When I’m browsing the confectionary aisle at the supermarket, there can be row upon row of mouthwatering sweets, chocolate and other sugar based snacks and yet I can’t decide what to choose. When I stumble on the retro candy shelf, it all changes and I want to fill my trolley with Refresher Chews, Floral Gums and Sherbet Pips.
I may be all grown up, with teenagers of my own, but you can’t take away the cravings of a 70s and 80s kid. There was nothing better than going to the local sweet shop and gazing at the goodies on offer, making a purchase and scoffing the lot before you got home. Well, it saved the bother of sharing!
Similarly with chocolate biscuits, they have the same name but aren’t a patch on the quality and taste we experienced, Whilst we can’t go back in time, there is nothing stopping us reminiscing and giving a salute of respect to the treats we were honoured to have known, gone but not forgotten.
Sour Tastes You Couldn’t Get Bitter About
We all loved to give our tastebuds a treat, mixing flavours and making the odd, strange expression, as if we’d eaten a whole lemon. There was plenty of candy fit for this title.
Dip Dab – And again
The tangy powder stuck to the strawberry lolly and we shoved it in our mouths, repeating until the sherbet had disappeared and our tongues felt weird.
These were sour with a capital ‘S’. Displayed in the jar, along with it’s sharp cousins, in the sweet shop, it was like a bush tucker trial, sucking them and trying to refrain from spitting them out. Instant relief ensued, when we bit into them, releasing the more than welcome chocolate.
Chocolate Limes – Tangy citrus
Sherbet lemons were the tangiest of all. Even if you weren’t a fan, you couldn’t stop eating them. We were tough in those days!
How To Stay Fresh With Mega Minty Munches
Who needed ‘Gold Spot’ mouth freshener when you could blow your head off with ‘Ipso’ drops. Whilst 2 ounces of mint imperials was for the unadventurous, there was a rich supply of products that made us want to breathe over everyone, with confidence.
Pacers – Take your time
Individually wrapped in stripey wax paper and very chewy, Pacers were related to Opal Fruits and the two often crossed paths.
It’s quite the norm, these days, to buy chewing gum in jumbo packs but we never had that privilege. There were only about 6 pieces in each pack.
PK Chewing Gum – Stick to it
You could even get PK out of a machine for about 2p. If you were spotted chewing at school, the underneath of the desk came in handy.
Mint and chocolate were made to be together and this match was utilised in the form of a delicious, long, slim chocolate bar, divided into 8 portions, 4 for me now and 4 for later on.
Fry’s Peppermint Chocolate Cream – What a delight
Then there’s the famous ‘Mint Cracknel, iconic bright green centre, which ‘chased those blues away’. ‘Tootie Minties’, sister of ‘Tootie Frooties’ was a welcome addition to the clan. My mouth’s watering at the thought – happy days!
Feeling Fruity – You Will After Seeing These
I reckon fruit sweets must have been slightly healthy. They gave you energy to play out for hours and also contributed to 2 of your 5 a day, if you ate enough, right?
Fruit Polos – Wholly delicious
It was easy to eat the whole packet within minutes. If you were offering one to a friend, you’d pray it was going to be green or yellow and definitely not red.
When you went into the sweet shop, there would be jars of candy, standing to attention, preparing to be weighed and put into little white bags. If you were short on the cash front, you could ask for an ounce.
Pear Drops – Eat two at a time
They had an unusual flavour, nothing like a pear but very edible, all the same. They would stick together in the bag if kept in a warm place, such as your pocket.
It goes without saying that Black Jacks, a chewy liquorice dream in a square, was the candy of choice, only pipped to the post by Fruit Salad chews, totally delicious.
Fruit Salad Chews – Healthy
‘Opal Fruits’ were ‘made to make your mouth water’ and there were wholesome chocolate bars, Cadburys ‘Fruit and Nut’ leading the way, with a walnut whip in close pursuit.
