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Bucharest, April 4 /Agerpres/ - A rather uncommon, delicate and fragrant preserve can be prepared in the early spring season from violets, also known as wood violets or sweet violets.

Master chef Mircea Groza - a famous name in Salaj County's culinary industry - says the recipe is relatively simple, but that there are some small secrets about it that need to be mastered for the end preparation to be really delicious and healthy.

"The sweet violets must be picked flower by flower, from the spontaneous growth area. A flower weighs somewhere between 0.05 and 0.06 grams, that's the average. There are some 15-16 flowers in one gram. They are extremely lightweight. I even went once to a jeweler to have a flower precisely weighed. So, I gathered 5,500 flowers that tipped the scales at 342 grams. Next, rinse them under cold water, three to four times, to remove the dust and other impurities. The recipe calls for an equal amount of sugar, so it's 350 grams, plus half this amount of water, ie 175 milliliters.

Make a syrup with the juice of one lemon, but first thoroughly sprinkle the flowers with the juice of another lemon and scatter two or three tablespoons of sugar over them, so that they soften a little and let some juice. Delicately work the mixture in, and leave it to rest until you prepare the syrup on low fire, until the setting point, that is until if you put a drop on a cold saucer, it doesn't spread, but keeps together like a pearl. This is when you add the flowers, stirring gently, but do not boil for more than four to five minutes. Then leave them with the fire out, just to settle and cool.

The jars where the preserve will be poured must be washed and sterilized in the oven. I recommend small jars, of 50 grams at the most, because this is a delicacy, and the quantity is anyway not enough to fill a larger jar. Ladle the preserve in the sterilized jars, close them tightly and turn the jars with the lid down for five minutes, for enhanced air-tightness," is Mircea Groza's advice.

Mircea Groza's trove of special preserve recipes also includes chili pepper jam, which he recommends to be accompanied by goat cheese or smoked meat, or the finely flavored wild strawberry jam. AGERPRES

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