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11 sweets you'll remember if you grew up in Scotland

Free from the need for tighter regulations on sweetie control, a trip to the shops with your granny or granda always meant there was a possibility of cajoling them to partake in a visit to the local sweet shop.

Published: July 29, 2015

Approaching the shop you were greeted by a proverbial riot of coloured gems, and that was just from the shop window. When you got inside the jars spread out before you like a crazed alchemist's dream.

Have a lollipop - Stockbridge sweet shop owner Remo Mancini in May 1991.

Every Scottish child's favourite person. The owner of the local sweet shop and purveyor of many a delicious treat. Picture: TSPL

Sadly you were only allowed to pester the 'wee man behind the counter' for one type - or two if you were particular skilled at manipulating your relatives.

Soor plooms, cola cubes, lemon sherbets, penny toffees... probably the most important choice a 6 or 7 year old would have to make that week.

Later, the opening of that little paper bag to reveal whatever your chosen treasure happened to be was the best part of the day.

Here is a selection of some of the sweets you'll remember if you grew up in - or had relatives who lived in - Scotland:

1. Wham bar

CONSUMER Wham Bars End 1

The Wham bar. Picture: Flickr

If any sweet summed up growing up in the eighties then it was the Wham bar. Garish pop art packaging, massive tongue tingling flavour - the Wham bar was as iconic and as cool a sweet as you could get.

2. Highland Toffee bar

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Children enjoying the wonderful highland toffee bar. Picture: TSPL

Scottish sweets don't come much more iconic than the Highland Toffee bar. More Scottish than haggis and tartan, the sweet toffee bars were soft and chewy unlike regular toffee, and the sheer joy on someone's face as the clenched their teeth and pulled trying to take a bite always resulted in hilarity.

3. Creamola foam

Creamola Foam powder - add to water for a fizzy drink. 28/10/98 PUBDATE_WS_01_25_1998_10_31

Creamola Foam powder - add to water for a fizzy drink. Picture: TSPL

Like a sweet from the future of 1980, creamola foam was all the rage for children in the 60s and 70s, should you have been lucky enough to persuade your parents to buy some.

There were several flavours including raspberry, orange and later cola and the sweet fizzy drink that resulted from mixing water with the crystals was almost magical and great for impressing friends who'd never tried it.

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4. Cola Cubes


Cubic art in sweetie form. Picture: TSPL

Cola Cubes were like little pieces of geometric joy, you always had to be careful though, eating too many could result in the edges causing a slight form of friction burn on the gums. The risk was somehow always worth it.

5. Irn Bru bar


Irn Bru Bar. Picture: Flickr

Combining the love of two of Scotland's favourite things - sweets and Irn Bru, the Irn Bru bar was every child's dream (and every dentist's nightmare). Judging by the amount of groups there are on social media dedicated to bringing this sweet back, it's lost none of its popularity.

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6. Sherbert Fountain

The infamous sherbert fountain. Picture: TSPL

The infamous Sherbet Fountain. Picture: TSPL

There's an old Scottish saying that goes 'as unwanted as a Sherbet Fountain liquorice stick'.

Wait? There isn't? Well there should be.

Looking like a stick of dynamite and with a sour explosion of flavour to match, it was common in summer in Scotland to see little black sticks of liquorice dotted around the ground as kids discarded them after they'd drained the fountain of its cache of sherbet.

7. Chocolate cigarettes

Chocolate cigarettes. Picture: TSPL

Chocolate cigarettes. Picture: TSPL

The quickest way to look cool when you were in Primary 6 or 7 was to purchase these candy cigarettes and pose like an adult while you enjoyed them. The illusion never lasted though, as the temptation to eat the chocolate always proved too much.

8. Soor Plooms

Soor Plooms. Picture: Flickr

Soor Plooms. Picture: Flickr

Soor plooms were sweet and sour in equal measure. Supposedly originating in the 14th century to commemorate a battle, the little green boiled sweets were loved for their sharp flavour (which was everlasting centuries before Willy Wonka appeared on the scene) and were even made famous by Oor Wullie.

9. Love hearts

The iconic sweets have been given a modern makeover. Picture: PA

The iconic sweets have been given a modern makeover. Picture: PA

Couldn't pluck up the courage to chat to your chosen paramour? Then these wee sweets could often come to the rescue. Always carefully chosen for their message before being passed on with a knowing wink, embarrassment could quickly follow if you gave the wrong person the wrong one.

10. Bon Bons

Strawberry bon bons. Picture: TSPL

Strawberry Bon Bons. Picture: TSPL

Coming in a rainbow variety of colours, the ubiquitous Bon Bons were loved by children and adults alike. Strawberry and lemon were the most popular flavours and the powder coating almost always ended up covering faces and hands.

11. Pop Rocks (popping candy)

Popping candy. Picture: TSPL

Popping candy. Picture: TSPL

The bane of many a parent, the sweet with 'sound effects' was well loved by mischievous children all across Scotland. Often leaving adults perplexed as they stumbled across quiet groups of children, mouths open like fish, staring at each other intently, as they strained to hear that magic popping noise.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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