I haven’t written anything up for a while, so here is an unusual food. It was a gift, and therefore I’m not certain where exactly it came from. However I am willing to bet that in most British seaside towns you will find someone selling these.
Rock is a British coastal delicacy, made of sugar, flavouring and…not much else really. It is most commonly mint flavoured and red/pink in colour, with the name of the town it is sold in often written in tiny letters throughout the middle. On YouTube there is a fun Pathé news item on how they put the letters in. I won’t spoil the surprise for you.
Anyway, people have often dabbled in fruit flavours for rock, or in a crumbly texture (known as Edinburgh rock, the ginger flavour is brilliant), but recently – in line with other cuisine – the manufacturers have gone for more unusual options.
Thus we have chilli, which these days might even seem mainstream, and Marmite. If you haven’t had it, Marmite is thickened yeast extract, which is intensely savoury. Its advertising campaign is you either love it or hate it, and there does seem to be a divide. I do love it, but possibly not as a flavouring for sweets. Worth noting in Malaysia that it is often sold in chemists or tobacco sections. Not sure what the story is there.
Back to the rock. The chilli version, which comes in a red/pink and green stripe, is sweet and very slightly spicy. Quite pleasant. The marmite one is yellow and black on the outside, like the jar the spread comes in, and it has a faint aroma. However there is very little flavour, and I don’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved.