British Old Fashioned Boiled Sweets: The Finale

Chapter 4 in our 4 part breakdown of classic British hard candies

Reviewed by Jonny

November 1, 2018


I tried to save some of the most iconic, and thus the “best” boiled sweets for last. I do that-I save things for later. That’s why I loved Now ‘n Laters as a kid. I’m not even sure if I loved them, I just loved the idea of having some candy specifically designed for later.  In a sense, that’s what boiled sweets are for me too-because you mix them all up in a jar, and take a few out every couple days.  So there’s more for later.


The big boy in the group-THE one that non candy fam might actually have heard of, are Sherbet Lemons.  There’s a small book series called Harry Potter, if you can track it down, that featured them.

Sherbet Fruits come in all flavors, but the lemons are the thing.  A hard lemon candy that holds some amount of fizzy love inside.  The precursor to my favorite, Zots. A surprising amount of people don’t like lemon candy, and if you’re one of them, you won’t like these either.  I really don’t get that, but hey, I just communicate, I don’t mandate.

For me, there’s nothing to dislike here, but honestly, it’s not a gaga over-the-moon candy for me either. They’re good: nice and sweet yet tart lemon that gives way to a slightly (not as much as Zotz) fizz at the end.  Very nice.


Next, another super British treat, Strawberries & Cream.

Real strawberries and cream are what they eat at Wimbledon. Therefore, it’s British x 2. And these are “the best”, so let’s judge them.

These are smaller than the lemon sherbets, which I dig.  And the overwhelming note here is sweet strawberry.  They have that in spades, with a nice sprinkling of creaminess.  They don’t explode like I was hoping, which some strawberry candies do-they stay a bit on the restrained, sweet side: but don’t most Brits?


Hey Brits, that was a compliment.  We love you guys and gals.


These are refined, and I’m sure everyone will “like” them.  Do I love them? No. The problem isn’t them, it’s their competition: I don’t eat candy in buckets anymore, so I have to choose what it is I’m gonna get fatter with.  So compared to many of these other boiled sweets, these don’t rank so high for me. Still though, they’re “lovely” as ye olde English often say.


A partner candy to Strawberries & Cream are Rhubarb Custard.  Not a very typical flavor combo here in the western US, but it’s criminally underrepresented. Rhubarb is delicious.


I’m sure they look REALLY familiar: but on these, the “creamy” side is yellow.


These….are truly lovely. A creamy custard sweetness cut with a glorious rhubarb: sweet, but ultimately more tart.  A complex flavor that really sings when combined with something sweeter.  In the states, the standard is strawberry rhubarb pie, which is dope.  But in these, we get a classic candy combination that truly isn’t like anything else. I love the specificity of rhubarb.  In the candy world, sometimes flavors get muddy.  Not in this case.


Sadly, everything must end, and with this next one, we wrap things up.  But it’s a goodie: Kola Cubes.

These, and the pineapple version are ubiquitous in the boiled sweets world. I love anything cola, so I knew these would be for me.


Interesting that they’re not brown, right? I’m starting to love any candy that’s not the traditional artificially colored version that we’re all used to.  I don’t know what’s in these that makes them red, but it’s cool.

The flavor is exquisite on these: it’s cola all right, but it’s more like a homemade cola: lots of spice and herbaceousness to it. Very nice cola flavor, and frankly, I just like sucking on cubes! I didn’t know that about myself.

Also, there’s a treat hiding inside these: as you get to the end, there’s a small chewy cola flavored center.  I love it. You have to work to get it, and I think that’s fair.

These, and the pineapple cubes, are among my favorites.



And that’s it, friends.  Thanks so much to A Quarter of for supplying us with the review fodder.  I wasn’t even close to disappointed: it’s just made me more excited to get over to England to explore boiled sweets more for myself.  In the meantime, though, I’ll be buying from these guys, and you’d be wise to do the same.


Zolli Candy


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