Traditional sweets seem, like many things, to be a dying breed these days. Not hard to see why – those traditional big glass (or plastic) jars of hardboiled sweets in dozens of varieties take up a lot of shelf space for a small shop and it takes the shopkeeper time to take them out, weigh them and stick them in a bag. Selling pre-packaged sweets like Skittles is a heck of a lot easier, simpler, faster and more space efficient. So it isn’t surprising that traditional sweet shops are scarce these days – I’m lucky in that I know a couple in Edinburgh which still do them this way.
Not that I eat hardboiled sweeties very often (I prefer chocolate most of the time!) but I do get the urge sometimes and have to treat myself to some Gibb’s Soor Plooms, a traditional, bright green sweet from Scotland. If you miss that old range and don’t have any shops nearby who still do them then a friend recommended A Quarter Of…, a website dealing in just those classic sweeties you remember from your sticky-faced youth. Mmmm. I may have to try the handmade Soor Plooms.