Candy is certainly a popular treat around Halloween, and as children go door to door in their fancy dress costumes in the States, they can expect anything from M&M’s to those strange orange peanuts no one wants. While this practice originated in the United Kingdom, not as many families go trick or treating today, though you can still find communities where it continues or other events in which the children collect candy for the holiday. There are some popular American candies to be found in the UK, but Britain has many of its own unique sweets, and we have ten of them below that you might enjoy for your own Halloween festivities. Let us know some of your own favorites in the comments.
A surprisingly simple confection, Maltesers are honey malt balls covered in chocolate, and they are incredibly addictive. Made by Mars, they come in a variety of packages from small boxes at your local cinema to large, shareable bags. The sweet’s slogan is “The lighter way to enjoy chocolate” due to the airy nature of the malt balls, and you’ll be hard-pressed to have only one.
Most Americans might know this candy as a particular favorite of the Fourth and Twelfth Doctors. Bassett’s launched the gummy candies at the end of the First World War and dubbed them “peace babies.” In most cases, especially Bassett’s, the gelatin candies are dusted in a light coating of sugar. They were also a favorite of Beatle George Harrison, and the band would sometimes get pelted with them by adoring fans.
Aero is a chocolate bar where the chocolate is filled with air bubbles, leading it to be described as “carbonated chocolate.” Aero bars come in different flavors such as mint, and you can even get them as a biscuit.
Allsorts came about in 1899 when a Bassett’s salesman, Charlie Thomson, accidentally dropped some samples onto a tray. The various shapes in the assortment are made of licorice, sugar, coconut, aniseed jelly, fruit flavorings, and gelatin. The various pieces actually make up the body of company mascot Bertie Bassett, though plenty of companies in the UK made similar varieties of allsorts.
Most Americans know Cadbury for their chocolate eggs around Easter, but their best-known product in Britain is the Dairy Milk chocolate. Dairy Milk can come as a whole chocolate bar, a segmented bar, or individual chocolate pieces. It’s also one of the oldest chocolate sweets in Britain, dating back to 1905.
Referenced in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Turkish Delight is made by Fry’s and has long been a popular sweet in Britain. Opinion is split on the candy. Some people love the chocolate-covered, rose-flavored confection, but others loathe it, describing it as tasting like soap. One of the ingredients is beetroot, which gives the interior its pink color and some of its flavor.
Despite the name, wine gums don’t use wine in their creation at all. They’re more like a standard American gummy candy. Charles Gordon Maynard alleged to have created them to appeal to adults and gave them names like port, sherry, champagne, burgundy, and claret, and they have similar flavors to match. Maynard had to work hard to convince the company founder, who was also his Methodist teetotaler father, that the sweets didn’t have any wine in them.
Also made by Cadbury, Flake is regarded as a “gateway” chocolate bar for Americans, and it certainly has its own seductive qualities. The bar was so seductive it was the subject of plenty of suggestive ads in the 1970s and 1980s. As the name might imply, the cookie base for Flake is rather crusty and dry.
Once made in the United States the same as other varieties of Mars candy bars, now they’re imported and sold with other British foodstuffs in your local grocery store. Their closest American equivalent is a Milky Way, but are simply nougat and caramel covered in chocolate. Northern England and Scotland enjoy this candy in a deep-fried format, and one can typically get it at chip shops.
Very different from their American cousins, British Smarties are more like M&Ms than the sugary discs we know in the States. Unlike M&Ms, Smarties actually have a different flavor for each color. Smarties can come in tube packages or bags.