Parma Violets

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Parma Violets (small size)

Parma Violets are a British violet-flavoured tablet confectionery manufactured by the Derbyshire company Swizzels Matlow,[1] named after the Parma violet variety of the flower. 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 are sugar, stearic acid, modified starch, glucose syrup, and anthocyanin.[2]


The petals of violets have long been used in herbalism for their medicinal properties, even mentioned by Dioscorides.[3] "Violet tables", a sugary lozenge flavoured with violets, was made before 1620.[4] During the 18th century, crushed violet petals, rosewater and sugar were combined to make an early type of confectionery known as flower pastry.[5] These could be used for flavouring a cake, or moulded into pastils and eaten as sweets.[6] In the Edwardian era, violet flavoured chocolate and liquor were used to relieve sickness.[7]


Parma Violets were created in 1946[8] by the Derbyshire company Swizzels Matlow.[1][9] They are sweets that are hard, biconcave discs, based on similar aniseed confectionery traditionally consumed in India after a spicy meal.[10] Their flavour has been described as sweet with a soapy or floral taste.[8][11] The current recipe includes sugar, stearic acid, modified starch, glucose syrup, and anthocyanin.[2]

In 2016, Swizzels Matlow released a special Parma Violets flavoured cheese to celebrate their 70th birthday.[12] Cocktails that replicate the flavour of the confectionery are also available in some UK bars.[13] Also, large bags of Parma Violets can be purchased from the official website in sizes up to 3kg,[14] alongside other online retailers.

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Font Quer, Pio (1995). Plantas Medicinales; el Dioscórides Renovado (15th ed.). Barcelona: Editorial Labor S.A. pp. 288–289. ISBN 84-335-6151-0.
  4. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary". OED. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Using flowers in the French cooking from the 18th century | organic-e-publishing-international".
  6. ^ "The Professed Cook; Or, the Modern Art of Cookery, Pastry, and Confectionary, Made Plain and Easy ... By B. Clermont [or Rather, Translated by Him from - Menon's "Les Soupers de la Cour"]. The Tenth Edition, Revised and Much Enlarged". T. Simpson. July 15, 1812 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Ostrom, Lizzie (October 22, 2015). Perfume: A Century of Scents. Random House. ISBN 9781473506084 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ a b Miranda Larbi for (2016-07-15). "Someone's invented Parma Violet flavoured cheese". Metro. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  9. ^ Salter, Jessica (November 19, 2011). "Dream factory: the story of a sweet company" – via
  10. ^ Nozedar, Adele (September 4, 2014). Great British Sweets: And How To Make Them at Home. Random House. ISBN 9781448161218 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ Britton, Karen (2016-08-01). "Love it or hate it? Retro sweets Parma Violets inspire new CHEESE". macclesfield. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  12. ^ "Someone's invented Parma Violet flavoured cheese". July 15, 2016.
  13. ^ Lovell, Lucy (February 11, 2017). "Love gin? Then you'll want to go to this gin festival in Levenshulme". men.
  14. ^ "Parma Violets - 3kg- Swizzels".
  15. ^ Thunderball, 1961 Edition.
  16. ^ "Album | Jealous of the Birds – Parma Violets".
  17. ^ "Jealous of the Birds singer-songwriter Naomi Hamilton takes flight with debut album". The Irish News.
  18. ^ Wainwright, Martin (March 5, 2005). "Sweets we loathe". The Guardian – via

External links[edit]