Chocoholic Heaven Was Opening Its Doors With These Classics
These days, chocolate doesn’t taste anything like as smooth and creamy as it used to. On top of that, the bars were bigger and there were even chocolate machines, outside the newsagents, so you could treat yourself after closing time.
The Wombles Chocolate Bar – Not at all common
If you were partial to a furry character who was keen to pick up litter from Wimbledon Common, then it was a no brainer to eat the chocolate bar and think of Uncle Bulgaria.
Was there such a thing as a chocolate bar for grown ups? Cadburys had the right idea, targeting chocoholics everywhere with a rum and raisin combination, in a mixture of milk and dark chocolate.
Old Jamaica – With a Caribbean surprise
Try as you might, even after two bars, you were as unlikely to get drunk as you would be by eating a packet of wine gums.
Not a special enough occasion to buy a box of chocolates? Don’t panic. You could still have all the pleasure of an assortment of centres, plus change in your pocket, with Milk Tray dressed as a chocolate bar.
Milk Tray In A Bar – Centre of attention
‘Golden Crisp’ always hit the spot and the nation’s most remembered ‘Caramac’ was almost too good to be true. We should get a petition going – will you put your name down?
Packets of Perfection In Every Handful
The beauty of a packet of sweets was that they stayed in tip top condition if you wanted to leave half the packet until later. I have this on good authority from my sensible sister but I wouldn’t be able to comment as it was a race against time to finish them, in my world.
Treets were more than sweets and much more than chocolate. They were a union of confectionary, with never a cross word, such was their compatibility.
The peanut Treets left nothing to be desired. They were the whole package for every age group and it was a sad occasion when the last one in the packet was eaten.
Sweet Cigarettes – Lit up our childhood
Re-branded as candy sticks in later years, sweet cigarettes even had red colouring at the tip to look like a real, lit up cig. We felt cool, pretending to inhale, before eating the sugar strip.
It was always a pleasant surprise to bite into a smooth, chocolate coated candy, not knowing what the centre held in store. It could be orange, toffee (my favourite), coconut or peanut. You could sometimes tell from the shape what flavour was inside.
Revels – To be enjoyed
‘Poppets’, with assorted centres in each box, was part of our Saturday evening treat along with ‘Spanish Gold’ sweet tobacco and chocolate raisins – we knew how to live in the fast lane.
Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates – It was In The 70s And 80s
Boxes of chocolates have gradually given way to large tins, widely available in the run up to Christmas (so, from about August!). They don’t hold the excitement of the cardboard rectangle, with a printed menu, depicting the individual chocolate and it’s yummy centre. Shame, I think.
Weekend – Not just for Saturday night
With a single layer to choose from, we all had our Weekend sorted. Mum liked the green marzipan one, which took the pressure off the rest of us, as no one else wanted it.
The centre of the selection had an orange and lemon slice, a cop out as they weren’t real chocolates, but were ok as extras.
Terry’s Carousel – Enough to go round
One of the cheaper brands, it had a selection of chocolates and candies, probably to keep the price down.
They were sold in the foyer of our local cinema (called a picture house, back then) and when we went to the pantomime, they were on display on a shelf, behind the ticket booth.
Spartan – Race for your favourite
For those who liked hard centres, like my grandma, Spartan would be the chocolates of choice, another winner brought out by Terry’s of York.
Those of you of a certain age will be familiar with ‘Quality Street’, when it was in a small, dinky tin. Mum used the empty one as a sewing box, for many years, until it got rusty.
Tubes Of Sweets That Fitted Nicely Into Your School Bag
Having a supply of sweets and crisps, in your school bag, was of paramount importance, to get you through a boring day. There was an array of different choices and here are my personal favourites.
Toffos – Stick to the toffee
Toffos were the best, whether original toffees, banana or mint flavours. They were a real part of our childhood.
I’ve no idea how wine gums got their name but, regardless, they were chewy in a wonderful way, to the extent that I liked to eat 3 or 4 in one go and mix up the fruity tastes.
