“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans. ”
― Ronald Reagan
Last week was clearly an eat-your-feelings sort of week for me, so in the spirit of (over)indulgence let me introduce you to nirvana for a sweet tooth. On Tuesday I was working hard on a project, answering a lot of emails, and doing my best to take in news in healthy, moderated chunks when Jeff insisted we grab a burrito for dinner and go for a wander in the West End when we both finished the business day.
British sweet shops are legendary, there’s a reason Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was written by Roald Dahl. The most traditional still have rows and rows of glass jars like an apothecary shop, filled with strange and interesting candies in addition to the more typical ones. Think of the quirky candies from Harry Potter, some of those are based in traditional British sweets.
The British sweet tooth is also a thing apart because it relies so heavily on tradition. Flowers, herbs, and spices are usually to be found included in the older recipes, as well as modern day riffs on them. Rhubarb is a popular candy flavor here, for example, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it marketed elsewhere – at least certainly not in the local grocery store. But from funny names, to interesting shapes, to old-fashioned, British candy is where it’s at.
Sugar Sin has certainly modernized the idea, but don’t let the pink decor and flowery atmosphere fool you, at its heart it shares the cultural DNA of Golden Tickets and Chocolate Frogs. And best of all, it sells by weight. You can load up enough sweets for a month for a fraction of what you’d pay for equal amounts of branded, packaged candy.