10 of our favourite retro British sweets

This #ThrowbackThursday the team at Voice have pick’n’mixed some childhood sweets for you to delve into!

10 of our favourite retro British sweets

Given that the sense of taste has a strong connection to recalling memories, binging on your favourite bygone sweets can set you off on an intense nostalgia trip. Let us know if any of these sweets were your childhood favourites!

Blackberry and Raspberry Sweets

2cb9d17fc98d99b43ea1fe730e0d868e121f1148.jpgThese mini blackberry and raspberry sweets offer a classic fruity choice amongst all of the sugary, sour and chocolate options. Many versions now don't seem to get them quite right, sometimes adding crunchy bits or too much gelatin, resulting in a too chewy sweet. The classic version of these sweets can typically be found in retro sweet shops.

"Candy Heaven"by foxypar4 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Bassett's Dip Dabs Sherbet & Lolly

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These divisive sweets have been around since the 1940s. Whether you think they taste like soap or you love their powdery texture and floral smell, they’re undeniably recognisable by their unique lavender colour. In 2016, the company Swizzles created a limited edition Parma Violets cheese to celebrate the sweet’s 70th birthday, but the less said about that the better.

"More British imports"by Ruth and Dave is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Parma Violets

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These divisive sweets have been around since the 1940s. Whether you think they taste like soap or you love their powdery texture and floral smell, they’re undeniably recognisable by their unique lavender colour. In 2016, the company Swizzles created a limited edition Parma Violets cheese to celebrate the sweet’s 70th birthday, but the less said about that the better.

"#98/365 - Parma Violets" by abooth202 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Candy Sticks

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Candy Sticks, made of chalky sugar, were a firm favourite for an after school treat. The character boxes, featuring Spiderman, Batman, Hello Kitty – or the trustee original – had us all in awe, as we got more than we bargained for 50p. It included a free water tattoo and reputable playground status as you were deemed cool enough to eat them. The original candy sticks were banned internationally for resembling cigarettes but it didn't stop us pretending before our parents or teachers told us off!

Joe Loong // Flickr

Cadbury Money Box

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A firm British classic, Cadbury created a chocolate dispensing money box that could be bought in the iconic Argos catalogue in the 90s and early 00s. It was such a simple concept but always produced great joy as you got individually wrapped chocolates if you inserted 2p. Now discontinued, the Money Box is a distant memory but was a clear example of saving made easy. Who needs an ISA when you can save the Cadbury way!

"Cadury's Chocolate Machine money box"by unloveablesteve is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Pez 

9ba02f33635f35e2580d67345581452b5e39e719.jpgPez is the brand name of a popular tablet candy that is most commonly known for their manual candy dispensers. The candy is a pressed, dry, curved-corner block that has a variety of flavours. It was the variety that made this sweet desirable, as there was a character for everyone from Supermario to Winnie the Pooh and you could collect them or refill the dispenser with new sweets if you wanted to. 

Ruth Hartnup // Flickr

KP Choc Dips c1efd87fbdb31b733d3274d1bc7476247dae6a47.jpg

This was the original chocolate and breadstick combo and the blue tub was the perfect ending to school day as you always had more dip left at the end. You could choose between milk or white chocolate and it usually came up to 70p. You can still get these today, although you are more likely to see the Nutella version on your shelves – but KP Choc sticks will forever be remembered as the OG.

Buh Snarf// Flickr

Campinoa19252279fd2feb1f7a02068322df3adb21dc48e.jpg

These hard candies could often be found in the homes of older relatives but would always go down a treat whenever you were able to have them! Utilising a combination of yoghurt and fruits, your mouth would burst into an explosion of flavour once you reached the gooey centre of the sweet. Until 2007, only two flavours were available: strawberry (a.k.a the correct flavour) and summer fruits – though cherry and peach flavours round out the Campino complement. Although they have been discontinued in the UK, you may be able to find these sweets online! 

"Sweetness and Light (53/365)"by lacygentlywaftingcurtains is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Flying Saucersa19252279fd2feb1f7a02068322df3adb21dc48e.jpg

Another older sweet, Flying Saucers had an iconic shape that made them instantly recognisable whenever you saw them. A familiar favourite for the British public, Flying Saucers have also been noted as a popular vegan sweet. Filled with sherbet and made from rice paper, their fizzy contents could often leave you screwing up your face as a result of the sour taste. That said, it never deterred anyone from trying to see how many Flying Saucers they could fit in their mouth in one go!

"Cosmic Flying Sherbert Saucers"by eek the cat is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Wonka Xploder

Back when everybody had fond memories of Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp, what were you doing?!) Nestle released the Wonka Xploder. The purple and blue wrapper with the comic explosion on it was immediately recognisable, and it was always a treat when a relative bought one. The milk chocolate with popping rock candy in it was the strangest mouth sensation, and the amount of popping candy meant you could feel it continue to explode as it went down your throat. Now discontinued, Cadbury’s have released a (significantly inferior) Marvellous Creations, but the addition of jelly beans detracts from the experience. Trying to recreate that nostalgic 00’s experience has now become my personal white whale, and any company that releases a comparable product will have a dedicated fan.

Ali Muzaffar, De-mornae Clarke, Claire Jenns and Tom Inniss contributed to this article

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Voice Collaborations

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1 Comments

  • Hector Macduff

    On 31 May 2021, 11:09 Hector Macduff Kickstart Team commented:

    Any one who chooses Parma Violets is 100% certified a sociopath. End of.

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