From flying saucers to lemon and strawberry chewy refreshers – these are the sweets that defined our childhood. With a wave of nostalgia, we shall grieve for the loss of our childhood sweets and prices of the 10p Freddo and 15p strawberry FizzWizz popping candy. While these prices are but a fond memory to us all now, I took a trip down sweet memory lane – and by that I mean I popped into Ye Olde Sweetshop in Salisbury at the weekend – to find some of those long lost gems.
With my bag full and a sweet tooth to satisfy, I indulged myself in some serious journalism and rediscovered some fond ‘retro’ sweets of the late 90s and early 2000s. Some of the following can be found in supermarkets still, but some can only be purchased in a specialist sweetshop. Without further ado… here are five sweets to reminisce about:
1) Barratt Refreshers – 2.5/5
How I remembered them: Cherry, Lime, Lemon and Orange; distinct flavours. These little suckers (pun intended) would fizz on my tongue and give me the simple pleasure of a sugar rush – something that a 6-year-old looks for in a good sweet! I used to love these sweets so much and would eat a ton of them after school because they were just too good and for just 35p, who can argue with that?
Now: To say the very least, I was a little underwhelmed. Not only is it daylight robbery to charge 70p a pack for them, but I am pretty sure they are smaller in size and there is not a lot of difference in flavour. I acknowledge that the sugar content has been lowered for obvious reasons, but where has the distinctiveness gone?! However, I still will hold them in high regard as they still are relatively fizzy, vegetarian and will always be a favourite of mine. Just a word of warning though, prepare to be disappointed if you used to love them as a kid.
2) Kola Frosties – 3.5/5
How I remember them: These sweets and their fruity counterparts were delightful! I know there is little difference between these sweets and cola cubes, but they were far more superior in taste and texture; it had a sort of chewy centre! These sweets were also cheap when I was a child and they were compact; you could sneak them into school up your sleeve and eat them at the back of the class when it was story time… you know, like the cool 5-year-old that you were!
Now: Taste-wise, they are pretty similar to how I remember them but with a little less sugar coated on them. Likewise, they are still cheap, but sometimes hard to find in shops and you can forget finding the fruity versions – that is a hard job! I would love to give this sweet a 4, but in comparison to other sweets it is just above average. However, if these were your favourite, then by all means go out and buy some.
3) Rainbow Dust – 4/5
How I remember them: This sherbet straw would definitely give you a sugar rush, that’s for sure. The flavours were distinct and sharp – addictive really. A classic sweet to buy at your school disco and everybody loved them. Without a shadow of a doubt, they are a generation-defining sweet.
Now: They taste the same pretty much, except a little sweeter and less sharp. What can I say? This sweet speaks for itself!
4) Wham Original – 4.75/5
How I remember them: Where does one begin with this one? The flavour is just wow! With hints of berries and a chewiness to give your jaw a good exercise, this bad boy is just incredible. Far better than the Iru-Bru and strawberry flavoured Wham bars and with a slight tanginess that is not off-putting, but inviting to chomp down on until your heart is content.
Now: Exactly how I remember them! The texture, taste and packaging remains exactly the same and that actually makes me happy. However, the downside is that they are not vegan-friendly which is why I cannot give this sweet a 5/5.
5) Toxic Waste – 4.75/5
How I remember them: A tad sour, but overall sweet. Once again, distinct flavours for each sweet in a cool plastic yellow wastage barrel. Inside, the sweets were individually wrapped and hard to open for 5-year-old me – and super sticky if left in heat. This sweet is one of those you would unwrap and give to an unsuspecting victim and wait for them to pull the face.
Now: Sour. Definitely sour! You would think that you would remember that these sweets pack a sour punch, but no. I personally enjoy sour sweets and to have a sweet which is the same all these years later is totally awesome. A new generation of kids get to pull tricks on one another with these sweets, something I still do to my flatmates even now! Moreover, these sweets are vegan-friendly too as they do not contain any milk or egg. I am slightly biased for this sweet since I enjoy sourness, but they did only put one blue raspberry (the best one!) in the pot, therefore it is a 4.75.