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Sweets and confectionery in the UK including liquorice.

A Quarter Of
- Sweets galore, including retro /vintage sweets and candy, such as Acid Drops, Rhubarb and Custard pips, Floral Gums, Liquorice (whips, Catherine Wheels, Allsorts and more), Shrimps, Fruit Salad, Cough Candy, sugar mice, foam mushrooms, fried eggs and Chocolate Limes. Penny tray favourites including Flying Saucers, Traffic Light Lollipops, Drumsticks, Giant Smooth Cola Bottles, Fizzy Blue Bottles, Giant Fizzy Cola Bottles, black jacks and fruit salad. Sugar free sweets are also available.

All About Liquorice

Liquorice is one of those sweets that you either love or hate. As a child, I hated it, but now as an adult I love it. Perhaps it is an acquired taste.

The most famous liquorice product ever is Liquorice Allsorts, first made by the Bassett Company. They came into being when Charlie Thompson, a sales person, tipped up his tray of samples and accidentally knocked them all over the floor. The customer was impressed by the ensuing mixture of shapes, sizes and colours and he placed an order. This story dates back to 1899 and Liquorice Allsorts are just as popular today, although the Bassett Company is now called Trebor Bassett and is owned by Cadbury.

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Buttons
- A delightful place to explore Sherbert Dib Dabs, Pineapple Chunks, Sherbert Fountains, Cherry Lips, Fruit Salad and hundreds more, with the option to buy larger quantities at wholesale prices.

The most popular liquorice allsorts are:

  • liquorice rollThe coconut roll. It consists of a centre of liquorice surrounded by coconut paste coloured either pink or yellow.

  • worm cakeThe worm cake. Well, my mum calls them worm cakes anyway - they're the jelly ones that taste of aniseed with little bits all over the outside. Interestingly, the worm cakes don't contain any actual liquorice, but I suppose aniseed is a similar taste to liquorice.

  • three layer liquoriceThe five layer. This one consists of two layers liquorice sandwiched between three layers of coconut paste. It is available in a number of different colour combinations, often with white on the outside and a colour in the centre.

  • five layer liquoriceThe three layer. This sweet is similar in makeup to the five layer. It consists of one layer liquorice sandwiched between two layers of different coloured coconut paste. One of the colours is usually white and the other can be orange, brown or pink. The brown layer is allegedly chocolate flavoured, but it doesn't taste anything like chocolate to me.

  • cylinderThe cylinder - this sweet is basically a cylinder of white or pink coconut paste surrounded by an outer layer of liquorice.

The Catherine Wheel

catherine wheelOf course, liquorice doesn't have to be an allsort. For years, Bassetts have marketed the "Catherine Wheel" - a spiral of liquorice lace with a worm cake in the middle. There is an art to eating a Catherine Wheel, akin to that of eating spaghetti, except without the need for cutlery.

Where does liquorice come from?

Bertie Bassett, obviously. Seriously though, liquorice is made from the roots of a plant called "Glycyrrhiza glabra", more commonly known as liquorice root which is available in health food stores. This plant grows in Southern Europe, especially the Meditteranean.

Liquorice is made by grinding and crushing the roots, then boiling them to concentrate the extract. This extract is then formed into shapes as required.

Not liquorice liquorice

Not liquorice liquorice looks like liquorice but is a different colour, usually red, green or orange. It is as though the Gods of Liquorice have created a version without the flavour of liquorice but with the same texture. Products to look out for if you're a none liquorice person, are strawberry whips (red), orange whips (orange) and apply whips (green). They usually cost a few pence each. However, you can get really long ones for a bit more which are guaranteed to keep you chomping for quite a while.

 

The Welsh Sweet Shop
- Traditional Welsh sweets made using traditional recipes, including fudge, toffee, nougat, sherbert, sugar free and diabetic, mints, gums, penny tray items, marshmallows and more.

Marzipan World
- A site dedicated exclusively to hand crafted marzipan and edible decorations.

Sweetstall
- A great range including marshmallows, mints, candy laces and pencils, bubble gum, chewing gum, tic tacs, chews, bars, gums and jellies, toffees, sugar free and much, much more.
Treasure Island
- Everything from boiled and hard to soft and chewy, including Bassett's Kola Cubes, Pascalls Sherbet Lemons, Barratts Pink Shrimps, Matlow Swizzels Parma Violets and Double Lollies.