When I was a kid, there wasn’t much health focus on how bad candies and chocolates were for us, so I look back very fondly and nostalgically on old fashioned sweets. I love that you can still buy some of these in specialist stores and websites today. It’s great fun to go into an olde worlde shoppe that sells old fashioned sweets by the quarter pound straight from a large glass jar.
You probably don’t recognize the name. Kali is pronounced kay-lye and is actually a Northern English word for sherbet. Old fashioned sweets sound better with old fashioned names, so kali really fits the bill, and it was one of my favorites. You might know it as rainbow crystals. It is a fizzy crystalline powder and I used to love how the big jars had angled layers of all the neon, fluorescent colors and if you got the layer at the right time, you’d have a kaleidoscope of color in a paper bag (hmm just think of all those E numbers!). Kali is still widely available.
One of the old fashioned sweets no longer available is Spangles – it was discontinued in the ‘80s. They were so ‘70s! Spangles were individually wrapped square hard-boiled sweets. They came in lots of fruity flavors as well as mint and licorice. The iconic flavor however was Old English. They were a deep purple-y black sweet with a flavor that was a mix of butterscotch, mint humbug, licorice, and aniseed. You either loved them or hated them.
3. Anglo Bubbly
Gum has never been as popular in the UK as in the US, but we’ve had our passions and fads. One that symbolized gum of the ‘60s and ‘70s was Anglo Bubbly. You weren’t allowed to wimp out on this one. We’d shove 10 blocks of gum in our mouths and chew furiously until we could blow bubbles as big as our head!
One of my special treats was the Aztec chocolate bar from Cadbury. Originally launched in 1967, Aztec was a scrumptious mix of nougatine and caramel wrapped in thick, dreamy, creamy, Cadbury milk chocolate. It was touted as the British answer to the Mars Bar but it disappeared from the shelves in the late ‘70s.
5. Sweet Peanuts
When you’re a kid, sweets that are made to look like other foods are quirky and exciting. So’s the case with sweet peanuts. These are a hard boiled sweet formed into unshelled peanut shapes. The excitement came when you broke through the sweet creamy shell to bite into the center of chopped peanuts.
6. Fish and Chips
While on the subject of old fashioned sweets that look like other foods, I can’t forget fish and chips. These were white chocolate candy flavored fish and chips – crinkle cut for extra detail. It was fun to eat real fish and chips followed by a bag of candy fish and chips, washed down with a glass of cherryade (called “pop”) made with the Soda Stream. If we were extra good, Mum and Dad added some pink foam shrimps into the bag too!
7. Fry’s 5 Centers
Now we come to the one I miss most. Fry’s Five Centres was phased out in the ‘90s although you can still get orange and mint versions today. Firstly I loved it because it was dark chocolate. Secondly can you imagine how fun it was to break off each section not knowing what flavor it was going to be? Each little block was filled with a different fruit flavor fondant – when the creamy white coconut flavor showed, I was most happy.
I know you can buy many old fashioned sweets online these days but some have gone forever. Are there any sweets from your childhood that have been discontinued but you wish would make a comeback?