Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Candy Mad Can

Got A Sweet Tooth? This Is Crunch Time

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

The only thing better than a kid in a candy shop is an adult (who is also a big kid at heart) photographing the shelves in a candy store. All but one of the shots for this week’s Photo Hunt theme of ''candy'' were shot at a Melbourne Suga store, thanks to the staff member Lachlan, who was more than happy to give me permission.

You say candy, we say lollies. But when I was little, we just called 'em sweets.

And y’know what? We weren’t allowed to eat them as and when we wanted – because they would rot our teeth. Rot ‘em rotten. I remember being allowed one sweet after lunch – if I finished all my vegetables and all my fruit. It’s not that my parents were tough on us. Nothing could be further from the truth. But dental care was more important than munching on sweets.

I also remember how, when you used to board our flights to and from boarding school each year, the Indian Airlines flight attendants used to bring around a tray of individually wrapped sweets, as well as packets of cotton wool for our ears. I would ignore the cotton wool and always ask if I could have two sweets. I was never refused.

After I finished university and started in journalism and began travelling extensively around India and overseas, the tray of sweets still came around before each flight – much to my delight. I don’t know if it is still corporate policy, but I guess the idea stemmed from the days when Indian Airlines operated Viscounts and Skymasters.

I suppose the action of sucking a sweet for landing and takeoff actually compensated for cabins that were not as well pressurized as they are on modern airliners. Having said that, even when Indian Airlines began operating their Airbus fleet in the late 70s and early 80s, I would always take two sweets when the tray came around.

When I became a parent, we noticed an interesting trend with the Authorbloglets. None of them are really into sweets – or lollies, as we call them here in Australia. When our eldest was a toddler and used to come home from birthday parties with untouched bags of lollies, we started putting them into a spare kitchen drawer. It was christened The Lolly Drawer and all these years later, that is exactly how it is still referred to.

Since not one of the Authorbloglets is interested in the contents of the drawer, their friends come over and automatically home in on the drawer, like bees to honey. Some years ago, the daughters of a friend of ours were so enamoured with the concept of a Lolly Drawer that they declared they were going to start one of their own.

A week later, we asked how their Lolly Drawer was going. ''It doesn’t work,'' they lamented. ''As soon as we put something in there, we eat the lollies immediately, so the drawer is always empty. We want a full Lolly Drawer, just like yours.''

On the other hand, our Lolly Drawer fills up so rapidly that it has to be emptied every few weeks. And there is a set procedure here. The youngest Authorbloglet has been under strict instructions to ring a friend of the eldest Authorbloglet The information is passed on that the great ritual of The Emptying And Cleansing Of The Lolly Drawer is about to occur, and the friend appears – as if by magic – to take delivery of a sackful so large and so heavy that even the Tooth Fairy would be rubbing his or her hands with glee.

Finally, here is a true Australian staple. Caramello Koalas (above) are part of Australian culture. So too are another Cadbury product - Freddo Frogs, which get my vote any day of the week. The Freddo Frogs were invented by the late Harry Melbourne, who was an 18-year-old moulder when he had a famous conversation with his boss at MacRobertson Chocolates, back in 1930.

The boss wanted to make a penny chocolate and mentioned that he was thinking of moulding the new product into mice shapes. But the teenage Harry piped up, saying that many people were afraid of mice and that maybe a frog would be a better product. Today, they are a confectionary icon in this wide brown land.

And when the appropriately-named Harry Melbourne died in January last year, his coffin was draped in a Freddo Frog flag.

60 comments:

Daryl said...

My mom who wasnt a big sweet eater but LOVED Cadbury Eggs... and in her case it was a once a year indulgence ... she ate just one and enjoyed every bite. I on the other hand .. well lets just say I inhereted his sense of humor and his sweet tooth.

Great pix .. here we call those sucking candies or hard candies ...

:-Daryl

San said...

I would be reluctant to eat a mouse, but a frog--YES! David, now I'm starving for candy.

Question: when the Indian airline attendant handed out the candy, did you place it in your ears? That will rot the eardrum I hear.

Your photographs are luscious! You would be in heaven here in Todos Santos. They make chocolates coated with a thin layer of actual gold.

Jules~ said...

Your pictures reminded me of Willy Wonka. I must admit that we are pretty big sweet eaters around here. It is a vicious cycle becuase sugar is an addiction. The more you intake, the more your body craves. Now I am finally learning that and cutting back. I also find that things taste much better now that I am enjoying in small portions.
So is ther something inside that Cadbury?

Thalia's Child said...

I had an Australian roommate when I lived in Vancouver, and her Dad sent a care package up... and it had a huge bag of Freddo Frogs.

For the first couple of years after she moved back to Sydney, I looked forward to my Freddo Frog birthday package. They're awesome!

Grit said...

i feel the need for a packet of mint humbugs now. or perhaps pear drops. then again those toffee chews are very nice ...

