Sugar and Gum Arabic Preserved Flowers
The common violet, also known as sweet violet, blue violet or garden violet is a native of Europe. It has naturalized throughout North America. There are approximately 400-500 species of Violets. The name comes from the Greek Ione.
Violets were used medievally in cooking. The leaves were eaten in salads, and the flowers were used in cooking to impart their color and flavor to vinegar, sugars and syrups. Use caution when eating violets, taken in large quantity, they do have a laxative effect.
Violets also had medical useage. They were used to cure fevers, to be rid of wicked spirits, to treat insomnia, headache, catarrh and to relieve inflammation of cold and chest.
I have been playing this past two weeks with preserving flowers. Granted, the recipes below are late for the SCA, but the method may have existed in period, and the book “A Queen’s Delight” is often found on the “must read” list.
The Queen’s delight lists many different kinds of flowers that can be candied, conserved, preserved or distilled so that they may be used later in the season; Clove-Gilly flowers, Hyssop, Roses, Borage, Lavender, Peony, Rosemary and Violets. I took a few liberties with the recipe “To Candy Rosemary-flowers in the Sun”, and (re)created candied or crystalized violets, pansies and dianthus (clove-gilly flower). I hope to continue the method with roses and mint for a project later in the year.
|Pansies, Dianthus, Violets|
|Painted and sugared|
|Drying on Screen|