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] 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 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]

In popular culture[edit]

  • 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.[16][17]


  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. ^ 18th century recipe
  6. ^ 1816 Violet pastils recipe
  7. ^ Perfume
  8. ^ a b Miranda Larbi for Metro. (2016-07-15). "Someone's invented Parma Violet flavoured cheese". Metro. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  9. ^ Dream factory
  10. ^ Parma violets recipe
  11. ^ Britton, Karen (2016-08-01). "Love it or hate it? Retro sweets Parma Violets inspire new CHEESE". macclesfield. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  12. ^ Parma violets cheese
  13. ^ Manchester evening news
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Thunderball, 1961 Edition.
  16. ^ Jealous of the birds
  17. ^ Naomi Hamilton
  18. ^ Guardian Food and Drink

External links[edit]