Clove Gilliflowers

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

clove gilliflowers an ingredient specified in early English recipes, especially of the 17th and early 18th centuries. What are meant are pinks, Dianthus caryophyllus, whose flowers were considered to have an attractive aroma like that of cloves. The spelling of ‘gilliflowers’ was highly erratic; ‘jelly-flowers’ occurs in Robert may (1685) as a garnish for a salad, and ‘gilliflewers’ in Hannah glasse (1747), to make a syrup, and there are numerous other variations.