Maynard Wine Gums – No proof of age required
As with other sweets, wine gums could be bought by weight but, for some reason, they were more appealing in the tube and fitted inside your sock if you wanted to hide them from an annoying brother (yes, I’m talking about mine)!
I’m really going back in time now, when I mention these square, boiled sweets, in variety or plain tubes. Liquorice was always a good choice, though they made your tongue go black.
Spangles – It’s a wrap
Sweets and chews did, however, have a hidden cost as they were responsible for unwanted visits to the dentist. Weighing everything up, I wasn’t going to give up my candy life.
Chocolate Biscuits That Cheered You Up
Only a weirdo would refuse a biscuit, coated in milk, plain or white chocolate. I wasn’t fussy – I’d take anything on offer. Wish I could trace some of the old classics and tempt them back. At least we can recollect how truly thankful we were to receive them.
Original Club – We had to join
The biscuit was bigger, the chocolate chunkier and the filling was thicker – that’s why they were so much better than today.
The blue wrapper was supposed to be football themed, hence ‘United’, but we were more bothered about the texture and taste. The result was 2-0 against every other biscuit team.
United Biscuit – Keep the packet together
An orange filling was introduced and it made my school lunch box that bit more exciting. When kids wanted to swap their biscuits, I kept well out of it. I was happy enough, thanks.
As if we weren’t treated enough in the 70s and 80s, out came another crumbly, crunchy accessory to a cup of tea or diluted orange (Quosh) and it was worth waiting for.
Bandit – Worth stealing
What about ‘Bar Six’, now defunct but hit the spot with its wafer and hazelnut combination. It was wrapped in foil and then in an orange wrapper, for extra freshness.
Bubble Gums To Make Your Jaws Ache
Whereas chewing gum was more about freshening the mouth, bubble gum was for fun, stretching it out of your mouth, winding it around your finger or making huge air bubbles, that often burst over your face and hair. That was a nightmare, picking it off. Sorry for being so explicit but I wanted to put you straight back in the picture and I can see you all nodding in agreement.
Bazooka – All right Joe
The king of bubble gums, fondly remembered, especially for the mini cartoon, printed on wax paper. Bazooka Joe was the character, with his black eye patch.
What better way to carry your bubble gum than in a tiny, drawstring bag which could be recycled afterwards (we were ahead of our time) and used to store a favourite marble!
Gold Nuggets – Worth a fortune in memories
Gold Nuggets were more expensive than other gums, but you couldn’t put a price on quality. They were the whole package.
Fancy having an ice cream and, instead of being disappointed as you neared the bottom of the conical container, you were as happy as Larry. Waiting for you was a gobstopper sized bubble gum ball. Life was good.
Screwball – Saving the best ’till last
At Christmas time, you could get bubble gum cigars, aimed at the older kid who was growing out of the sweet cigarettes.
The Centre of Chocolate World
Grown ups were content with dark chocolate ‘Bournville’ or a few squares of ‘Whole Nut’ but the younger generation were more concerned with the centres. Soft fruit or gooey caramel made it an experience never to be forgotten.
Cabana – Enough filling for a hut
We were spoilt rotten with a centre of coconut, cherry and caramel. I never understood why it made a swift exit – was it frightened of the competition?
This next one was a very distant memory as I was only knee high to a grasshopper when I tried it. When you snapped off a section, you never knew what was in store but you were never disappointed.
Fry’s 5-Centre – The choice is your’s
Whoever came up with this idea of five different centres was a genius. Fry’s were always one chunk ahead of the game.
We are a nation of caramel lovers and that’s a fact! Soft, gooey caramel was even better and we praised the lord, well Mackintosh’s, for the beauty that was golden, in every respect.
Golden Cup – The top chocolate prize
Pyramint is an old one I remember. It was shaped like a pyramid, surprisingly, and filled with, what can only be described, as melted ‘After Eights’. It was so moreish.