Tiffany Norris said...

Love the pictures and the post! And now I have the song "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here" stuck in my head (from SchoolHouse Rock).
Happy weekend!

Melissa said...

I bet those Cadbury Koala bears are yummy. I love Cadbury chocolate, that looks really good. I'll have to see if anyone sells those here in the US.

Someone already mentioned it, but I thought of Willy Wonka when I looked at your photos. I showed Audrey some "Australian" candy. She thought it all looked good.

When Audrey's Dad would go over to Australia, he always brought her back some sort of candy only sold over there. Some neat things he would bring here, I remember some especially good tasting licorice.

TerriRainer said...

Reminds me of the Christmas hard candy here in the states. Very pretty!

:) Terri

Hilary said...

This post has me drooling. I love candy and would probably gravitate to your candy drawer if I was in the vicinity. :)

Tammy said...

I got sugar cravings now. LOL Here in Canada we call them hard candies, but my favorite will always be chocolates.

Carver said...

I enjoyed this post. We always ate any sweets we were allowed but our mother would hide chocolates (her weakness) in her chest under her clothes (kind of like your lolly drawer).

I'll never forget being at my parents house as an adult chatting with my dad while mom was in the hospital and I don't know what possessed me but I went upstairs and sure enough she still had her chocolate stash hidden. I got so hysterical asking my Dad if she was hiding it from him since the children were all grown up. I'll admit to eating her chocolates but I replaced them before she got home from the hospital. For some reason your post brought back all these fun memories.

GoneBackSouth said...

Tiffany, I must be one of the few Brits who knows what you're talking about ... my husband brought home that DVD that reminds him of his childhood stateside and the kids love it.

David, you've inspired me to go in the kitchen to look for sweets ...

julie said...

I haven't had a taste of the Cadbury Koala but I sure love the Cadbury Dairy Milk. There was a scare before with Cadbury chocolates that these were causing some illnesses so for a while nobody buys them here in the Philippines. And we got the news after we consumes several packs which were given as gifts :D

Have a sweet weekend, David.

leslie said...

David, you always make your photo hunt (& other photos) into such interesting stories. I'm afraid if we'd had a "Lolly Drawer" it wouldn't stay filled for long, either. We have Cadburys here along with several other major name brands, and I must admit I've a weakness to chocolate. But...I do not imbibe often. I took a different approach to candy today so be sure to pop over and see what I did. Really enjoyed today's story with your photos. :D

Katney said...

Only you could make such a marvelous post of the candy theme. Though I should not say that until I see a few others. Mine will be much more modest.

But my favorite Aussie sweet is the Tim Tam. I suppose they are considered a "biscuit" ("cookie" in Americanese) rather than a "lolly". We had them available here briefly under a different name at Costco--well, at certain Costco outlets but not ours. Sigh! And our friend from Down Under who introduced us to them has sadly failed to keep us supplied since her return home.

Angela at mommy bytes said...

I love the shot with the jars, very inviting!

Randi said...

I love your shots and your story!
Thanks for your comments. The Eye Candy I have is an English Pelargonium.
Have a great weekend!

Leslie said...

My name is Leslie, and I am... a chocoholic!

Pleased to meet you. I am up in Canberra and also run http://topcatrules.blogspot.com

Angela said...

YUM!!! Now I am craving candy! Great post!

JeFf & NoVa said...

you have given me a watering mouth with your different / assorted candy....

i wanna have some...

but thanks anyways.. that just gives me ideas....

i'll probably get a pack at the store...

happy weekend

Sandi McBride said...

anything red...loved the little cinnamon red hot candies!
Sandi

Sarge Charlie said...

good post david, what you got on the barbie

Bengbeng said...

candy candy candy..lots of that on the net today hahahahahah

SabineM said...

those are great photos! I tried to go to a store and take photos, but they would not let me (US for you!)
I had to buy a packet to take photos of it!
LOVELY shots!

YellowRose said...

The first picture reminds me of candy my grandmother would get and we would call it the pillow candy. Loved that candy!

Your photos are wonderful, love the colors and the post lovely!

Hpapy Saturday!

Vic Grace said...

That is a lot of candies. I haven't any in the house maybe I can take a picture in town tomorrow. I will feel a bit wierd take a photo is a store though since I never buy candy.

picturing said...

oh boy...you have lots of candy :D Can i take one...lol. great shots

Will you visit mine Thanks

Juliana RW said...

you have great candy shots :D

Hope you visit mine too Thanks

Mar said...

Your pictures are outstanding as always and what an entertaining post for the theme!
Loved hearing about the Suga Store, lollies, The Lolly Drawer (we had a similar one at home because our son never cared for that type of sweets, he only loves chocolate) and the Caramello Koalas, so sweet (pun intended!)

napaboaniya said...

