Another variety of penny sweets available from your corner confectioner were those made from chocolate. As with jelly sweets the chocolate versions were usually also shaped in several fancy ways, making choosing all the more difficult. At the end of the day they may all have tasted similar, but choosing whether you wanted your chocolate in the shape of a mouse, a football or a DIY tool was a dilemma for a six year old.
Chocolate penny sweets were normally either milk or white chocolate, although you did occasionally come across yellow banana flavour chocolate and pink strawberry flavour chocolate. Strictly speaking only brown chocolate can truly be called chocolate, but since there doesn’t seem to be a better name for white and the other colours we’ll stick with the term here as calling it something like white block candy isn’t very descriptive!
Here are some of the types of chocolate that I fondly remember from my childhood.
Chocolate Footballs – Little spheres of milk chocolate wrapped in foil printed with a hexagon and pentagon design to make them look like footballs. Getting the wrapper off was usually a lot of fiddling about, and when you did finally get it off there was a 50-50 chance of the chocolate being a tasty variety or not. Some makes used what I called “cheap chocolate”, which was the kind that usually didn’t taste like anything much, least chocolate.
White Mice – A derivative of the old sugar mouse (normally made of a solid block of pink tinted sugar, with a piece of string for a tail), the white mice were little mouse shaped pieces of white chocolate. Often also available in identical looking milk chocolate forms, the white chocolate version somehow always looked much more mouse-like. Most white mice were just a lump of white chocolate, but occasionaly you got some that had a red gooey substance in the middle, which I always joked was meant to be blood. You could also get skulls made in the same way, with the red gooey stuff inside, but given the shape of the skull it was easier to smash these with your finger to make it look like the skull had been in some kind of horrific accident.
White Fish and Chips – Again, pretty much just a lump of white chocolate, but this time shaped like either fish, or thin ridged rectangular blocks that were supposed to represent chips – presumably crinkle cut ones.
Dazzle Drops – That was what I called them, though they do get referred to by other names. Think of a Cadbury’s Chocolate Button covered in hundreds and thousands. Quite nice, and if you were lucky they could be a two for a penny sweet, so good value too.
Chocolate Tools – These were more expensive, usually 3 or 4 pence, mainly due to their size, which was around 2 to 3 inches long. They were made of milk chocolate moulded into the shapes of various DIY implements, such as saws, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers and the like.
Raspberry and Orange chocolate bars – Another more expensive variety, these were mini bars of flavoured chocolates. I’m pretty sure there were raspberry and orange flavoured bars, which were pink and orange in colour when you unwrapped them. I forget what these were actually called, but I distinctly remember the wrapper having a cartoon picture of the relevant fruit with a skipping rope.
You won’t be able to get all of the above any more (certainly not those raspberry and orange bars anyway) but A Quarter Of have a great selection of these chocolate goodies.