Sweet Desserts We Couldn’t Finish Fast Enough
When we’ve finished our dinner, no matter how stuffed we are, there’s always room for tiramisu or salted caramel chocolate brownies. In our youth, puddings and ‘afters’ were the highlight of the meal and went down quicker than the Titanic. We didn’t have anything fancy and many of them came from the frozen aisle at Tesco but, as long as they were defrosted fully and didn’t set our sensitive teeth on edge, they gained their own appreciation society.
Arctic Roll – Eaten from far and wide
Vanilla ice cream, protected by jam and sponge was an absolute delight. Mum would cut it into six slices, even though there were only five of us. I never understood that but she did it every time. If it was a late decision to have it, the Arctic Roll was placed on the window sill, in the kitchen, where it was a bit warmer, so it wouldn’t take too long to defrost. There were times when we couldn’t hang on and the sponge was rock hard but it didn’t bother us.
Arctic Roll was the breakthrough, frozen dessert of the 70s. Before its introduction, we still had ice cream after our main meal, Neapolitan (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) and this was before the plastic containers. It was in a cardboard box and I liked to scrape any remnants that had stuck to the paper. My brother and I would do ‘trade-ins’. He’d swap his strawberry bit for my chocolate. We made sure we gave each other the exact amount so as not to cause an argument.
Super Mousse – What a hero
Commercials flooded the telly when Super Mousse burst on to the scene. Everyone loved the soft, fluffy texture and assortment of delicious flavours. Birdseye really pulled out the trump card with this tub of enchantment. If I recall correctly, they were bought in stacked packs of 4 or 6 and fitted neatly into the side of our new freezer which, by the way, mum thought had to be filled to within an inch of her life.
As a youngster, I never realised what blancmange was but I know I liked it. We would get a dollop of it with our school dinner, in the appropriate section of the plastic tray plate, which wasn’t allowed to be touched until we had finished the meat pie and mash, if that’s what it was -hard to tell. I started making blancmange at home, using Rowntrees Jelly, broken into cubes (and eating a couple of chunks, myself).
Blancmange – Are you feeling a bit wobbly?
I wasn’t interested in learning how to cook as mum had killed off that ambition when she served up unusual looking meals, which had been braising on the hob for a good few days. I was, however, up to learning how to bake and the Be-Ro recipe book was simple to follow. As long as we had the main ingredients at home, so as not to cause extra expense to the weekly budget, I made my way through the baking bible, taking it all very seriously.
Home Made Puddings That Made The Word Stodgy Fashionable
As I flicked through the book, free with Be-Ro flour tokens, it was hard to read the list of ingredients as most of them had bits of the actual components stuck to the wording! I managed, somehow, to read in between the icing and pastry particles and didn’t do a bad job, if I say it myself. My signature bake was rock buns, mainly because it took under 10 minutes to prepare and they were supposed to look misshapen, weren’t they?
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
It was surprising how simple ingredients could create the eighth wonder of the world. It was always a nerve racking experience, hoping your cake wouldn’t get stuck and that, when you turned it out, it looked reasonably presentable. The glace cherries were stored at the back of the pantry and I used to dip into them, regularly. I was always hopeful there would be sufficient left to place inside the drained, Del Monte pineapple rings.
It’s always the case that the unhealthiest of pudding always taste the best. It’s that fat and sugar combination, a winner without fail. As kids, we were so active, running around and playing out that a massive slice of jam roly poly, with a large glugg of custard (made with Bird’s powder) didn’t have time to stick to the waistline. The smell of the suet was better than ‘Charlie’ perfume and I often burned my mouth, as I was impatient for it to cool down.
Jam Roly Poly
Whenever it was a special occasion, birthday or family gathering, it was of great importance to bring joy to the table, by making sure that cakes and biscuits were in abundance. Battenberg cake was a regular, dad’s favourite but marzipan was not my taste so I’d go for the ‘Heinz Treacle Sponge Pudding’, which had been simmering on the hob for a lengthy period. You had to hold a tea towel round it whilst using the tin opener. Heaven!
