Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A "Brit" Indulgence...

One of the things I used to miss when I first came to America, were Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts.
They are English sweets, or "candies", and growing up, we are all introduced to them, at one time or another.

Product Description: Natural licorice flavored candy allsorts from England. 14oz Bag The first Bassett's sweets were made in 1842 when George Bassett founded his confectionery company in Sheffield, England.
Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts were created by accident in 1899, when Charlie Thompson, a salesman for Bassett's visited a wholesaler with a sample of liquorice and cream paste specialities - chips, rocks, Buttons, nuggets, plugs and twists.
Each item was offered to the wholesaler and in turn was refused. The salesman clumsily gathered his samples boxes together, knocking them over and spilling the colourful sweets on the counter. The wholesaler saw more attraction in the 'mixed' sweets and placed an order. The salesman named them Liquorice Allsorts.

I like liquorice, and it seems there is a difference between the liquorice we have in England, and what is available in the USA.

I'm not quite sure how that difference comes about, but the liquorice in Europe has a distinctive stronger, taste , possibly due to the amount of added aniseed oil.

On rare occasions I would find Liquorice Allsorts at Christmas time, imported as a seasonal item. I would stock up, and dare anyone else in the family to partake, since I was the only one with the palette for them, and everyone else would be just as satisfied with a Hershey's' Kiss...
(My excuse, and I'm sticking with it)

Once I discovered import shopping, over the Internet, I ordered them alongside other Brit foods I pined for.
These days, the little beggars are everywhere.
Walgreens, Target, Publix.......you name it, they have Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts...
Life is good !


Denise said...

This is like a blast from the past. My mother loved Liquorice Allsorts, it was her favorite candy. I unfortunately never developed a taste for them but I married a man who also loved liquorice and my mother introduced him to Liquorice Allsorts. It was a bonding experience. I never knew the story of them. Very interesting. Thank you!

bennie and patsy said...

I will have to look for then and try.

Jeannette St.G. said...

this English liquorice is the favorite of my hubby! Yes, you can get them here (L.A.) in several places too.

Frank Baker said...

Now this is my kind of food! Something like this is not available in a small town, but the next time I'm in Memphis I'll be looking for it. I'm very fond of Liquorice (please note, I used the British spelling).

Dave said...

I love them too. Thanks for the mouth-watering photo by the way. Now I'm going to have to drive over to Target and get a bag :)

Last time I was in England I went to a Cash n Carry and bought two of those big sweet shop jars. Yum. 7th heaven for a long while.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Delightful blog, delightful couple. Plus your photos are better than mine!

Star said...

Hello, I would be interested to know if they taste the same as the English ones over here? Otherwise I spot a gap in the market.
I wonder what else I could export over there? hmmm love your photos. Unfortunately, I can't stand liquorice allsorts myself, but I do like the Dutch Drop, which is a delicious Dutch liquorice.
Blessings, Star

Winifred said...

Did you know that Bertie Bassett was 80 earlier this year. He got married to Betty too.

You can see his wedding at the Bassett's factory in Sheffield on You Tube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hKQ9fkUkcY

Oh I need to get a life!

tinkalicious said...

Please put kettle on would you?
Although my boys will inhale those nasty (red) twizzlers in about a half a millisecond, they don't get my love of black, delicious, teeth blackening licorice, the stronger the better...yum, yum!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

My dad is a total liquorice allsorts fanatic, always have been. I used to buy a bag for him every birthday and xmas.