Home | Cookbooks | Diary | Magic Menu | Random | More ≡

Parma Violets
Sweets and Toffee

Small, round, soft-sugar pastilles, bright lilac in colour, strongly scented and flavoured with flower essences.


This is probably the last survival of an 18th century apothecaries' breath-freshening tablet. Though they also seem to have had other uses too; John Quincy's 'Complete English Dispensary' of 1742 suggests making a suppository for children from that "most commonly what the Confectioners sell by the Name of a Violet Comfit. They are first dipped in Oil or just rubbed over with a little Butter to ease their Passage."

The flavouring agent (as in the receipt below) is not traditionally violet flowers, but the similar-smelling 'Orris' root of flowers of the iris family.

Original Receipt from 'Cyclopedia of Practical Receipts', 1891

      Orris powder 1 ounce
      Gum Arabic 1 ounce
      White sugar 2 pounds
Make into a thick paste with the following
      Cochineal 1 drachm
      Water 1 quart
Macerate for two days

Morning Post - Tuesday 22 March 1881

MORE FROM Foods of England...
Cookbooks Diary Index Magic Menu Random Really English? Timeline English Service Food Map of England Lost Foods Accompaniments Biscuits Breads Cakes and Scones Cheeses Classic Meals Curry Dishes Dairy Drinks Egg Dishes Fish Fruit Fruits & Vegetables Game & Offal Meat & Meat Dishes Pastries and Pies Pot Meals Poultry Preserves & Jams Puddings & Sweets Sauces and Spicery Sausages Scones Soups Sweets and Toffee About ...



COPYRIGHT and ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: © Glyn Hughes, Sunday 02 September 2018