Sometimes, simple recipes can win over complicated ones. Kids always want to get involved and it was no different in the 70s and 80s. Pillsbury Dough ensured the pastry was faultless and, even if you didn’t have a rolling pin, a milk bottle was a handy alternative. Stick a spoon of Robertsons strawberry jam in the centre of a cut out round shape and, bingo, we became the modern day Queen of Hearts.
Chocolate Rice Crispy Buns
Melted baking chocolate, mixed with Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (once you’d removed the free gift) was all that was required for this scrumptious, cheap treat. Placed into bun cases and left to set in the fridge – sorted. I could eat five at a tme.
Making up a Bird’s Trifle was a regular Sunday morning chore. The powdered ingredients were brought to life, with the help of milk and eggs and the sugared strands on the top made it look quite professional in an amateur sort of way.
Seaside Candy That Was Almost Too Good To Devour
We piled into the back of dad’s car (no seat belts required in those days), ready for a day out at the seaside, the excitement was 11 out of 10. Making sandcastles, eating fish and chips and, most importantly, visiting gift shops where there was an array of edible goodies, begging to be purchased, was off the scale in my world. Mum would make sandwiches for the hour and a half journey and they were polished off by the time we reached the end of the street. I was already on my second red, sweet shoelace after 15 minutes.
Dummy – For any age
The thrill of going into the ‘rock shop’ (candy, not music) and seeing so many different variations of sugar based confectionary was mind blowing. There was edible false teeth and scores of assorted sticks of rock, each proudly printed with the name of the seaside town. I always wondered how they did that! Enormous lollipops, ridiculously large, tempted our tastebuds and we got in a quandary over what we should choose, with our spending money. Of course, I had to get a dummy, the seaside being the only place where it looked normal.
Rock had to be at the top of the list. Should i go for mint, aniseed or fruit flavour. The fruit one was the cheapest so that solved one dilemma. The sticks came in different lengths or you could get them ready cut up, with pictures of fruit on, individually wrapped in cellophane. You had to bang the rock against the table to break it and you can only imagine what it did to our teeth – oh, well.
If you weren’t lucky enough to be able to visit a seaside town, you could be guaranteed a sweet present, following the postcard your parents received, saying, ‘wish you were here’. Sugared mice was a thoughtful gift, as was a red and white mini cane or, maybe, a packet of cherry lips to go with the false teeth. Edible Dracula fangs were a welcome addition, although they were a bit sore on the gums, if my memory serves me right.
Gob stoppers have always been up there, through the decades. Health and Safety would have had a field day if they knew the size of the jaw breakers we forced into our mouths, with hardly any space for oxygen. They lasted for absolutely ages and we even had to wrap them up, half finished, whilst we went for a fish supper and then re-commence for another hour or so, until they disappeared, leaving a multi-coloured tongue as a reminder.
Giant Jaw Breakers
We must have been a dentists’ dream and nightmare, at the same time. They wouldn’t be going out of business any time soon. There was never any education about what we should eat and the things to avoid. I, personally, thought that, as long as I brushed my teeth with ‘Macleans’ every morning, I’d be fine. Three extractions and many fillings later, I regretted being so ignorant. We were never even told that fizzy drinks, such as ‘Tizer’ were bad for us.
Candy Cosmetics and Juicy Jewellery We Adored
Why bother putting jewellery back in your ballerina jewel box when you could save room and eat it instead? Sounds crazy but the 70s and 80s were a pretty mad time and we embraced it fully. From edible dummies, worn around our neck with coloured string, to plastic rings with a candy precious stone, quirky became the norm. When I was really young, I remember licking a red smartie and rubbing it on my lips, a DIY lipstick, so to speak.
Candy Necklace – Neck it down
Maybelline Kissing Potions, often the first taste of make up for us youngsters, did smell good enough to eat but that was as far as you could go with it. There were a few consumable cosmetics, specifically in the lip department, which was the best news I had heard since mum said I could grow out my fringe into a middle parting! OK, so they weren’t real make up, but you can’t have everything, can you?
