Who came up with this cheesy idea?! Amanda Holden buys a new parma violet cheese snack on sale in an Ely shop

Parma Violet cheese is on sale temporarily in Mr Simms Sweet shop in Ely

Parma Violet cheese is on sale temporarily in Mr Simms Sweet shop in Ely - Credit: Archant

TV presenter Amanda Holden became an unexpected buyer of a crazy new cheese that has gone on sale in an Ely shop - parma violet Cheshire.

The city’s old fashioned sweet shop stocked up on a small amount of the marvellous morsels after a customer asked if they could get hold of some.

Amanda was shopping in Ely with her husband Chris Hughes.

Mr Simms sweet shop owner David Learner said: ‘It was a surprise, to say the least.

“She made several purchases but at the point she popped a packet of Parma Violets into her basket we realised that she might just be persuaded to buy one of the cheeses.

“At first she thought it was a joke but then she realised it was going to be irresistible,” he said.

Mr Learner said he had never heard of the new cheese until a customer came into the High Street sweet shop and asked for it.

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“The staff wondered whether they were having a laugh,” he said.

As it turned out they were in exactly the right place.

“It was difficult to get our head round it,’ says Mr Learner.

“Parma Violets is 70 years old in 2016 and it appeared that their creator Swizzels Matlow had collaborated with the Cheshire Cheese Company, close neighbours, to produce a cheese containing the unmistakable taste of Parma Violets.

“Parma Violets are one of our best-selling sweets,” he said, “but to put the two tastes together just sounded wrong, completely wrong.”

The customer is always right however and a couple of phone calls ensured that a limited amount of the perfumed Cheshire was made available to the shop.

The cheese went on sale last Saturday and one of its first purchasers was Dave Haddock, who raced up the A10 from Cambridge to grab a couple of truckles for a dinner party that same evening.

His review, on the shop’s Facebook page, was ecstatic, describing it as a wow cheese with the intense aroma of Parma Violets.

Parma Violets cheese is still available at Mr Simms but isn’t likely to be there long. ‘

“We don’t sell cheese. We leave that to the remarkable Tracey Allgood in the Market Place. But we just had to get involved in this. It’s mad, but it works.”