You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Twix - Classic British Sweets
There are so many different kinds of British sweets out there in the world that it's a little tricky to consider which ones might be the 'classics'. With that said, though, we're getting a few in this article that we're sure you'll love to see and would love to have in your back pocket, too.
Take a look at some of our British sweet hampers to sample a taste of the UK in your home!
Milk chocolate seems like a great way to start this list since the vast majority of different British candy and British sweets feature milk chocolate in a very intense way.
Most of the time, it will be wrapped around something, offering a creamy, crunchy layer that's sure to delight the eater.
Milk chocolate has also been advertised a lot through a range of interesting adverts throughout the UK, with British chocolate company Cadbury having a long-running ad campaign that tells people how each bar of dairy milk chocolate has a glass and a half of milk within it. As an all time classic, these are found in our huge array of chocolate boxes.
This was done so that while people still knew that milk chocolate certainly had its unhealthy aspects, it also had some fairly good points, to boot.
The high amount of milk would sometimes be paired with information about the benefits of calcium and vitamin D, both of which are nutrients common in milk.
Traditional British Sweets
Traditional British sweets are something a little different from those around the world. We would say that the main difference is that the UK boasts a lot of hard candy, compared to other countries, especially the US.
The reason for this is that during the Victorian times, machines were being rapidly invented to process and distill sugar and sugar products in increasingly complex ways.
During that time, the people that could afford to have candy wanted it to taste like fruit - that fruity flavor caught on, and fruity hard candies took off.
In the UK, these are commonly called 'boiled sweets', and are typically small enough to be bite-sized. Typically, you would suck on a boiled sweet until it's gone, enjoying the flavor of it while you had it.
This type of candy is less common in younger generations, but more common in more traditional homes. A common boiled sweet, for example, is pear drops. Pear drops are small, teardrop-shaped candies that are flavored like pears, as well as being quite sweet.
Other classic sweets with that fruit flavor include rhubarb and custard sweets, as well as chocolate limes.
These traditional British sweets are something of a holdover from Victorian times, but there are certainly people that adore them. They are seen as a classic old fashioned sweets.
Cadbury Milk Chocolate
We mentioned them briefly before, but Cadbury is a brand in the UK that has long been associated with high-quality chocolate. They're slowly spreading out across the rest of the world, but the majority of their sales are still in the UK.
The reason that Cadbury has cornered the milk chocolate candy bar market is that their chocolate has become, to some extent, the definitive flavor of milk chocolate. Cadbury chocolate does have an interesting flavor to it - it's certainly chocolatey, with an added creaminess that Cadbury deliberately inserts.
This means that their chocolate is seen as deliberately elegant and rich, leading to them being the front-running brand in the UK.
Through British candy, Cadbury has also formed something of a monopoly on coating candies in chocolate. For example, oreo cookies saw their debut in the UK (followed by a meteoric rise to success) during the mid-2010s.
Before long, Cadbury began making bars and bite-sized treats that revolved around the concept of an oreo wrapped in Cadbury milk chocolate.
Cadbury dairy milk, the common brand of milk chocolate in the UK, is exceptionally popular, even compared to other brands of chocolate.
It's so popular that candy stores will typically have many shelves dedicated to Cadbury, and a single shelf dedicated to alternative brands.
American versus British Sweets
The first point that we want to quickly hit on about American and British candy is that British and American chocolate is totally different from one another.
American chocolate bars are generally quite dry, chalky, and crumbly. This might sound a little strange, but it's totally true - American chocolate bars simply don't melt as well as British chocolate bars.
British Cadbury dairy milk, however, is exceedingly luxurious. The chocolate has been altered with the chemical composition of sugar and fat in mind - it's far, far creamier than American chocolate, with dairy milk melting exceedingly easily when it breaks onto clothes.
An American chocolate bar, though, generally has a less intense cocoa taste, and is much crumblier, melting a little less well. This results in a much poorer bar.
This downgrade is counterposed by the general upgrade in American soft candy. American gummy candy is generally quite superior to the British equivalent.
For example, an American candy bar might contain jelly beans, gummy bears, and Twizzlers. If you were to stock a British candy range, the most likely candidates for replacement would be fruit pastilles and wine gums.
While they retain the fruity flavour of their American counterparts, they have a deeply different consistency.
The consistency often differs
We'll get into the specifics of this a little later, but the long and short is that British gummy candy is generally designed to be bitten clean through, while American candy is designed to be chewy for a little longer.
For example, you could bite through a fruit pastille with your front teeth quite easily. You might have a harder time doing that with a US gummy bear.
What is the most popular British sweet?
The most popular British sweet has to be Cadbury dairy milk. The brand is so well known and so widespread that it's become the functional 'default', when someone mentions chocolate or a chocolate bar.
This extends to hot cocoa, even, with Cadbury cocoa powder being on supermarket shelves right next to dedicated brands.
If we were going for a popular British sweet that isn't made from chocolate, the obvious contender would be Haribo gummy sweets.
These are a German creation that spread out across the world very easily, from the US to Australia. You're unlikely to see the multitude of shapes in a candy bar, but you would certainly see them in small bags near checkouts.
What are famous sweets in the UK?
Famous sweets from the UK are a fairly small category since the UK isn't really famous for its excellent and elegant food. Despite this, though, we might argue that the most famous sweet from the UK is the Cadbury creme egg.
The creme egg is simple, really - a chocolate shell surrounding a thick fondant, designed to look like an egg with a liquid center. It's bought out in the UK every year to celebrate Easter, since it's quite a big holiday, traditionally. The egg has spread out across the world but is often sold year-round because it's such an indulgent treat.
What is a traditional English sweet?