Sweet Lipstick – Lipsmackin’
Playing dressing up in mum’s high heels, as I did as a child, was part of my make-believe world and also included using my ‘Tinkerbell’ toiletries and ‘Love Hearts’ candy lipstick. I would smear it all over my lips, lick it off and repeat a dozen or so times. It lasted quite a while and, I think, prepared me for the real thing, several years later. I used to keep my lippy in my mum’s old Avon make up bag.
If you had the candy necklace, you could double up with a luscious bracelet and be ‘the girl about town’. The colouring did tend to attach to your wrist, if it warm day but you could lick it off, so no harm done. These accessories were very 80s and complimented a ra ra skirt and matching sleeveless sweatshirt. As I was obsessed with Bananarama, I embraced the whole vibe. It was a win win situation for me.
Candy Bracelet – wear and crunch
During the hot summers, fashion crazes got sunstroke and the weirdest sights could be seen. To be fair, we didn’t bat an eyelid as we were getting used to seeing teens sporting liquorice watches (big flashback going on here) and making out of tune sounds with a whistle pop, a hard boiled lolly on a stick. It was pot luck whether you managed to get an ‘E flat’ note out of it. It was fun trying though.
Out Of This World Sweets You Could Hardly Believe
What with the first man landing on the moon and talk of Apollo whatever number, it would be rude not to keep the space theme going, incorporating our favourite sweets. The sugar rush and additives were making us as high as a kite anyway! Many of the mouthwatering candies were so addictive, you needed an extra dimension of willpower to stop. Costing only a few pence, you could get absolutely loads for your pocket money.
Flying Saucers – Can you believe it
Everyone who lived through the 70s will be more than familiar with Flying Saucers. I used to think the thin paper, surrounding the sour sherbet, was actually real and wondered why it was more edible than the corner of lined paper I tore off from my school jotter and digested, for a dare! Unsurprisingly, Flying Saucers were voted the 9th most popular sweets of all time and the best seller in retro sweet shops, beating Fruit Salad chews hands down.
Who doesn’t have the best memories of pouring the whole packet of Space Dust into their mouths and experiencing the sensation of it exploding in each ear, making them feel really weird. Originally called ‘popping candy’, it sounded too American for us Brits so had its name changed by deed poll and that certainly did the trick. We flocked to the sweet shop, on the way back from school, and pondered which flavour we should go for that day.
Space Dust Candy – Popping out for some
KP crisps didn’t want to miss out on the action and their ‘Sky Divers’ were an instant, crunchy hit. Little characters, with what looked like outspread arms and legs, parachuted into our lunch boxes, as did ‘Space Raiders’. A ‘Spudnik Gumball sneaked under a jam sandwich made for an exciting lunch. Lucky for us, our ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ plastic box wasn’t checked like nowadays. I don’t think unhealthy stuff was invented until the 80s!
Unbelievable, but totally true, Astro Pops were invented by two actual rocket scientists. You’d think they had decent positions, working on a space programme, but obviously not enough job satisfaction so they came up with a cone wrapper, the mould for pouring in the hot candy, putting in a paper stick and then sealing it with wax. My friend and I used to sit on her garden fence, devouring these mind blowing delights, whilst putting the world to rights.
Astro Pops – A world away from other candy
If I was pushed to pick the star of the show, it would have to be ‘Galaxy’. Around since before i was born and my mum’s weakness, when she was on a diet, it was a universal hit as soon as you broke off the first square. Cadbury’s ‘Fruit and Nut’ had been the runaway winner up to then but times were changing. We weren’t privileged enough to have the choice of a caramel filling but what you haven’t had, you don’t miss.
Confectionary That Was Made For Sharing
I never did get the point about sharing. When you browsed the wonderful sight of rows and rows of sweets, you picked stuff YOU liked and, in my opinion, that made it personal property, to eat as and when the mood took us, as long as our mums didn’t see us scoffing banana foams, half an hour before tea. If it meant leaving half a Findus Crispy Pancake, due to overindulging, then so what!
