At the English Tea Store, we love sweets just as much as we love tea. Chocolate, jellies, gummies, you name it. Some of the sweets that don’t get enough attention are our classic British sweets from many childhoods. Today we highlight these much loved sweets and explore how they came to be.
Liquorice Allsorts have a long history and a funny story to go along with it. In 1899, it was said that a candy sales representative named Charlie Thomson was with a customer in Leicester, UK, showing some sweets to sell. The customer was not liking them until Mr. Thomson accidentally dropped his tray of sweets and ran to pick them up. The client saw that the candies were such a colorful mess and very interested, he placed a large order for them! On the packets of liquorice allsorts, you may notice a man made entirely of the sweets. That is the mascot, Bertie Bassett! He has been the face of Bassetts for generations.
Pontefract Cakes are another popular liquorice sweet. The history of these sweets are older than the US itself! Back in 1760, an apothecary from Pontefract named George Dunhill began to add sugar to a Pontefract Cake, which was already made at the time but it was only used for medicinal purposes. The recipe uses raw liquorice and a special stamp that nearly everyone in the UK recognize.
Sherbet in the US is considered a type of ice cream but in the UK, it’s a fizzy and powdery confection. It’s tangy and sweet, and people love to pair it with other sweets. Try a strawberry lollipop and you get the winning combination of a Dip Dab. These are much like a certain lollipop I used to enjoy as a kid that had popping candy but instead of popping candy, you get sherbet. If you love sherbet but are still on the liquorice train, then there is the Sherbet Fountain. These are not actual fountains like I thought (don’t ask) but they are like a fountain in your mouth. These are plastic tubes (originally paper) in which they house a small stick of liquorice and an amount of tangy sherbet. You can do as you please with your liquorice, whether lick it to dip with or bite the top off and use it as a straw. Everyone has their favorite way of enjoying this classic.
What are some of your favorite classic sweets? Any that we should carry but don’t? Let us know! We always listen.