I think we can all agree that life was essentially a torturous pit of misery, soul-destroying inertia and endless paroxysms of agonising realisations that life is utterly futile – that is, until we discovered sweeties.
My earliest memories of chocolate and sweets is that we weren’t allowed an awful lot of it. It was an incredibly rare treat – received about as often as a modern kid would get a new phone upgrade (insert a self-righteous huff about “kids today…!” where appropriate) – and we would watch avidly after dinner as Mama took a snack-size Mars bar and cut it into thin little slices like it was a loaf of bread. We’d get about two little slices each, and felt pretty pleased with ourselves. Mama wanted us to appreciate chocolate was a treat, and not an entitlement.
…Unfortunately, shortly after that my Uncle became Managing Director of a sweet company, so suddenly we had free and abundant supplies of every variety of dentist’s nightmare known to man. Bad luck, Mama.
The irony is that it is only when we are adults that we can really appreciate the feel-good feeling biting into your favourite sweet treat brings after a long hard day, and yet apparently it’s somehow childish of me to bring sherbert to work meetings, and wearing edible bracelets seemingly don’t count as fashionable partywear. Hmph.
I’m feeling like a return to roots is necessary, and as such I’ve decided to blog about five of my favourite long-forgotten treats from childhood.
There was a time where if you said ‘BN, BN’ anyone in a five mile radius would poke their heads around doors, screech their car to a halt, or drop the vital organs they were transplanting – all just so they could sing ‘doo dooooo doo doo-doo!’ at you. They were good times.
Biscuits with oddly sinister winking smiles on. They make for a better world. And you can still buy them here, among other places.
Because choking hazards are always fun, right?
Seriously, we used to get these by the box. And I’d eat so many, my tongue would not only change colour, but go sort of furry. And I’d always, always end up swallowing some of the gum, and get lectured about how your body couldn’t break up gum and so it would apparently live in my stomach forever. And I’d be scared one day it would mutate into some hideous gummy life-form and want to take revenge on me for eating it. But then I’d just get hungry again and eat another lolly and swallow some more gum. I was too lazy to scare myself for very long.
You can get a box of fifty Zoom lollies for £9.99 here.
I can’t actually find these cakes anywhere, so I don’t think I can show you their true beauty. They were fatty, heavily sugary little spongecakes individually wrapped in plastic, and inside they had the most delicious bright red strawberry sauce filling. Mama used to put them in my lunchbox and they were so amazing I’d want to run away and hide so I could eat it by myself. I was a strange child.
I don’t know what happened to them, but if you find them I will buy a MILLION.
Ah, yes. Candy Spray. NOT YOUR CANDYSPRAY, MY CANDYSPRAY. My Mama used to tut when I brought this stuff home – she knew how it would end up: me, unable to stop spraying the sour-tasting concoction into my mouth even though my tongue had gone numb, feeling decidedly unwell and wondering if I’d ever get my sense of taste back. And yet feeling interminably depressed that I’d used up a whole bottle, AGAIN. And knowing my friends and I would buy another bottle tomorrow. It was like heroine for children. Yeah, strawberry, lemon, or cola-flavoured heroine. So good.
You can buy some here for a quid.
Yeah, we can still get poptarts pretty much anywhere, yawn yawn yawn. But not the ones I’m talking about.
Strawberry and chocolate sauce burning my tongue half off each morning was yummy enough (seriously, though, WHY do we put them in the toaster? It makes them hotter than the sun, and peels layers off the inside of my mouth), but the real good stuff were the chocolate and marshmallow varieties. Ohmygoodness, these were the only things that dragged me out of my pit in the morning, especially on Fridays when I had P.E first thing. My P.E teacher hated me, and looked an awful lot like John Bon Jovi. And yet she was female. Interesting.
Anyway, you can buy them from firebox (the ones I mean are now called “S’mores”). Only, don’t. Because I WANT ALL OF THEM.