Fragrant, flavorful violet flowers for cooking

I'm itching to create a new dessert with violet flowers: the kind that those French violet hard candies are mimicking. But the only violets I can find have hardly any scent or flavor. I've seen candied violet petals, but I'd like to try making my violet dessert direct from the flowers. Any tips for finding fragrant, flavorful violets?

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6 Comments

butter S. July 8, 2014
MaryVelasquez and Diana B, I want to thank you for pointing me toward the right kind of violets. I ended up getting a beautiful Parma violet plant, which I am really enjoying. Since it hasn't bloomed yet (likely due to my not-so-green thumb), I forged ahead with my violet recipe in a different way; check it out: http://buttersugarflowers.com/2014/07/07/violet-candy-cupcakes/ Thank you so much for your kindness and time!
 
Diana B. July 8, 2014
Wow! Those look fabulous and delicious and so, so pretty! I'm glad you found a way to realize your desire and, who knows, perhaps your Parma violet will yet bloom for you.
 
Diana B. March 23, 2014
Anything with alba in the name will have a white flower (although I'm sure they smell fabulous!). Here's one source for plants: http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/021572.1.194316778053699592 These people often have them, although they appear to be out of them right now: http://www.logees.com/Parma-Violet-Marie-Louise/productinfo/H8210-2/ And finally: http://www.anniesannuals.com/plt_lst/lists/search/lst.srch.asp?prodid=3750
 
butter S. March 23, 2014
Wonderful information and resources! Thanks so much, Diana!
 
butter S. March 23, 2014
Thank you SO much, Mary! This is incredibly helpful and informative. I'm going to do some searching with these details, and when the day comes that I finally make my violet dessert, I'll definitely be thanking you again (and will perhaps share it with you to see).
 

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maryvelasquez March 23, 2014
The type of sweet, fragrant violets you mention are quite hard to find. They are called Parma violets and are related to the prevalent Johnny-jump-ups. A book I have, called The Drunken Botanist, says Parma violets are the species V. alba. Might be worth an Internet search.
 
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