The Best Old Fashioned Sweets - remember these?

Old-fashioned sweet shops are a nostalgic memory for most of us. Many of us can recall visiting a small store with a bit of money and purchasing our favourite sweets - or a bag filled with classics. 

But what are these classics? There are some staples that never get old, no matter how many of them you’ve eaten. Let’s have a look at some of our nostalgic favourites! 

Sherbert Lemons

Albus Dumbledore’s favourite muggle sweet in Harry Potter, sherbert lemons are the ultimate nostalgic candy. These hard-boiled sweets are sour on the outside, then give way to a burst of sherbert sugar as you bite into the core. 

They were first created by Bassets and Co, who wanted to add the new invention of sherbert to a classic sweet. However, sherbert lemons have since been adopted by sweet manufacturers all over the world.  

Pear Drops 

Pear drops are hard-boiled sweets that come in a range of sour flavours and are coated in sugar. They have a sweet but sour flavour and are a popular staple in old-fashioned sweet shops around the world. 

They were created in the late 19th century, around the same time of many other popular old fashioned sweets that we can still purchase today. Pear drops, however, are slightly different in that they are only made up of two ingredients - sugar and flavouring! 

Barley Sugars

Created in British Victorian times, barley sugars are a delicious sweet made out of barley-flavoured water and sugar. They were especially popular during Christmas time, with people of all classes enjoying this hard-boiled treat. Many people also believed that it was a soother for sore throats. Nowadays, they are enjoyed by young and old. In fact, when recalling their childhoods, many people can remember having a tin of barley sugars in the car on long road trips…


These sweets have been around for at least 100 years - although have declined in popularity recently as the risk of them being a choking hazard has come to attention! They are huge, spherical sweets with a diameter of 3cm-8cm that take a long time to consume. 

Roald Dahl made these sweets famous in his 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where he invented an everlasting gobstopper. Dahl’s sweets couldn’t be finished - this type of gobstopper doesn’t actually exist, but it certainly takes a while to consume some of them!

Flying Saucers

Fast-forward a few decades, and we’ve got flying saucers. These were created in the 1950s, and consist of edible paper in a 3D disc shape with sherbert on the inside. 

Interestingly, the concept may have first been used for medical purposes - some historians believe that the edible paper was used to mask the taste of unpleasant medicine. There is evidence that they were used in Belgium in 1900. 

However, fifty years down the line, they became a popular sweet. They were consumed a lot in the 1970s, and anyone who has lived through that period will fondly remember having a bowl of flying saucers at parties! 

Hopefully, this list of old-fashioned sweets has given you some nostalgia! Which one is your favourite?