I have just eaten a Sherbet Fountain for the first time in about twenty five years.
There is some saying or other which is very wise and advises you to never try to recreate your past.
I think this holds very true in the case of Sherbet Fountain worship.
I used to love them. LOVE THEM.
In the olden days, when they were still proper, they consisted of a cardboard tube filled with sherbet powder and a stick of liquorice. The whole thing was wrapped in a twist of yellow and orange paper with the top of the liquorice poking out of the wrapping. It was all very exciting, and looked a bit like a small stick of dynamite.
The sherbet always tasted super fizzy, and sometimes I would just tip it all into my mouth and let it froth insanely so that I looked a bit rabid.
Other times I would poke my finger in the sherbet powder and lick away at it for hours until I was a giant, shiny mass of sherbetty stickiness and had to be cracked briskly with a toffee hammer before being thrown bodily in the bath by my long suffering mother.
The other, luxury option was to tip all the powder into a glass of water and stir it into what I hoped would be the most exciting drink since Willie Wonka opened his chocolate factory.
I would always give the liquorice to my dad. I hate liquorice, but was willing to pay the price for the sherbet.
It was brilliant.
Sort of like a ride and a plaything and a sweet all at the same time.
And really messy, which is always good if you are a small child.
Oscar got a fine collection of sweets for his birthday this year, and in one of the gift boxes he received was a Sherbet Fountain.
He wasn’t keen, and it has languished in the bottom of the sweetie tin for a few weeks, so this evening I decided to see if it was as good as I remember.
The simple answer would be: NO.
Herewith, the explanation.
Firstly the packaging is all wrong. Everything is shrink wrapped in plastic now, and I had to employ wire cutters to get into the damn thing.
Then there was the liquorice protective cap on the top to unscrew, because God forbid that a stick of liquorice should actually see the air before you buy it.
After that I had to extract the liquorice stick from the sherbet, which is not as easy as it sounds. The sherbet powder had kind of solidified in a mass round the bottom of the stick, and as I pulled it, lumps of sherbet shot out into the ether and covered my trousers, and then puthered up. I got sherbet dust in my eyebrows.
And sneezed a bit.
It is fair to say that it is as messy as it ever was. It is just a shame that this was not the thing I was nostalgic about.
My dad wasn’t here to eat the liquorice. I touted it around to all comers, but even Derek wasn’t fussed.
Then there was the sherbet.
It wasn’t as fizzy as I remember, and it was the super fizziness I liked the best.
And it was all lemony tasting.
I don’t remember it tasting all lemony before.
Did it? Am I just fantasising about the lack of lemon flavour in the olden days?
Anyone who remembers eating Sherbet Fountains back in the day, please feel free to comment.
I am more disappointed by this sweet experience than I was when I tried the new style Curly Wurlies, and that was a bit of a blow too, to be honest.
My days of retro sweets are well and truly over.