I don’t think that the sticks of brightly coloured candy located at the seaside in Britain are something often found anywhere else around the world (apart from Australia perhaps).
There probably are similar variations of it in other countries but for anyone who is puzzled as to what it is, it’s basically stick of candy (like Christmas candy canes) that are either peppermint or fruit flavoured and often have the name of the seaside town running through the center of the stick, so wherever you bite into it, you can still read it. A fairly clever but pointless thing really.
It is somewhat of a tradition to buy these back as a souvenir for friends or family members, which is precisely how I came to be in the ownership of two sticks of rock that were of a slightly unconventional flavour.
One is a traditional pasty flavour stick of rock, and the other is a garlic bread stick of rock.
Again to readers outside of the UK who may be unfamiliar with some of our foods, a pasty is a pastry originating from the south of England, filled with mildly spiced minced beef, onions and potatoes. It is not something that is usually associated with confectionery.
Pasties are very nice and are found throughout the UK. I do enjoy them from time to time but it was with more than a small amount of hesitance that I broke a bit off the stick of rock to try.
The initial taste is that of extreme sweetness. Unlike most sticks of rock, it was pretty soft (like Edinburgh rock something else I only fairly recently tried) and crumbled nicely in the mouth. However after chewing for a few seconds I was met with a rather unpleasant new taste, That of the way that dog food smells.
It wasn’t overpowering, the sweet taste was still stronger tasting, and I could easily have eaten the whole stick. I was definitely expecting much worse. Because of this, I was a little less cautious as I opened up the garlic bread one.
Unlike the pasty one, the garlic bread one makes a very bold promise on the wrapper.
“ITS THE FUTURE”. Reading that foolishly made me a little more confident that I would enjoy it. Oh how wrong I was! As soon as the bit of rock touched my taste-buds, I released that like some Orwellian horror, it was a future I wanted no part of. The only way to describe it is an instant mild sweetness followed by a very acrid, very, very obvious garlic taste. I chewed it in my mouth for about ten seconds before I could endure it no longer, and ran to the bin to spit out. I then went and and brushed my teeth and gargled mouthwash. And the garlic taste remained and still remains as I type this. My girlfriend also spat her bit out.
I’m someone who likes to try strange new things. A few years back I read an article in the news that said in 100 years time we will all be eating insects as they are a good source of protein and traditional meats like beef and lamb will be on the decline. The night after reading this I drank a couple of bottles of wine and woke up to a PayPal payment confirmation for two fairly large bags of dried crickets and meal-worms.
Now I appreciate that drunk me is apparently very forward thinking and willing to get a leg up on stuff, but I am still unsure why I needed TWO bags when they weren’t cheap. To summarize, the meal-worms were fine, kinda like salty popcorn and the crickets were vile, like a almost cheesy, creamy, crunchy, bitty grossness. And I would much MUCH rather eat them again than garlic bread rock.
If anyone has tried any other odd flavour sticks of rock, let me know. It would be interesting to see what other flavours are out there. More odd food will appear in the future!