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flower-waters-msg - 6/26/10


Period flower waters. Making them. Recipes.


NOTE: See also the files: flowers-msg, roses-art, rose-water-msg, rose-oil-msg, rose-syrup-msg, orng-flwr-wtr-msg, p-herbals-msg, perfumes-msg, Perfumes-bib.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 20:15:37 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Edible Violet Water?


Elise Fleming wrote:

<<< I'm aware of violet sugar from around the 13th c. but don't recall

reading anything about violet water in the English recipes.


Alys K. >>>


But violet water or water of violets does turn up in English cookery and

medicinal recipes.

 A quick search this evening yielded over 120 quick matches in just


Here are a few of them:


In an hote season it is good to temper the sayd wine with a litle

rosewater or of violettes. Some other take .v houres afore diner, thre

times a weke, the weight of half a crowne of mithridatum, or of fine

treacle, tempered in a litle good wine. But in time of heat and for hote

complexions, it is good to put in it a litle conserua roses, & to mingle

them with water of sorell, or of borage, or of buglosse.


Goeurot, Jean. The regiment of life, whereunto is added a treatise of

the pestilence, with the boke of children, newly corrected and enlarged

by T. Phayre. 1550



Thomas Moffett Healths improvement calls for "Take of Orenge flower

water, water of Violets". It was published in 1655, but written in the

1590?s . Moffett died in 1604.



Recipes like this one are more common. Here you make in essence a violet

water before making the syrup.


To make Syrupe of Violets.


TAke your Violets, and pick the flowers, and weigh them, and then put

them into a quart of water, and steepe them vpon hot embers, vntill such

time as the flowers be turned white, and the water as blew as any

violet, then take to that quart of infusion and take foure pound of

clarified Suger, & boyle it till it come to a syrupe, scumming them and

boyling them vpon a gentle fire, least it turne his colour, and being

boyled, put the Syrupe vp and keepe it.


A closet for ladies and gentlevvomen. 1608




In the 1616 Maison rustique, or The countrey farme, Markham talks

about "the water of Violets"and again in 1623 in Countrey

contentments. "Syrup of violets" shows up in The English Housewife.



1620 VENNER Via Recta vii. 125 If there be neede of cooling with Rose,

or Violet~water and Sugar.




A "pound and an half of white Sugar, dissolved in Rose or Violetwater"

is called for in the 1649 A physicall directory.




The queen-like closet by Hannah Wolley has recipes for violet conserves

and syrup, but no violet water.



191. To make the Capon-water against a Consumption.


Take a Capon, the Guts being pull'd out, cut it in pieces, and take away

the Fat, boyl it in a close Vessel in a sufficient quantity of

spring-water: Take of this Broath three pints, of Barrage, and

Violet-water a pint and a half, White-Wine one pint, Red-Rose leaves two

drams and an half, Burrage-Flowers, Violets, and Bugloss, of each one

Dram, pieces of bread out of the Oven half a pound, Cinamon bruised,

half an Ounce; still it in a Glass still, according to Art.


This is a sovereign Remedy against Hectick-Fevers, and Consumptions; let

such as are subject to those Diseases, hold it as a Jewel.


The Accomplish'd lady's delight. 1675.




Although it is late, I just have to include this definition as found in

An English dictionary by Elisha Coles. 1677.


He defines that far older confection Manus Christi as


Manus Coristi, Sugar boild with Rose-water, (sometime violet or Cinnamon



(There are a number of violet recipes by the way in Martha Washington's

Booke of Cookery too and of course in the Concordance there's that

rather interesting Vyolet recipe which is a violet pottage. It's there

in 3 recipes.)





Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 20:53:45 -0400

From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Edible Violet Water?


Not a place to buy, but this page has an easy violet water recipe:



toodles, margaret



Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 17:58:52 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Edible Violet Water?


Huette wrote:

<<< I picked up some Kewda Water, because it called itself Iris Water.

But looking it up, it really isn't made from iris.  Have you had

experience using Kewda water? >>>


I have Kewra. It is pandan flower. It has a somewhat nutty scent. It

is commonly used in Southeast Asia - Thailand, Malyasia, and

Indonesia - in sweets.


Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 18:46:55 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Edible Violet Water?


<<< Not a place to buy, but this page has an easy violet water recipe:



toodles, Margaret >>>


Only easy if one has access to Sweet Violets/English Violets, aka

Viola Odorata, which i cannot get here in California.


as i wrote:

While there are many flowers in the Genus Viola, only one

has the fragrance used in cuisine, confectionery, and

perfumery. That is Viola odorata, aka Sweet Violet and

English Violet


Alas, Viola odorata does not grow naturally or happily in

Southern or Northern California, where I live.


So, while "recipes" for making one's own violet water may

help those living in the right climate and with the skill

and land to grow Viola odorata, they won't help me :-(


That's why I'm looking for edible violet water I can



Again, this is good for those who can grow Viola odorata - but beware

of the beautiful, but comparatively scentless Viola sororia - it's

edible and looks lovely, but won't scent your water.


Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 11:18:34 -0400

From: Mary + Doug Piero Carey <mary.doug at pierocarey.info>

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Edible Flower Waters


Oooh, yes, what does one do with that?  My bottle says:




product of India


on the front, and


Marque de Key

Eau de Iris


on the back along with some Arabic lettering.  It is labeled as coming

from Bombay.  It's very lightly vegetative & floral smelling.  I grabbed

it at an Indian speciality shop that I almost never get a chance to go

in.  I asked the clerk if it was used like the orange flower & rose

waters that it was shelved with, and he said yes, but I'm not at all

certain he understood my question!  He definitely didn't have answers to

my other questions about some of the other foodstuffs.  I'm pretty sure

he could have told me EVERYTHING about their line of Bollywood videos.  

But cooking, not so much.  <grin>


Mary, who grabs rare items first, and worries about usage later


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org