Pineapple Cubes – Healthy alternative
If you were put on the spot and asked to name five sweets, from your childhood, that stuck out in your mind, and often to the roof of your mouth, then pineapple cubes, perfectly formed and sugared for extra loveliness, would be right up there. Accompanied by the new pineapple flavour diluted squash, it was double the enjoyment. Two ounces of the fruit cubes, in a small, white paper bag is a happy childhood memory.
Was cough candy only to be eaten when you had an actual cough or was it a boiled sweet, with a distinctive taste that made you want to crunch it as soon as it entered your mouth? If the answer is either, then it was a win win situation. My grandma always had a regular supply, as if it was going to be rationed, like in the war.
Cough Candy – Cover your mouth
As the advert always said, ‘Quality Street were made for sharing’ and that has been the case for as long as I was knee high to a grasshopper. Passing the small tin, as it was, back in the day and rummaging around for our own particular favourite, is a bit of nostalgia that money can’t buy.
A handful of firm, fruity gums in an array of mouthwatering colours and tastes, made a grumpy child into an angelic, small human. When they were offered round, there was no point in displaying etiquette by selecting one or two gums. You had to grab whatever your hand would allow, without a conscience.
Midget Gems – A diamond amongst sweets
I’ve just remembered cherry lips. I used to love those although they left an aftertaste in your mouth when you’d eaten 2 dozen of them. Sometimes, the red lips fooled us and they were floral flavour, very unusual, but you got used to them.
Snacks And Sweets Equally Mouthwatering
With so much choice in the sweet shop, at the newsagents or in Woolworths, at the pick ‘n’ mix counter, it became a headache in making the right decision of what to buy, or was that just the effects of sugar withdrawal? If you wanted to buy an assortment by weight, it was always a good idea to stick some lighter sweets in there, like Flying Saucers, so you could get more for your money.
Rainbow Drops – Colourful treat
Mountains of puffed rice coated in coloured sugar, eaten individually, the cellophane packet of Rainbow Drops could last hours, right through a movie at the cinema. They were heaven in a bag and, when you finally finished them, you felt like you’d reached the end of the rainbow. Artificial colourings may have contributed to this thought!
Loved and cherished by all ages, Iced Gems looked appetising and tasted even better. Everyone had their own way of eating them but I do believe that biting off the coloured icing first and then popping the crumbly biscuit into your gob, was the correct procedure.
Iced Gems – Irresistible diamonds
Iced gems weren’t like other sugary biscuits. Because they came in their own mini packet, we knew we were allowed to finish every morsel, licking the bag to catch a final sugary bit. For some reason, they always reminded me of summer, maybe because we used to take them on family picnics.
Monkey nuts were brilliant because you had the anticipation of eating them, once you broke the outer shell. Often bought by weight, you could get carried away and eat too many, resulting in a tummy ache.
Monkey Nuts – Don’t ape around
Before salted peanuts were sold in giant packets, by KP, you could buy them by the ounce. Dad was addicted to them and got half a pound – they lasted for bloomin’ ages! You couldn’t get hickory ones or honey coated but, even if you could, salted peanuts would lead the way in the nutty chart.
A Cold Crisp Day To Ponder Over Your Favourite Snack
The name ‘Pringles’ hadn’t even been thought of but there were loads of other ‘omg, I can’t stop eating these’ snacks. Tomato flavour crisps were amazing, although Bovril was one which had many households divided, much like Marmite. We had crisps every Friday evening, after the ‘Corona man’ had made his weekly visit, delivering a bottle of Dandelion and Burdock and a Raspberryade. He had a crate of crisps and we picked what we wanted.
Horror Bags Fangs – Frighteningly fantastic
Horror Bags weren’t just for Halloween, they were for life! Made by Smiths, well before Walkers was even thought about andGary Lineker was a toddler, Fangs were part of a horror range, which included Ribs, Claws and Bats. They sound delicious, don’t they? If the name didn’t shock you, then the pickled onion flavour definitely would have.
