Q: The NY Times published an article recently about using wild violets in foodstuffs. My understanding was that the typical wild violet in the Midwest or Northeast (Viola sororia or papilionacea) are not the same as the violets used in, for example, France.
Last night I picked lots of wild violets with the hope of making violet syrup. However, the result neither smells nor tastes anything like the lovely, light, springtime syrups with which I am familiar. What can you tell me about using Viola sororia or papilionacea in cooking? How can a novice tell the difference between "American" violets and the violets (Viola odorata) used by the French? Are Viola sororia or papilionacea the correct type to be used in syrup-making?
Sent by Lexy