I read an article in the SMH today about Sweet Nostalgia and of the sugary treats mentioned in the article – Musk sticks, Redskins, Pine Lime Splice, Golden Gaytime, Sunnyboys, Wagon Wheel, Golden Rough – most of them stirred up some memories for me, after all, a classic is a classic.
But there are so many wonderfully sugary treats out there that I felt compelled to compile a list of some of my own childhood favourites.
Milkos, Redskins & Spearmints – white, red & green. Such variety! At 5c each, the Crookwell pool canteen did a roaring trade in these small treats after a school swimming lesson. The risk was whether it would be rock hard and snap with each bite, or so soft and chewy, you’d end up with a string of sugary spit reaching from your mouth out to your fingers! And can’t you just hear your Mum saying the line about breaking your teeth? It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Spearmint and I’m sure they changed the flavour of a Milko, but a Redskin still sticks to the roof of your mouth just the way it always did.
Fags/Fads – if you count these sugary white musk sticks, then you could say I was a smoker at the tender age of five! Remember the red tip, showing that it was “alight”. And they were far superior to the chocolate wrapped in paper (could you eat the paper or not?) version. Apparently renamed from ‘Fags’ to ‘Fads’ so as not to offend, they’re hard to come by these days.
Wizz Fizz – toss your head back and throw it down in one go or spin it out one spoonful at a time (I always used the spoon upside down…). Wizz Fizz could always get the party started. And apparently still can – Wizz Fizz has recently found its way back into my life and still gives you an immediate sugar high, those it doesn’t last quite as long these days.
Red frogs & Cobbers – another canteen special, these were a favourite of the boarders after Saturday morning sport. We stocked up and headed back to the boarding house to recover from a tough game!
Jersey cows – I don’t remember anything else other than I loved these caramel and white licorice-allsort-lookalikes, but they were rarely included in lolly bags at parties.
Pop Rocks – sachets of popping candy. Head back, mouth open, pour the whole thing in and listen to the fizzing & popping while you fight the urge to start coughing! It’s the sound of my childhood Summer holidays at the beach. When Ween and I would walk home from the beach the corner store (perfectly named the “Do-Drop-In”), we’d pick up a couple of packets of Pop Rocks and a potato scallop. This Summertime ritual might be one of the vividest and happiest of my childhood. Taste the explosion!
Darrell Lea Bo Peeps & chocolate money – a teeny jar of colourful boiled lollies and a mesh bag of gold coins made it into our Xmas stockings (alongside an apple & a toothbrush – Santa covered all his bases!) every year for as long as I can remember. And while big brother Charlie (his Bo Peeps had a blue lid) would finish his little treats off in a day, I would make mine (Bo Peeps with a pink lid) last and last. It’s only now I realise how much it tortured Charlie to have to watch me still sucking on the boiled sweets at Easter time!
Calippo – it had to be lemon flavour and you had to be careful not to squeeze too hard at the bottom and pop the ice block straight out the top and onto the ground (oh the tears…), but these refreshing ice blocks were a favourite. Though I’ll admit I never enjoyed the usually warm, melted liquid at the bottom. It kind of ruined the refreshment when you ended with a shot of warm syrup and a scrap of soggy paper stuck to your lip.
Golden Gaytime – absolutely the best ice cream ever invented. There’s nothing else to say. Though it is impossible to eat a Gaytime (ha ha ha! GAYtime! So funny.) in the car without a few bits of the crispy honeycomb falling off and getting squished between your legs and then discovering it on arrival at your destination, melted into the crotch area of your travel outfit.
I had to include a savoury favourite too…
Twisties and Cheezels – filled with artificial flavours and colouring, these were (and very much still are) every parents party food nightmare, not least because of the orange finger trails that they so cruelly left behind on furniture and walls! But you can’t deny the cheesy goodness of both and the way the corny Twisties get stuck in your back teeth and the joys of a five finger Cheezels hand!
I could go on and on with this list – so many memories, so much junk food joy! – but I’ll leave it here for now and let you take a walk down your own sugary memory lane.