A great example of traditional British sweets would have to be wine gums. Wine gums are small gummy candies that are supposed to represent the flavor of the wine. Or, at least, that was the plan when they were first created.
Nowadays, though, wine gums have a fruity flavor that makes them quite pleasant and refreshing. They've got an interesting consistency, too - they're not as squishy as American gummy candy, but they're also not as easy to chew through as a marshmallow, for example.
Wine gums are a little chewy, designed to become chewier as they get warmer in your mouth during eating them. This results in an interesting and tasty texture that's quite hard to walk away from.
What sweets were invented by the UK?
There have been plenty of sweets invented by the UK, mostly during the Victorian times, when boiled sweets were all the rage.
At that time, fruit and mint were the most common things used for flavor, so a British sweet shop will commonly be stacked with berry-flavored bonbons and hard candy. A great example is strawberry and raspberry - virtually every UK sweet comes in that flavor.
A classic UK sweet is the mint imperial. These are very traditional British sweets, and entirely dissimilar to a candy bar. They're small white spheres that have a very intense minty flavor and are quite sweet, too.
They're commonly seen as something for old people, but they're so simple and straightforward that people will eat them if offered one.
The reason they've gained their reputation as a sweet for old people is that they're commonly bought by elderly people as house candy, with a bag or bowl being on a counter somewhere in the home.
The candy bar is something that the UK doesn't do quite the same as the rest of the world. Instead of having something packed with different forms of candy, most British candy bars will be largely chocolate. Hence, the UK would more commonly refer to a candy bar as a chocolate bar.
It's rare that the chocolate is simply plain, more often it is either studded or filled with some form of confectionary.
The classic options may include nuts or dried fruit, while more common options could be nougat, caramel, or wafer.
Cadbury dairy milk is the most commonly bought and sold the chocolate bar in the UK - it's a classic for a reason.
Cadbury has truly made a name for itself in the world of UK chocolate, forming a veritable monopoly across a wide range of different chocolate options that are so entirely beloved by the people of the UK. We've created our very own dairy milk chocolate hamper just for these wonderful bars of chocolate!
Cadbury throughout the world
Cadbury chocolate is spreading out worldwide, too, with the chocolate typically becoming more and more enjoyed compared to native versions.
This is because Cadbury chocolate is typically richer and sweeter than other forms of chocolate, while also being the same level of sweetness. This results in a fascinating treat that people rush for wholeheartedly.
Cadbury Creme Egg
Cadbury creme eggs have also spread out around the world, with them taking a foothold in the US in recent years.
They were first created for Easter in the UK, which is a fairly largely celebrated holiday.
They're essentially small chocolate eggs filled with thick, sweet syrup. The syrup is designed to resemble the white and yolk of an egg but doesn't taste the difference between the two colors.
Tricky to eat
Cadbury creme eggs are notoriously hard to eat, with the chocolate tending to fall apart as it begins to melt. This is something that is seen as enjoyable by people, meaning that they'll commonly eat the creme eggs rather quickly, preventing the eggs from falling apart in their hands.
Fruit pastilles are another British sweet that is really a holdover from Victorian times. They're very similar to pate de fruit, a French confectionary that is sometimes made and sold in patisseries. They have a smooth, clean texture, and are typically very intensely fruit flavored.
To prevent them from being sticky on your hands, fruit pastilles are typically coated with a layer of granulated sugar. This prevents the candy from sticking together in the bag.
These are other things that have been around in the UK for a long, long time. As we said before, they were originally flavored with a very rich, intense flavor so that they would be vaguely similar to red wine.
In the modern day, however, they're simply just chewy fruit sweets. They're a very typical part of a British sweet shop, but they're also not really anyone's favorite. It's another case of candy being a part of the culture and commonly enjoyed, but no one typically picks it up in a hurry.
With that said, though, an average UK person would happily accept a wine gum if offered - they really are very tasty.
Jelly babies are small chewy candies that are very popular in the UK, and are quite traditional in their own sense. They saw a boost in popularity following the second world war, and still retain that popularity.
The texture is critical
The reason that jelly babies are so popular is that they are essentially comprised of an outer shell that's quite crispy and a gooey center.
They're continually flavored throughout the candy, but the candy itself has a really interesting texture.
Typically, jelly babies are tossed in confectioner's sugar to be sure that they don't make your hands sticky - they're simply a lovely option, and it's easy to eat a whole bag.
Terry's Chocolate Orange
Terry's chocolate orange is something of a modern classic sweet in the UK. It's essentially a block of orange-infused chocolate that is the size and shape of an orange.
The shape and style of the orange
During the preparation process, the wedges of the orange are formed, before being pressed into a central core. Then, when you come to eat it, you unwrap the orange from its foil and bang it against a hard surface.
This dislodges the orange wedges, allowing them to be easily eaten. This level of interactivity is quite rare among British candies, leading to Terry's chocolate orange being very popular indeed.
White chocolate isn't too popular among British candies, since dairy milk is still the big frontrunner that people eat a lot of. However, white chocolate is definitely people's favorite.
The most common brand is Milkybar, which has been making white chocolate for a long, long time. It's really beloved and holds a similar stance over the market as dairy milk does
Dark chocolate is certainly eaten in the UK, though it's commonly seen as something of an old-fashioned chocolate, much like in the rest of the world. The reason that it might be considered this way is that it was particularly common in the post-war years when people were very excited to get their hands on cocoa-flavored things.
Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth II was reported to have a few squares of dark chocolate every night - apparently, it was one of her favorite snacks!
We hope that this article on the many facets of British candy has enabled you to understand a little more about this world. British candy really is quite interesting, since it leans so heavily into a chocolate palate, rather than going for something more fruity, for instance.