Taken from Llewellyn’s 2018 Herbal Almanac:
“Wild violets are a member of the Violaceae family, which has over 500 species, including what we know as the sweet violet, the dog violet, and even pansies. Don’t be tempted to grow the garden center pansies for your table, though! It’s the sweet violet that grows in the wild–Viola odorata–that you’ll want to find for your recipes.
Violets can be used much the same way as lilac and lavender–in fact, there’s a candy in the United Kingdom called Parma Violets, little sweet violet-scented disks that come in a small cellophane tube. A syrup made from violets and sugar was a traditional cordial on Mothering Sunday. It’s a wonderful base for a drink, and a few drops added to royal icing or fondant produce the most interesting color and taste.
Violet petals make an intriguing addition to salads as well as a colorful and delightful garnish to meat. The flowers dipped in beaten egg white and then in finely ground sugar are beautiful toppings for cupcakes and other sweets; they just need a bit of careful handling and attention paid to them while they’re drying. It’s worth the effort to see the finished result, though!”