Parma Violets are a British violet-flavoured tablet confectionery manufactured by the Derbyshire company Swizzels Matlow. 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.
The petals of violets have long been used in herbalism for their medicinal properties, even mentioned by Dioscorides. "Violet tables", a sugary lozenge flavoured with violets, was made before 1620. During the 18th century, crushed violet petals, rosewater and sugar were combined to make an early type of confectionery known as flower pastry. These could be used for flavouring a cake, or moulded into pastils and eaten as sweets. In the Edwardian era, violet flavoured chocolate and liquor were used to relieve sickness.
Parma Violets were created in 1946 by the Derbyshire company Swizzels Matlow. They are sweets that are hard, biconcave discs, based on similar aniseed confectionery traditionally consumed in India after a spicy meal. Their flavour has been described as sweet with a soapy or floral taste. The current recipe includes sugar, stearic acid, modified starch, glucose syrup, and anthocyanin.
In 2016, Swizzels Matlow released a special Parma Violets flavoured cheese to celebrate their 70th birthday. Cocktails that replicate the flavour of the confectionery are also available in some UK bars. Also, large bags of Parma Violets can be purchased from the official website in sizes up to 3kg. 
In popular culture
- In Ian Fleming's James Bond series, hard candies very similar in description to Parma Violets are the favourite sweet of the supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld due to their breath freshening properties.
- The name of the British Indie pop band Palma Violets is derived from the Swizzels confectionery. Irish singer Naomi Hamilton also released an album in 2016 named after the sweet.
- A 2005 survey reported by The Guardian revealed Parma Violets to be the least popular sweet among the Millennial generation.
- Love Hearts maker Swizzels Matlow keeps clients sweet, Teena Lyons, Times online, 25 May 2008, accessed 3 May 2009
- Swizzels Matlow: Parma Violets Ingredients
- Font Quer, Pio (1995). Plantas Medicinales; el Dioscórides Renovado (15th ed.). Barcelona: Editorial Labor S.A. pp. 288–289. ISBN 84-335-6151-0.
- "Oxford English Dictionary". OED. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
- 18th century recipe
- 1816 Violet pastils recipe
- Miranda Larbi for Metro. co.uk (2016-07-15). "Someone's invented Parma Violet flavoured cheese". Metro. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- Dream factory
- Parma violets recipe
- Britton, Karen (2016-08-01). "Love it or hate it? Retro sweets Parma Violets inspire new CHEESE". macclesfield. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
- Parma violets cheese
- Manchester evening news
- Thunderball, 1961 Edition.
- Jealous of the birds
- Naomi Hamilton
- Guardian Food and Drink
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