Parma Violets

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This article is about the sweets. For the plant, see Parma violet. For the band, see Palma Violets.
Parma Violets (small size)

Parma Violets are an iconic British violet-flavoured tablet confectionery manufactured by the Derbyshire company Swizzels Matlow.[1] The sweets are hard, biconcave disc-shaped sweets, similar to the Fizzers product from the same company but without their fizziness. Swizzels Matlow have also released a line of Giant Parma Violets.

Ingredients include sugar, stearic acid, modified starch, glucose syrup, and anthocyanin.[2]


The petals of violets have long been used in homeopathy for their medicinal properties.[3] During the 18th century, crushed violet petals, rosewater and sugar were combined to make an early type of candy known as flower pastry.[4] These could be used for flavouring a cake, or moulded into pastils and eaten as sweets.[5] In the Edwardian era, violet flavored chocolate and liquor were used to relieve sickness.[6]


Parma Violets were created in 1946[7] by the Derbyshire company Swizzels Matlow.[1][8] They are sweets that are hard, biconcave discs, based on similar aniseed candy traditionally consumed in India after a spicy meal.[9] Their flavour has been described as sweet with a soapy or floral taste.[7][10] The current recipe includes sugar, stearic acid, modified starch, glucose syrup, and anthocyanin.[2]

In 2016, Swizzels Matlow released a special Parma Violets flavored cheese to celebrate their 70th birthday.[11] Cocktails that replicate the flavor of the candy are also available in some UK bars.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The name of the British Indie pop band Palma Violets is derived from the Swizzels candy. Irish singer Naomi Hamilton also released an album in 2016 named after the eponymous sweet.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b Love Hearts maker Swizzels Matlow keeps clients sweet, Teena Lyons, Times online, 25 May 2008, accessed 3 May 2009
  2. ^ a b Swizzels Matlow: Parma Violets Ingredients
  3. ^ Handbook of herbal products
  4. ^ 18th century recipe
  5. ^ 1816 Violet pastils recipe
  6. ^ Perfume
  7. ^ a b Miranda Larbi for Metro. (2016-07-15). "Someone's invented Parma Violet flavoured cheese". Metro. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  8. ^ Dream factory
  9. ^ Parma violets recipe
  10. ^ Britton, Karen (2016-08-01). "Love it or hate it? Retro sweets Parma Violets inspire new CHEESE". macclesfield. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  11. ^ Parma violets cheese
  12. ^ Manchester evening news
  13. ^ Thunderball, 1961 Edition.
  14. ^ Jealous of the birds
  15. ^ Naomi Hamilton
  16. ^ Guardian Food and Drink

External links[edit]