Archive for January 12, 2010

‘The Sweetness of Youth’

Posted in LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA with tags , , on January 12, 2010 by echostains

flying saucers making an appearence

When I was out shopping the other day, I was surprised to see a woman put a bag of ‘flying saucers’ into her basket.  I didn’t know that they still made these sweets. ‘Flying Saucers’  were hollow and filled with a sherbet surprise when you bit into them.  They came in different shades of pastel  ‘sherbety’ colours.

yellow Kali crystals

When I was growing up, the most exciting sweets were those which tended to leave a  mark of some kind.  Kali – sticky, sickly yellow crystals which made the fingers turn yellow was a firm favorite of mine.  If you didn’t have a liquorice stick you dipped your finger into a bag of this – and sucked (yuck!).  Another sweet I used to like, made your tongue go black.  ‘Black Jacks’ where something like 4 for a penny, very liqourice and morish. ‘Fruit Salad’ which had never even seen a fruit was also a jaw tingler – and you got 4 for a penny.

amazing what you used to be able to get for a penny

A lot of these ‘penny chews’ are making a come back,  Some didn’t really disappear.  None cost a penny now, and the ones I am now going to mention, never did.  When you are young you will eat anything sweet (the more sickly the better).

But where these sweets good for us?  A lot of them, besides rotting your teeth were a bit dangerous.  This doesn’t matter so much these days, as the retro sweet is now a bit of a treat to be taken from time to time.  But not so long ago, we were eating these sugary sweets every day of our lives and  handing our hot little pennies over the sweet counter.

sweet tobacco

Sweet tobacco, shredded to look like real tobacco was I think probably made of coconut.  Did it encourage  children to chew tobacco though – probably not, as you didn’t see people doing this in real life or on the TV, apart from the Wild West in a cowboy film, and even then it was usually an old-timer (not a cool image to aspire to when you’re young).  Chocolate cigarettes though, that looked very realistic were another matter though as smoking was everywhere and considered ‘cool’.  It was nothing to see children with these in their mouths, mimicking the adults.


Chocolate liqueurs, the ones in little chocolate bottles could also be bought by children. My sister used to love these – they had real liqueur in them too and are still seen in the shops.  Smarties which every child loved have had to withdraw some of their colours  – the blue ones in particular because  they have been linked with hyperactivity.  More colours being axed include Brilliant Blue (E133); Quinoline Yellow (E104); Sunset Yellow (E110); Ponceau 4R (E124); and Carmoisine (E122).  Read more about the Smartie colours HERE:  Vegetarians were also offended by the red ones, as the dye was found to come from crushed beetles.


A lot of these sweets are still made.  For a trip down Retro Lane, you can’t take a wrong turn if you go to this smashing website

liquorice pipes still made HERE and chocolate cigerettes are still available HERE

Step back in time – Flying saucers and other retro sweets HERE and HERE

Fancy some sweet tobacco, just for old times sake? they still make it! HERE