Celebrated newspaper of record, The New York Times, has just declared Australia’s most defining lolly – and you’ll never guess what it is.
The title recently devoted an edition of its magazine offshoot to `The Candy Issue’ in which it listed the `candies that capture the spirit of the countries they come from’.
And what, dear friends, did they come up with from the great land Down Under?
Yep, you heard correctly.
Those chewy, chewy, chewy caramel chocolates that have single-handedly paid for the private schooling of dentists’ kids in Australia for generations, are apparently our `defining treat’.
Recognising Fantales may be relatively unknown to most Americans, the magazine went to some lengths to explain the beauty of the Allen’s Fantales experience, and here is their description:
`These chocolate-covered caramels get their name from the celebrity on their wrappers – quite literally fan tales. They were first created in the 1930s to cash in on movie-star mania not long after the `talkies’ came to Australia. Today the candy is owned by Nestle and its team of trivia writers digs up factoids on celebrities from Australia and around the world. Here’s a snippet from a wrapper: `Born in New South Wales in 1939, he held a job as a painter working on the Sydney Harbour Bridge before rising to fame in the early 1970s after he did a c comical interview on `A Current Affair’. He later became a worldwide success with his performance in `Crocodile Dundee’ (1986), which he co-wrote. Answer: Paul Hogan.’
As much as I love a Fantale – and no disrespect intended – there are so many other unreal lollies to choose from that are wayyyyyyy more quintessentially Australian.
For the thing is, the lollies we love are not just related to their sugar-high guarantee – but are wrapped up in a saccharine concoction of nostalgia, good times and the sweet, sweet memories of our childhood.
They remind us of the bus ride home after school, the walk to the corner shop on an endless summer holiday, the weekly canteen treat after netball on a Saturday, the lolly bowl at nanna’s house.
So it’s no surprise our staff could reel off an impressive lineup of candidates for Best Aussie Lolly Ever: Snakes, Whizz Fizz, Curly Wurlies, Bananas, Jaffas, Squirms, Strawberries and Cream, Frogs, Redskins, Life Savers, Caramello Koalas.
Yeah so stuff those in your bag of mixed lollies Mr Smarty Pants New York Times.
Of course half of these suggestions aren’t even Australian – so instantly ruled them out of contention for our nation’s most iconic dental destroyer.
I’m not buying it. Unlike the kilos of sweet confectionery treats I weirdly feel compelled to purchase today from the lolly aisle at Woolies on the way home from work. All in the name of research of course.
Up for further debate? Here are the best of the best from around the world, according to the NYT:
China - White Rabbit vanilla-and-milk flavoured candy
England – jelly babies
Greece – Lacta chocolate
Italy – Bacio chocolates
Malaysia – Durian candy
New Zealand – Pineapple chunks
Pakistan – Super Twister marshmallow
Phillippines – Pastilla de leche milk-based candies
Scotland – Edinburgh Rock candy
Spain – Chupa Chups
Turkey – Lokum ` Turkish delight’
United States – Red Vines licorice twists