Tasty American Sweets

Tasty American Sweets

America has a huge selection of tasty sweets that are making their way across the pond to the UK and Europe. The UK has some delicious confectionery choices but many Brits are looking to America because they have such a diverse range of candy.

Everyone enjoys a bit of reminiscing about their favourite childhood sweets, especially the types that aren’t in production any more. Let’s take a peek at some of our favourite childhood American sweets, the typical UK dweller may not have heard of these but the die-hard sweet lovers will probably know about these transatlantic goodies.

A nostalgic childhood candy is the Boston Baked Bean – not your typical savoury style baked bean – but a peanut covered in a sugary candy coating. The sugar-coated delights were originally made by the Ferrara Pan Company in the 1930s and were popular among Americans in the 50s and 60s. The candy bean was created using a panning process founded in France in the 17th century, panning is also used to make M&Ms and Mini Eggs (think of their hard, sugar-coated shells). These candy-covered beans are extremely addictive, you’ve been warned!

Another tasty American treat is the Twizzler, made by the American chocolate icon Hershey’s. The company was founded by Milton S. Hershey in 1894 and is one of the oldest and most popular chocolate companies in America. Twizzler’s are described as, ‘licorice sweets with a twist’ and recently they have developed new styles and flavours for the Twizzler. As well as black licorice, you can choose from strawberry Twizzlers, cherry and watermelon. The newest addition to the Twizzler empire is the Sweet and Sour filled Twist which has a luscious gooey, fruity filling. Twizzlers also come in little bite-sized Nibs and Bites.

Another childhood sweet is the Laffy Taffy chewy sweet collection, the sweets are manufactured by Nestle but sold under their Willy Wonka brand (think Nerds and Willy Wonka chocolate). The individually-wrapped sweets are named Laffy Taffy because each wrapper contains a silly joke (Laffy) and Taffy describes the texture (toffee-like). The jokes on the wrappers were submitted by children, who got credited for their funny efforts. Laffy Taffy originally came in thick, square-shaped pieces but is now sold in thinner, rectangular pieces bursting with a long-lasting fruity flavour.

Wonka Nerds are sold within the UK but the hard candy sweets originated in America and were launched in 1983. Nerds are sold in a box with two separate flavours and each side of the box can be opened separately from each flavour. Nerds are made using the panning method (as with Boston Baked Beans) whereby a small sugar crystal is coated with sour sugary layers until the sweet is the right size. In addition to the usual two flavours in a box of Nerds, there are also Rainbow Nerds – a large box of colourful Nerds mixed together. The Wonka company also produce Nerd jelly beans around Easter and Nerd bubblegum all year round.

The US is definitely the leader in the sweet/candy market and luckily, all of the above goodies are available and sold in the UK – whether it be in large department stores or specialised American food shops.

Michael Richards is writing on behalf of American Soda, importers of genuine American sweets and drinks, including Sour Patch Kids and Mentos.