Did you used to have a 10 a day chocolate cigarette habit too?
PUBLISHED: 10:55 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:04 29 November 2018
As part of a new series on retro foods, Charlotte Smith-Jarvis remembers the un-PC coolness of chocolate cigarettes.
You don’t really see candy and chocolate cigarettes around much these days do you? I suppose it’s not the ‘done thing’ anymore and is terribly un-PC. But ooh didn’t you just love them when you were a kid?
I remember the sheer thrill on a Friday as a youngster heading down to the town sweetie shop and tobacconists (which really was as old and traditional as it looked and not an imposter like we so often see on today’s high streets) clutching my pocket money, peering through the glass, steamed up by the queue of children waiting to get their weekly sugar fix.
Back then 20p could buy you all sorts. Bagfuls of dusty Flying Saucers with their lip-puckering filling and rice paper exterior, which always kind of stuck to your mouth. Lengths of liquorice – although I don’t recall anyone ever buying these because they were a ‘grown up thing’. And white chocolate mice – yuck, were they even made of chocolate?
The goal of any trip was to get your greedy little mitts on a box of edible cigarettes. It felt very illicit at the time. And the hunch-backed sweet shop man, with his little cap and bulging orange wax at his ears (which everyone watched very carefully in case it fell into their loot) would always raise an eyebrow as you whispered your order. “A pack of Old Toad please.”
Of course Old Toad were the best. Not only did the packaging actually look like real cigarettes, which made you feel totally cool walking home, but they had a powdery chocolate vibe about them which was totally yum. As soon as you flung open the sweet shop door, the bell ringing in your wake, you’d locate the plastic tab on the packaging, twist it open, flip up the lid and perch one between your lips, looking out, of course, for the ‘in crowd’ from class for their nod of approval.
Disappointment would inevitably come if Old Toad were out of stock and you got lumbered with a pack of candy sticks instead, which always came with football stickers or a picture of Barbie and had a texture not unlike shoe leather.
As far as I know these sweets are illegal to sell in shops in many countries now, having been relegated to the realms of online shopping.
I can’t say I’d be too happy to find my own children role-playing with candy cigarettes and they probably are a treat best left in the past – but I secretly wouldn’t mind buying a box and eating them in a hidden place.
Do you know where you can still buy confectionary cigarettes? What are the retro/forgotten foods you’d like to see back on shop shelves? Write to us firstname.lastname@example.org