If you were after a beefy treat and Birds Eye Rissoles weren’t on the dinner menu that evening, you could get a quick fix with a packet of beef flavour Sky Divers. I remember these in our school tuck shop. We’d queue up at break time and hope there was still some left when we got to the front of the queue.
Sky Divers – Top Of The Crunch List
The salt and vinegar ones took over, in popularity and I don’t think any other snacks, with this flavour, ever matched them. The firm texture of each little man, with outstretched arms and legs, ticked every box.
Still on the meat theme (sorry vegans), Chinese Quavers were spicy beef and melted in your mouth. They had the texture of prawn crackers so could be a starter before you had a ‘Vesta Chow Mein’!
Chinese Quavers – Don’t bother with chopsticks
I think we forget how good these tasted and, on top of that, the bag was full, when you opened it, not like now, with 8 crisps hiding in the corner of the packet. Because we usually only had them at weekends, we savoured every one, licking off the flavouring first, in my case.
The Best Chocolate Bars On The Block
It never ceases to amaze me why perfectly delicious chocolate bars, with similarly exquisite centres, were torn away from our lives and replaced with so called modern twists. We were happy the way things were and sales, at least from my household, should have swayed the powers that be to ‘remain’!
Amazin’ Raisin – Astonishing
Similar to a Mars Bar, Aztec made an entrance in the early 70s. It was quite a large chocolate bar so that gave it a thumbs up from me. When we went to the local cinema, there was always an advert for Aztec. Being a penny cheaper than a Mars Bar, it was a no brainer.
Aztec – Even cherished in Mexico
I’ve no idea why Aztec bars were discontinued. Was it going to be for a short time and then, when it returned, we’d all go mad and stock up? I was barking up the wrong tree and trying to be hopeful, I guess. It was gone and I had to move on, difficult though it was.
Voted the top chocolate bar EVER, in a nostalgia poll and we can totally understand why. I mean, what was not to love about a nougat and toffee combination. It went together like jam and bread or Morcambe and Wise. It was baffling when it vanished without warning and the country went into mourning.
Texan – Ya’all loved the taste
Whilst I love a Friday Crunchie, in the 70s and 80s we had the choice of an orange or mint honeycomb beauty, a decision not taken lightly. We also got bags of misshapen, chocolate covered honeycomb, in a polythene bag, for 30 pence!
Iconic Commercials That Advertised Our Beloved Chocolate
Clever advertising has always been as important as the product itself. As we were encouraged to buy and try, we were very often hooked and booking a slot at Chocoholics Anonymous. Once a chocolate lover, always a chocolate lover – we shouldn’t have to sacrifice what had become our life. Amen.
Flake – Savour every crumb
We sang along with the theme tune, “Only the crumbliest tastiest chocolate….” and it was certainly very crumbly. There was a knack of making sure we didn’t drop even a slither, by putting our hand under the yellow wrapper, to catch any stray chocolate or by tipping any surplus on the wrapper straight into our mouths.
If you ask a 70s kid what the Milk Tray man wore, whilst tackling dangerous obstacles, in his quest to deliver the box of chocolates to his woman, everyone will automatically know he was dressed from head to foot in black – very sexy at the time!
Milk Tray – An adventure not to be missed
Looking as handsome as a Greek god, we never got tired of seeing him jumping from roof to roof, like a sleek cat, popping his head through his girlfriend’s bedroom window. Hope the shock wasn’t too much for her.
Who could forget the ‘last Rolo’ advert. It was very romantic and I wished I could meet someone who thought so much of me, to sacrifice a round chocolate caramel stunner. I know I would have struggled to share any of mine, never mind the last Rolo.
Rolos – Don’t share them around
The chocolate and sweets that we miss, with all our hearts, shouldn’t be forgotten, just because we can’t hold them in the palm of our hands. Memories deserve to be cherished and talked about, to keep them alive. Just having a finger of fudge now!