Sunday, April 19, 2015

Subtleties&Stuffe William Jarrin

A Bit about William Jarrin

William Alexis or Guglielmo Jarrin (1785-1848) was an Italian immigrant who became a confectioner in London in the early nineteenth century. Jarrin was born in northern Italy and worked in Paris before moving to London in 1817. His book The Italian Confectioner was first published in 1820 when he was “Confectioner and Ornament Maker at Mr Gunter’s. The work was revised and corrected over Jarrin’s lifetime and remained in print for over forty years. The final edition appeared in 1861.

What we owe to Jarrin are numerous detailed recipes and techniques for a variety of confections and sugar ornaments. He revealed the long held undisclosed secrets of the professional confectioner to the reading public in a way that still appeals to those interested and involved with the confectionary arts and their history. We'll be looking at Jarrin's recipes for sugar pastes and sugar boiling in the next posts.

Jarrin’s The Italian confectioner, or, Complete economy of desserts : containing the elements of the art according to the most modern and approved practice, full and explicit directions respecting distillation, decoration, and modelling in all their branches, including figures, fruits, flowers, and animals in gum paste, and the art of moulding, casting, and gilding composition pastes of new and superior quality. ... is now available on Google Books, through the Internet Archive, and through print on demand. [The inexpensive Kindle version contains pages of meaningless gobbledygook, no doubt a fault of the scanning for reproduction.] The online editions include the first edition of 1820; it can be downloaded as an ebook. See it here:

Sources for information on William Jarrin

Mason, Laura. “Jarrin, William Alexis.” The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Edited by Darra Goldstein. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. 375-376.

Laura Mason, ‘Jarrin, William Alexis (1784–1848)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, May 2005; online edn, Jan 2009.

Mason, Laura. “William Alexis Jarrin: An Italian Confectioner in London.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring 2001), pp. 50-64.

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