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Archive for the ‘Sweets and Snacks’ Category

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Fireball Jawbreakers

Posted by Big Boo on September 24th, 2010

Fireball JawbreakersThese gobstopper style sweets were lethal in many ways, but they did represent good value for money as you got three in a packet and they lasted ages! In no particular order here are the reasons why you had to be careful eating them.

Lethality 1: They truly deserved the name Fireball as they made your tongue start to burn not long after popping one in your mouth. I’m not sure what the ingredient was that made them so hot, but hot they most certainly were.

Lethality 2: These guys were also pretty big, at least for the average child sized mouth anyway. You could just be a baby and lick at them I suppose, but that would take forever to eat and what is the fun in that. No, you had to pop them into your mouth whole, moving them around to relieve your burning tongue and forever sucking to stop bucket loads of saliva dripping down your chin.

Lethality 3: As the name Jawbreaker suggests these sweets were also incredibly hard to bite into, but because there was a piece of bubble gum lurking in the centre of them you just couldn’t help but try to bite into them every so often. These sweets must have caused many an emergency dentist visit.

Lethality 4: Finally, as if the danger to your teeth wasn’t already bad enough, the fact they were sat in your mouth for so long generating sugary sweet spit meant that you probably weren’t helping your chances of avoiding a few more fillings.

They are still available today, as are their more tongue (but not tooth) friendly fruity flavoured cousins.

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Curly Wurly

Posted by Big Boo on August 27th, 2010

Curly WurlyUnlike many of the sweets I’ve covered in these very web pages, the Curly Wurly is still very much alive and well, which is nice too know.

I’ll get the complaint out of the way first then. Are these, like many sweets today seem to be, smaller than they used to be? I’m pretty sure they are, but of course maybe it’s just down to the fact that when you are a small child they seem much bigger, but the memory of them never quite leaves you. Creme Eggs are another good example of this phenomenon – I’m sure you used to be able to sit them in an egg cup like a proper egg, but now they roll about in the bottom.

Gripe out of the way then, let us now celebrate the wondrous idea that is the Curly Wurly. Simple ingredients (just chocolate and caramel) put together in that weird ladder shape with the wobbly rungs, the design was actually quite clever in that it made eating the bar much easier for little ‘uns with smaller mouths. Any more caramel and it would have required far too much biting and chewing to eat.

Another benefit of the bar was that it was also quite cheap to buy, although I think perhaps that might not be so much the case these days…

But by far the best feature has to be the name. Who could possibly come up with a better name than Curly Wurly? Not only does it fit the choccy bar perfectly it’s also the kind of name that oozes appeal for kids. Somehow you always felt a little mischievous asking for one (or maybe that was just me?).

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Piglets Crisps

Posted by Big Boo on August 2nd, 2010

pigletsIt’s a little disheartening looking at the array of crisp packets on shop shelves these days. For the most part you can just get under filled packets of normal crisps in various flavours (probably too many flavours too be honest), over priced packets of “extra fancy” crisps and a handful of more interesting crisps such as Quavers, Skips, Frazzles, Monster Munch and Hula Hoops.

In the Eighties it was a different matter. The interesting crisps category had many more contenders. OK, they may have been variations on one of themes mentioned above, but the fact they were different funny shapes and sometimes unusual flavours meant that all still felt unique.

Once such crisp that is no longer with us, and indeed I can’t think of anything that is even remotely close to it, was Piglets. These were potato crisps (I think) in the shape of little pigs, but the best thing was they were three dimensional piggies, not just flat cut out shapes. The crisp itself was actually very thin, and had somehow been puffed up to make a little ball of crisp for the pigs body.

They came in smaller bags than your average packet of crisps, but the bags were absolutely ram packed with crisps, unlike todays pathetic portions.

I’m almost definite that the flavour I enjoyed most was called “Bacon and Bean”, but I’m sure there were other flavours available, I just can’t remember what they were.

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Alphabet Sweets

Posted by Big Boo on July 5th, 2010

Sweet AlphabetOK, so there’s really no such thing as a sweet that’s good for your teeth, but there are certainly some sweets which are a great deal worse for your teeth than others. Chewy toffees such as Toffo are dangerous if you have a lot of fillings or weak teeth, and I’m sure that as much as I love them, Popping Candy and Sherbet Fountains are little more than packets of instant tooth decay.

Today’s post is about those hard candy alphabet sweets that were bad for your teeth simply because they were so hard you really had to suck them for ages before you could bite into them. However, the urge to crunch them up was just so strong that you couldn’t resist, even though you knew you could easily break a tooth in the process.

Made from a similar type of stuff as those white Sweet Cigarettes (or Candy Sticks as we have to call them these days) these candy letters came in various colours and depicted every capital letter in the alphabet. Admittedly any letter that had a hole in it (e.g. A, D, O, P etc.) was missing the hole, so they weren’t always shaped correctly, but then you were going to be eating them rather than using them to do your spelling homework, so it wasn’t really a problem.

