The Toulouse violet (Viola tolosa) is not just a romantic symbol of the capital of Midi-Pyrénées.
It is also the inspiration behind many gourmet and culinary creations, as is apparent at La Maison de la Violette, a barge moored on the Canal du Midi in the heart of Toulouse. On board you can learn all about the history and every possible incarnation of the flower that has been cultivated around Toulouse since the 19th century, where it is famed for its subtle and tender fragrance.
It also finds its way into many fine foods, such as violet honey, crystallised violet flowers, violet mustard and violet vinegar, which is ideal for seasoning salads and giving them a distinctive taste. Needless to say, traditional candied violets, which are made by dipping the flowers in sugar, are still to be found here.