Between candies and chocolates. Give me chocolates anytime of the day :P
I never leave Australia without lugging home a huge grocery bag filled with Chocolates and Nougats :P

Fishman said...

Oh I remember all those candies!! I was in Sydney and Melbourne previously and these candies were the ones that I bought home to my family and colleagues.

Barbara H. said...

It's great that your children don't like candy -- it will save them a lot of temptation and calories besides dental problems in the future. I can live without most candy except I do have a weakness for certain types of chocolate. Loved the description of the emptying of the lolly drawer ritual!

eastcoastlife said...

I was curious and have to see for myself how a professional photographer would take a picture of a candy.

Not only did I see pictures of tempting sweets but an informative post on the famous Cadbury Koala and Freddo Frog. These are gifts that I would buy back for my friends and relatives whenever I'm in Australia.

I'll be in Sydney in September. :)

jmb said...

I guess the caramello koalas came after I left Australia. It looks like the complete candy store. Great photos as usual David. Have a good weekend.

Maggie May said...

I'm going back to my childhood now......... aniseed balls! Are they still around?
The shots of the sweet store were magnificent!

Corey~living and loving said...

Fantastic post for the theme David. Loved it. :) fun, colorful photos. :)
have a great weekend.

Aisha said...

lol that's really funny! love the candy photos and candy drawer story.

Colin Campbell said...

I'm a Caramello Koala Fan, although my kids prefer Freddo Frogs. We get these for school fundraising, but not so often now that it is non PC to sell chocolate. Dangerous, because you end up buying more than half just to eat. Great pictures.

archiearchive said...

Great photos and a great tale to go with them - I'm afraid I am still addicted to lollies. :)

chateau aka imom said...

I enjoyed your photos as much as the lolly drawer story. I like your story-telling. :)

Cadbury is one of my fave sweets, because it never gives me a sore throat no matter how much i eat! Freddo frogs and caramello koalas must be just for the Australian market, as we don't have them here.

jams o donnell said...

Oh if only we had your family's restraint! A lolly drawer would always be empty here. WE don't get teh Koala chocs but Freddos are available. I buy themwhen I want a small hit of chocolate! Have a great weekend

Yen said...

I don't have a sweet tooth and your photos really makes me want to eat those candies now! Love your take this weeks theme!!!

SandyCarlson said...

The Candy Man is a favorite movie. Your pictures are Wonka worthy. Just beautiful.

jennyL said...

I saw those same candies when i had a vacation in Sydney, they look so yummy and very colorful indeed

imac said...

Grand post David with lots of info and story.

Pop over and have a piece of choc with me.

Akelamalu said...

We call them toffees.

I remember when I was a child the toffee shop used to have a penny tray. It was full of different things like arrow bars, black jacks, mojos, spanish (liquorice) all for a penny - it was the first stop on the way to school!

Hootin' Anni said...

Mmmmmmmmmmm, I could so use a handful of those Cadbury Koalas right now. Yummy....:::singing::: David's the candy man, the candy man can!


Well, I have one candy that's nutless, and one candy with nuts...stop by and enjoy the sweetness!

Have a great weekend.

RuneE said...

I know there are many reasons why I should not eat your "pictures", but at least I can look at them and read the accompanying text and feel some of the goodies!

i beati said...

so enticingly lovely those little welcoming jars and colorful

Gypsy at heart said...

Oh, yes, lollies were big treats for my children when we lived there. None of us ever learned to like "vegemite"!
http://www.wanderingwonderinggypsy.blogspot.com/

Sandy said...

Wow, your commentary was so interesting. I love the name lolly...

CrazyCath said...

David I wrote this HUGE long comment and blogger saved you - it ate it. I wonder if my comments taste of chocolate?

Suffice to say, I really enjoyed this post and I will write to Cadbury for Caramel Koalas. We have frogs but no Koalas. Do they think our kids would get confused? Ha!

I have one sweet toothed child and one not. The one not does not eat chocolate - shame. I helped him. All other sweets went to friends!

The younger has to be rationed. ;0)
Love San's comment - did you put them in your ears then? lol

Sandy M said...

Love, love, love the pictures. Now I want candy!

Dragonstar said...

I've never been much of a fan of boiled sweets, but those jars and packets are so colourful I don't care what's in them!

I've never met crystallised white pumpkin - sounds sweet.(!)

jennifer said...

Much appreciated visit all the way from Alabama to Australia!! The kids were thrilled. Thank you.

I wish that my parents had been like yours. My Lollie Drawer is always empty too, and I am as much to blame as my children.

The photos of the 'sweets' were so good. Made me hungry!

Be blessed Sir.

Jennifer

genny said...

Oh that candy is so sweet. Happy hunting!

aims said...

YUM!

Sammawow said...

What a fascinating post! Also terrific pictures! That Cadbury Koala looks very tasty!

John said...
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ed said...
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