You don’t see them around much now, but you can still buy them in larger bags (which could in theory last you for months if you sucked them all individually) but I distinctly remember buying them in a little cardboard cube which was styled like a childs building block, with different letters on each face. I wonder if you can still get them like this?

Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Pot Noodle

Posted by Big Boo on May 17th, 2010

pot noodlePreviously on this very site I’ve written about some very tasty foodstuffs from my childhood, including Galaxy Counters (which many have rejoiced about the return of) and Bird’s Instant Hot Crunch Puddings (which many would like to see brought back).

It’s surprising then why when there are so many foods that we are all eager to see return, there are others which are still around today which many would not miss should they disappear from shop shelves. One such example is the Pot Noodle.

Pot Noodle were made by Golden Wonder and first appeared in UK shops in 1979, although they were previously developed in Japan where they are known as Cup Noodle. Given that when the name Pot Noodle is mentioned most will respond with something along the lines of “Urgh!”, “Yuck!” or “Bleurgh!”, it’s a (golden) wonder they are still around.

Read more…

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Galaxy Counters Return!

Posted by Big Boo on April 7th, 2010

galaxy counters newOne of the most commented upon posts I’ve made on this site has been the one about the old kiddies sweets Galaxy Counters. It seems many people have missed this old sweetie, and the good news is that Mars have listened, and are bringing them back!

Galaxy Counters were originally aimed squarely at the kids market, and were a competitor for Cadbury’s Buttons. For me, Galaxy Counters just had the edge, mainly because each one had a little number printed on it, which for some reason made eating them a lot more fun. I guess it was the same feeling you got when opening a packet of Smarties, to see which letter was on the plastic cap (sadly this little bit of fun has also died out now).

The relaunch of Counters is due for April/May 2010 (however, there are reports of some branches of Asda already stocking them) but don’t go looking for them in their old white packets with the animals on. No, Counters have been turned into a more grown up sweetie now, coming in those pouches that you tear the top off to get to the yumminess within and styled with the same brown and cream look that other Galaxy products have.

Aiming them at adults was definitely the right thing to do, as all us nostalgia freaks will descend upon them like waves, and we won’t be disappointed as they have also increased in size too. If you’re a lover of Galaxy milk chocolate then you’ll know what to expect – basically it’s a Galaxy Minstrel without the crispy outer shell. Yum! The only thing missing from the new version is the lack of a little white number, but that’s no great loss I suppose.

If you’re unable to track them down in the shops then why not try entering our competition to win a bag of Counters. It may not be a big prize but it does seem to be a much sought after one. Follow this link to enter – all you have to do is fill in your name and e-mail address and tell us what you’re favourite memory of the Eighties is.

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Toasted Sandwiches

Posted by Big Boo on February 26th, 2010

toasted sandwich makerImprovements in technology and in manufacturing processes meant that the seventies and eighties were a time when lots of so-called “labour saving” devices were introduced to our homes. The kitchen was one room in the house that saw quite a few new gadgets come along, and one of those was the toasted sandwich maker.

The toasted sandwich maker, also commonly known as a “Breville” in the UK (because that was the name of the biggest manufacturer of the devices, just like Hoover has become another way of saying vacuum cleaner) or simply a “Toastie Maker”, was basically an electric hot plate cooker, but instead of a flat cooking surface it was moulded with triangular indentations that could accommodate slices of bread.

To use the device you basically made a sandwich, except instead of arranging the bread so the buttered side was next to the filling, the buttered side faced outwards towards the sandwich maker surfaces. You dumped your sandwich into the toastie maker and closed the lid. The two sides of the sandwich maker compressed the bread around the crusts, creating a seal but normally leaving the crusts poking out the side. Once cooked you carefully extracted the sandwich from the machine, and waited for it to cool down before having a good munch.

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Smith’s Crispy Tubes

Posted by Big Boo on February 19th, 2010

smiths crispy tubesWith crisp behemoth Walkers slowly buying up every other major crisp manufacturer they can lay their hands on, it was inevitable there would be some casualties. To be fair to Walkers, now they own Smith’s Crisps they have at least kept the Smith’s name running as a brand (Walker’s Salt ‘n’ Shake would be sacrilege).

Whilst the Smith’s name lives on, we have unfortunately had to say goodbye to the Smith’s Crispy Tube, the tube shaped crisp. These crisps were long, thin tubes of potato, and I’m still not sure how they managed to make them in the first place. There may be other tube like crisps available, such as the ever popular Hula Hoops or Wheat Crunchies, but the Crispy Tube had a very light, delicate texture these other crisps lack.

Crispy Tubes always reminded me of those other Smith’s favourite, the Square Crisp. In fact, perhaps that was how they made them, by taking Square Crisps and rolling them up somehow before cooking them?

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