One of the joys of bringing someone to Australia is to introduce them to the Australian treats we love so well. Violet crumbles, sherbies and eucalyptus drops (only when sick of course) are not common to those from Asia or the Americas. The Brits may have similar treats but let’s forget them for the moment. I love giving a tim tam to a fresh-off-the-plane chum and seeing the look on their face when I explain a tim tam slam! “It is a chocolate fudge between two chocolate biscuits, covered in chocolate, which we then use as a straw for either coffee or hot chocolate!”
My three favourite treats though would have to be minties, fantales and musk sticks. The musk stick appears alien to most other people in the world, but here in Oz we do love the musk, even having it in bubble gum! But when I gave my Japanese friends musk sticks they thought it was a medicine. Must be an acquired taste I guess.
The fantale appears universally popular, it is just caramel covered in chocolate, fairly ordinary there. Its charm derives from its wrapper, containing a tale for fans of a movie star, a biography or a guess who. Though trying to explain to my American wife that she was meant to read the wrapper for something other than nutritional value was a foreign concept.
But the most Australian of lollies is the mintie. Simple, refreshing, and part of the popular game mintie wrapper tearing, where a people eat the mintie, and then try to carefully tear the wrapper so as to create the longest continuous ribbon possible. I have seen up to 3 metres! The slogan is quite catchy too, “moments like these you need minties”, with little cartoons of the wrappers for such moments. However I find the most mintie like moment, which is never in cartoon form, would be when the mintie pulls out a filling or rips a braces wire. A uniquely Australian lollie experience. But at least you have fresh breath when you visit the dentist.
What’s your favourite Australian treat? Do you have any particular favourites from other countries?