Saturday 5 March 2022

The Saturday List #339 - My top ten favourite childhood sweets

 I haven't got a sweet tooth. This was not always the case. When I was a wee nipper, I loved sweets. When I had my own kids, I was horrified to discover just how much things have changed. Many of the treats I loved simply don't exist. Some are available only in specialist shops at hugely inflated prices. Most of the the things I loved (ie on this list) my kids wouldn't touch with a bargepole.They like all manner of things that I find slightly disturbing, such as Haribo's and Kinder Eggs which were simply not around. In the 1960's and 70's, it seemed that every year a new sweet was launched. Some were wonderful, I always liked Curly Wurly's and some not quite so, such as Old Jamaica chocolate. Anyway, here's my list. I hope it stirs some sort of memories.

1. Coconut Mushrooms

Pic Courtesy of the Handy Candy Co

These were and always will be my absolute favourite sweet. I seem to be almost alone in my love of them. I find them far more interesting. I always pull the stalk out and savour that first. A glorious treat. I especially enjoy emtying all the coconut out of the bag when the sweets are gone and eating it.

2. Cadburys flake

You may think it was just the mucky thoughts that the erotically charged adverts sparked that made me choose the flake, you'd only be part right. When I was a kid, the flake was a key part of my best Sunday treat, the 99 Flake Ice cream from Tonibells in Burnt Oak. I do like them on their own, but in icecream with Raspberry sauce, now you are talkking.

It is funny, I thought it was a product of the 1970's, but actually dates back to THE 1920's! - what you learn when you write blogs!

3. Bassetts Jelly Babies

Pic Courtesy of the BBC

We would have long debates over which of these tasty treats was the most tasty. There was a hot debate between the black and the red ones. Putting the blog together, I was reminded of the box they came in. I recall one of the nicer nuns at St Vincents giving us jellie babies and showing us the box of all the smiling babies. She said "All babies should be happy like this, whatever colour they are". It made an impression. Not everything about my Catholic education was as insightful as that. They seem to have changed the recipe. Not for the better.

4. Wagon Wheels.

Pic courtsy of Kev

The mighty Wagon Wheel was loved mostly because it was absolutely massive. They also had rather cool TV adverts. I'm not sure anyone really liked them for their taste, but if you were hungry they were the go to biscuit. These days they are tiny, which sort of defeats the whole point.

5. Caffrey's Snowballs.

Pic courtesy of Penny Jellies

You'll have twigged that I love a bit of coconut. These were wonderful. The white gunjy middle, the delicate chocolate coating and the coconut. They were a delight to me. Again it was a passion few of my friends shared.

6. Spangles

Pc courtesy of Candy Club

These were not only wonderful, but quite dangerous. If you bit one in half, it had edges as sharp as glass. I particularly used to like the lemonade ones. I strongly disliked the Fizzy Cola ones, which combined all the elements of the taste of cola I disliked.

7. Sherbet Fountain.

Pic Courtesy of MarciMarciMarci

These were wonderful. Licorice seems to be out of fashion as a sweet, but there was nothing better than dabbing it in the sherbet and feeling it explode on your tongue. It is beyond me why these fell out of fashion, as they were simply marvellous.

8. Cadburys fruit and nut bar (London Transport Edition)

Pic Courtesy of TheGirlTastes

Pic Courtesy of British Nostagia
London Transport Tube stations all had chocolate vendingmachines. These were wonderful. I loved putting a shilling in and a fruit and nut bar popping out. I always have preferred Fruit and Nut to plain chocolate. 

I was amazed to find that it was produced as it was cheaper than normal chocolate. I always thought it was far superior. 

I miss the machines.  They were usually next to a cigarette machine.

9. French Nougart

Pic courtesy of Guy Belshaw

I used to love Nougart. I realised the world was going mad when people started sayingit was pronounced "Nou - garr" rather than "nugget". It got transformed from a cheap treat to a rather pretentious sweet. I find it far too sweet these days.

10. Man from U.N.C.L.E Sweet cigarettes.

Pic Courtesy RetroToyRevivals

I genuinely didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I learned these were being made again. I am very tempted to buy some, not that I'd ever eat them. They were the height of cool at the time. In the 1960's there was no taboo about smoking, in fact my Dad would smoke filterless Capstan Medium ciggies and buy me some of these so I could emulate him. He died aged 69 from smoking related diseases. I nether smoke or really like sweets now, so I am not sure if they did any harm. 

That's all folks, have a great weekend. I wrote this song as a tribute to this marvellous era

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