When I was in France a few weeks ago, violets were everywhere. Violet perfume, violet soap, even violet candy! While the scented beauty products were a bit too strong for me, I fell in love with the idea of whole sugared violet flowers I found in a specialty food shop in the village of Cordes-Sur-Ciel. I don't speak much French, and the clerk at the shop didn't speak much English, but as he rang me up for my bag of violets, he figured out a way to tell me that it was tradition in the village to drop two sugared violets into a glass of nice champagne. "GOOD champagne," he counseled. "Ok, yes. I can get into that," I thought.
The other night Celene and I gave the clerk's recommendation a shot! The violets turn the champagne a fun blue color, and bubble madly until the sugar dissolves. The flowers themselves are very mild, but their light aromatic quality do add a certain "je ne sai quois" to the champagne.
If you'd like to buy sugared violets yourself to give it a shot, you can find them here. It's a great excuse to drink GOOD champagne!