Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sweet fix from The Sweet Junkie

Regular readers of my blog will be forgiven for thinking I have a sweet tooth (guilty as charged m'lord).  The fact that I've said I have no resolutions to lose weight has been great because it means I get opportunities like this - to review the Traditional Sweets Shop - Sweet Junkie.

I love the way eating Old Fashioned Sweets can transport you back to a different time and place, with different varieties holding special childhood memories. 

My sweetie-eating hey-day was the late 70s and early 80s.  Back when a penny chew was a penny (actually back then we still had 1/2 pennies), you were defined by whether you were a Fruit Salad or a Black Jack kinda person.  Admitting you actually liked Parma Violets was akin to laying on the ground and asking the bullies to duff you up!  Much cooler were Refreshers - for the tough nuts who could handle the vicious fizz on the tongue, or Love Hearts - much loved by girls who pretended they didn't like playing kiss chase, but always allowed themselves to get caught!  Even just hearing the names of these retro sweets again has filled my head with memories of playground giggling and British Bulldog.

Sadly, a lot of towns have lost their Traditional Sweets Shop and it's difficult to get hold of a quarter of Cola Cubes. Here the t'internet is your friend. Browsing through Sweet Junkie's site is like being 4ft tall again and gazing up at the rows and rows of jars on the shelf; the big shiny silver scale pan and the little white paper bags.

There's all my old favourites including Liquorice Allsorts; Rhubarb and Custard and American Hard Gums plus some I've not had before like Dandelion and Burdock; Storm Guards and Sherbet Oranges

Sweet Junkie sent me some lovely samples to test and the Liquorice Comfits; Aniseed Balls and Liquorice Allsorts were all exactly as I remembered them.  I'm not sure how the samples were picked for me, perhaps this is part of a sweet shop owner's role, but he picked perfectly for my tastes - I adore liquorice flavours.

I also tried some Apple Bonbons. These were new to me, although of course I'm familiar with the strawberry and lemon variety.  I think I may just have found a new favourite.  I seem to remember bonbons clogged your teeth up with sticky toffee goo, but these weren't like that.  The gentle, fragrant apple flavour was fresh but subtle. The sweets were chewy, without being gummy.

Speaking of teeth, I love the fact that there is a section on the site dedicated to dental advice!  Actually, it makes for a fascinating read, but reading between the lines, and taking only the information which I find personally advantageous, it is far better for your teeth to scoff a bag of sweets all in one go, than to savour them individually leaving large gaps between each sweet.  Least that's what I'm believing!

There is a large sugar-free section in the store, and it's great to see so many different varieties, including some kid's favourites which I suspect my daughter wouldn't even realise were sugar-free.

Take a look at the shop, there's loads to tantalise your taste buds, and if you're looking for an unusual Valentine's treat, how about one of their adorable personalised sugar mice.

Worth a follow on Twitter too, you can find them @sweetjunkie  x

For the purposes for this review I received sample sweets. I did not receive any other reward, financial or otherwise and the views expressed are my own.


  1. I am SUCH a refreshers fan, and love all the old style sweets. I still remember being tiny and going with my Nan to her local newsagents in Newcastle with all the sweetie jars behind the counter. She loved black bullets and always had a bowl of them sitting on her mantelpiece. Sigh, nostalgia!! :)

  2. I think I'd go with the Blackjacks gang, loved the way they turned my tongue black. Those sweets look lovely, even after a huge dinner. I think, unlike lucky old you, I may need to cut down on the sweet stuff.

  3. these look yummy. thanks for following us on twitter Gardening Express

  4. nom nom nom - liquorice allsorts! yeah!

  5. Black jacks! I mentioned these in a post a while back - where I'm from.

  6. I might be tempted to do a review actually. I always have mixed thoughts about sweets because I was never allowed many as a child because I was a fussy child who didn't eat properly. So if I had sweets, I really savoured them and made them last. Those images take me back to those times.