Sunday, 14 November 2010

A Box of Comfits

"`But who is to give the prizes?' quite a chorus of voices asked.
`Why, SHE, of course,' said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out in a confused way, ` Prizes! Prizes!'
Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits, (luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece all round."

Although liquorice comfits are still well liked and easily accessible in the UK, comfits are no longer as commonplace they used to be in Alice's day. Typically, they would be a fragrant seed - fennel or aniseed for example - encased in a crunchy candy coating. They were generally enjoyed after meals as a digestive and breath freshener. But if you wish to emulate Alice with her box of them nowadays, you may have to look in some specialist stores.

Hoosier Historic Enterprises is an American store which specialises in "merchandise related to reenacting and gaming." They stock these beautifully packaged 'Elizabethan Comfits' in a variety of flavours.

Liquorice comfits are much easier to come by, and are sold by weight, in little paper bags in every traditional sweet shop in England.

Barley sugar and toffee are also mentioned during Alice's adventures, so we can probably assume that she'd be quite partial to them.

The real Alice used to by her sweets from a little shop near to her home. It's possible that she enjoyed some of the following.

Pontefract Cakes                                        Butterscotch
 Rose Creams                                        Violet Creams
Rhubarb and Custard                                    Sherbet Lemons

Or, for a sweet treat specific to Alice, that you can pop into your waistcoat pocket, you could try Alice's Enchantmints.

And won't your sweets look irresistible displayed in this genuine Victorian Sweets Dish.

"The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some noise and confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on the back. However, it was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and begged the Mouse to tell them something more."


  1. I imagine the rhubarb and custard sweets are quite lovely.
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog. :)

  2. Sounds yummy! I'm reading Alice in the wonderland now

  3. Reading Alice in wonderland & had to google to find out what comfits were! Your blog was the first website to pop up! Thanks!! ^_^