Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The French have been using violets for centuries to flavor everything from cough syrup to bonbons. During the middle ages, when sugar was still very rare and reserved only for the elite of society, apothecaries were the principal creators of sweet treats that were supposedly recommended for health problems. It was at this time that the druggists concocted violet syrup which was believed to smooth the voice.

Violets were Napoleon's favorite flower and in the 19th century a thriving violet agriculture began to take hold in France, notably in the area around Toulouse. The flowers were used for their perfume, but they also were used in French cuisine.

Every February in Toulouse, the violet festival honours this famous fragrant fleur with showcases
of the best bouquets as well as a violet market and
violet-based sweet treats.

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