Viol - intro, appearance and characteristics
The violet is a small, fine perennial plant with violet flowers and dark green heart-shaped leaves with a serrated edge. Apart from the petiole and the underside of the leaves, the plant is smooth and hairless. The plant bears flowers in two seasons, partly in March-April and partly in late September. In early spring, you can see the violet flowers, which can be reminiscent of the pansy in shape, but much smaller. These spring flowers are pollinated by insects. The late September flowers are scentless and self-pollinating. The flower seeds have a small fatty appendage which allows them to be dispersed by ants. The root network consists of stringy roots from a high-lying rhizome. The plant will only be approx. 10 cm high, and over time spreads wildly via spurs. Considered by many as a fine and decorative weed.
Try playing with the decorative expression of the violet as a decoration on cakes, and finally eat the flowers. There are 12 different species of violets in Denmark. And 400 species worldwide.
Violets belong in gardens, the forest floor, ditch edges, fences and thickets. It has been common in Danish nature and gardens for the last 600 years. And found throughout Denmark.
The last time I saw the violet was a pleasant day at the end of March, when it peeked out from a hedge in a playground where I played with my nieces.
Nip or cut gently the flower heads off, always leave some flowers, as the violet blooms twice a year as described.
March Violen is a true harbinger of spring. Large quantities of violets were picked outside the towns, often by children. The violets were tied into small bouquets that were sold at markets in the cities, they were extremely popular. In 1967, for example, approximately 26,000 bouquets were sold on Copenhagen's Grønttorv.
Violstræde in Copenhagen was actually called Violgade right up until 1570, because of all the violets that grew in the small front gardens.
Violet root was used in the treasured royal incense, this incense was supposed to keep diseases and other evils away, the incense also made the home smell good. It was used at Christmas time to commemorate the Holy Three Kings who allegedly brought this incense to the baby Jesus. The apothecary mixed dried herbs, resin and violet root.
Viol - active ingredients and their effect
In ancient times, violets were used for their healing effect. It was, among other things, used on burns, against intestinal worms and with its salicylic acid content it was used as a pain reliever.
Today, the violet is still used medicinally and in cooking. Violets are mostly used as a beautiful and fine decoration on cakes. We all know the taste of the candied violets we got from grandma.
A decoction of the flowers is mixed with a light honey or syrup and used against coughs, as the violet's vitamin A and C content inhibits inflammation and strengthens the immune system.
Viol root can be bought in specialist shops and is still used as relief for painful teething in children. Until 40 years ago, violet root could be bought at the pharmacy.
Violet flowers taste sweet, fine and floral.
Violet flower heads
A little icing sugar
You must use this
Whisk or Fork
The fine hole
Cake tin for storage
Pick the number of violet flowers you need. You only need to use the heads of the flowers.
Beat the egg white until foamy - it should not be stiff. Dip each simple flower in the egg white and carefully place it on the baking paper. When you have dipped all the flowers, put a little icing sugar in your strainer and give the violets a fine sprinkle.
Put them in the oven for 2 hours at 75 degrees. You must leave the oven door open to dry them. You can use your candied violets to decorate cakes, ice cream or chocolate. If you need to store them, you can keep them in a cake tin with food paper.
Violet water for contraction in the skin and to relieve irritations and acne.
If you collect a handful of violet flowers and put them in a tightly closed glass, pour over
2 dl. boiling water and 2 dl. unscented vinegar. Let the mixture stand in the dark for 2 days before you cut off the flowers.
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