Recently, a lolly company announced it was stopping production of some of its sweets, including green frogs and spearmint leaves. Adults, who probably hadn’t eaten these lollies in decades, were outraged and social media went into overdrive. How could a company stop making these beloved treats from our childhood, the comments went, it’s just not right!
Such a reaction proves that food and memories go hand-in-hand. For many of us, sweet treats from the school yard, in particular, remind us of care-free days when your biggest worry was whether you had enough money for a vanilla slice from the tuck shop, after throwing away the healthy apple your mum packed you.
Chefs aren’t immune to the nostalgic pull of childhood treats either. MasterChef regular Heston Blumenthal has spent much of his career re-creating the tastes of his youth in an attempt to evoke the feelings of amazement and wonder we had as children. A modern day Willy Wonka, Blumenthal has even gone so far as to create super-sized versions of Kit Kats, soft serve ice creams and packets of chips.
So if you’re feeling nostalgic and want to re-create some childhood favourites, with an adult twist and a MasterChef feel, have a go at dessert guru Christine Manfield’s Gaytime Goes Nuts, Heston’s giant The BFG Hot Chocolate or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, this amazing Lolly Bag Cake. You’ll need spearmint leaves for the latter, so don’t delay, before this taste of days past is gone forever.