Now here are some classic sweeties which are still going strong after many many years. I don’t know the exact origins but apparently Black Jack chews date back to the 1920s at the least, but more on that in a bit.
I believe that these sweets were originally produced by the Trebor company, but over the years many of these sweet manufacturers have merged or been bought out by other companies (most notably the all conquering Cadbury) and the sweets are now manufactured under the Barratt brand name.
Starting with Black Jacks then, these sweets were about an inch wide and made from that really hard chewy stuff that you have to suck for a while before it actually becomes soft enough to chew. They had an aniseed flavour and as the name suggests were black (well, very dark grey anyway) in colour. The best thing about them though was that they turned your tongue black! Personally I’m not a big fan of aniseed or liquorice flavours, but I did like Black Jacks.
Apparently Black Jack sweets got their name back in the 1920s when the image of a gollywog toy was used to advertise them. At some point in the 1980s this image started being considered as racially offensive, and so the image was dropped and replaced by a pirate. The pirate has since been dropped as well, so we’re now left with just a black and white swirly background.
Fruit Salad chews were always the sister sweet to Black Jacks. They were the same shape and consistency as their brethren, but were a peachy pink colour and were raspberry and pineapple flavoured, a very tasty mix indeed. I don’t recall these making your tongue change colour though, so they weren’t quite so much fun in that department.