try, and I volunteered.
mmm, violet-infused honey! It's lovely to see violets in my honey, I must say, and it's so true that food tastes so much better when it looks just a little big magical: as I ate, I could swear that I tasted the spring violets!