You know how that old poem says that "Roses are red, violets are blue"?
Violets are traditionally a romantic flower, particularly associated with lesbians. Mostly because Sappho wrote about them in poems about her lost love, with lines like "Close by my side you put around yourself [many wreaths] of violets and roses."
More generally, the Ancient Greeks considered violets a symbol of love, and used to use them to make love potions.
Sappho's poetry was really... just gosh. It's a pity the whole poem apparently hasn't survived intact, but this part of it goes:
“Close by my side you put around yourself
[many wreaths] of violets and roses...
And many woven garlands
made from flowers
around your tender neck...
And on a soft bed
you satisfied your desire...”
food, alcohol, violets
I did not know any of this when I picked up this bottle of violet liqueur.
Violets are edible and have a distinctive flavour. The fresh flowers can be used to decorate salads and other dishes, while violet essence can add flavour to desserts.
Candied violets are also traditionally used as confectionary and cake decorations, and are traditionally made in Toulouse, France, together with violet syrup.
There are other violet liqueurs too, with names like Creme Yvette and Parfait d'Amour.
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