Monday, 7 June 2010

A Blast from the Past

Uncle Roy's liquorice Root Sticks (image by Dora Petherbridge)

Back in the good old days when there were such things as old fashioned chemists i.e. in the 80’s, it used to be a rare treat when I was given a piece of liquorice root to chew upon. How left-field I thought I was wandering up the road, as other children pointed and laughed ‘there goes that kid eating sticks again!’ Nope they weren’t sticks they were medicinal, natural confectionery, thank you very much. Although I did quite enjoy the idea of seeming to be eating sticks. Now I’m older I cannot get away with sporting such a feral look, so I was ever so surprised and initially happy to spot this jar of Uncle Roy’s comestible concoctions – ‘Old Fashioned Collection, sweets and treats from Yesteryear’ in a local up-market food purveyor. ‘I must have them’, I cried, ‘if only for the nostalgia factor!’ So we snapped up two jars (one for us and another for my flatmate’s father who is 74 this year and therefore remembers a time before E-numbers). At home we quickly ripped the lid off the jar, so eager were we to be transported back to our childhoods - the 80’s and 90’s were after all such a wonderful time.

Upon reflection I do wonder whether liquorice root was ever such a good idea as a sweet. After all, surely anything that can by classed as 'medicinal' cannot ultimately taste very good. I realise now that the reason why they were such a novelty was the very fact that they did make you look as though you were eating a stick. And ultimately that's what you are eating. A peaty, muddy thing that eventually goes soggy after copious amounts of chewing. I'm still picking shards of wood out from between my teeth. Still if you are feeling worthy you could always given them a go. According to the Uncle Roy's website they can be used as a 'cigarette substitute' and even as a tooth brush once the ends have become soft and frayed.

Image by Dora Petherbridge

And here's a close up of the Uncle Roy's logo because as I've said before on this blog I cannot resist a bit of interesting food packaging. Oh what an exciting life I lead ...


  1. Lovely! I wish I liked licorice and it didn't make me gag but it looks like a great little piece of packaging!

  2. Hi,

    Yes I agree I wish they tasted better! But all is not lost I've decided, since the packaging is so lovely that I'll keep them in the jar as a decoration in my kitchen.

    Thanks for your comment!