When it comes to lollies, we all have our favourites but there are a select few that can be labelled as Australian classics. These are the sweets whereby the mere thought of popping one in your mouth, invokes memories of childhood. For me it’s those weekends heading into the local shop with the neighbourhood kids and tackling the difficult task of deciding whether to spend this week’s pocket money on a handful of aniseed balls or a Kit-Kat bar.
What We Consider Classics
The lollies that have the biggest effect on us will largely depend on the decade in which we spent our youth. This is because, as most things in life, tastes and trends change and even the world of confectionery must keep up with the times. The huge selection of candy stored in old-fashioned jars in the corner shop are more or less a thing of the past, although thankfully Nestle under the Allens Lollies line have hung on to a few of the real favourites including Minties and Jaffas. The children of today will have no concept of walking into a shop and ordering a selection of favourites according to weight but rather expect to grab a large multi-pack or slab of chocolate both quickly and conveniently. A classic can be defined as something ‘judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.’ Based on that description the following lollies can certainly be considered Australian classics:
Passing love hearts across the table to your crush was the much preferable alternative to handwritten love notes. The simple messages were sweet and romantic and they are one example of a lolly that invokes a memory in all of us. As well as the great fun that they contributed to they also had a delicious fruity fizz.
Minties are one of the true classics that have its origins back in the 1920’s. It was created in Sydney by Sweetacres and was intended as an alternative to boiled sweets with an obviously minty flavour. They came into their own during the depression and a memorable and entertaining advertising campaign based around the slogan, ‘It’s moments like these you need Minties.’ They continue to be as popular as ever today with 500 million sold each year under the Allen’s Lollies line.
Smarties are another true oldie, which goes back as far as the late 1800’s. They started off life in York, England under the Rowntrees label and were quickly picked up by Australia. They were originally chocolate beans and the colourful sugar coating that we all know and love came later.
Jaffas were known as the movie snack and are small chocolate covered orange balls. They are named after a town in Palestine, where oranges are grown and are another example of an Allen’s lolly that remains to be as popular as ever.
Aniseed balls are hard and round sweets that are similar to small gobstoppers. They are harder to find nowadays but were once a staple in Australian confectionery. The strong and distinctive liquorice flavour or aniseed oil makes them popular with many but less so with others.
Kit Kat Bar
Kit Kat is another Rowntrees creation that was designed specifically as a treat that a man could put in his lunch box and take to work. It combines chocolate with wafer for a sweet, chocolaty crunch. The slogan that we still know today ‘have a break have a kit kat’ was first heard in Australia in the 1950’s.
Finding the classics in the modern day
The classics may be oldies but they are still very much around today and the lasting popularity is largely what provides them with the prestigious status as a classic. The corner shop with shelves and shelves of different lollies may be dying out, but there are plenty of alternatives available when it comes to getting your hands on your favourite lollies. Big brand lines such as Allen’s has a great selection of confectionery with many of the classic favourites included. These can be found fairly easily around Australia in most supermarkets and stores. The Internet of course is another option that offers unrivalled convenience and often the best prices as well. Searching for Allens Lollies or even a specific type such as aniseed balls or jelly beans will lead you to some excellent online confectionery stores. This is by far the easiest way to find those classic Australian lollies that you are beginning to crave.