Quick Reference

Comfits are sugary sweets—literally as well as etymologically ‘confections’. Originally, in the Middle Ages, they appear to have been what today would be called crystallized fruits: pieces of fruit preserved by being boiled in sugar. But by the sixteenth century the term had moved on to denote a ‘sweet consisting of an aniseed, caraway seed, almond, etc. encrusted in a sugary coating’. It comes via Old French from Latin confectum, ‘preparation’, a derivative of conficere, ‘prepare’ (from which English gets confectionery).

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

Reference entries