barbara ender

oblate spheroids

with a chocolate centre. In other words, Smarties. When I first chose orange for the utata big colour project, I thought immediately of Smarties, because I always used to go for the orange ones, which were different from the others thanks to their orange flavour. You could place one on the tongue and let all the colour dissolve; you would be left with a bland fragile white shell that would soon crack and give way to the melting blob of milk chocolate inside.
But Smarties are not what they used to be. The colours of my childhood were bright and shiny, like today's M&Ms. The orange ones now are dull and blotched unappetizingly with brown, and if they are supposed to taste of orange, it is no longer apparent. The artificial colours have been replaced by natural ones, and the cochineal replaced by red cabbage. We always used to have a little bottle of cochineal in the larder; my mother used a drop to make pink cake icing. I bet she never knew it was crushed female insects. If we had known, we wouldn't have cared - we ate plenty of licorice even though one of the kids at school told us it was made of rat's blood.
Another change is the packaging: Smarties used to come in round tubes with a colourful plastic lid with a letter of the alphabet embossed on it. Now the tubes are more flimsy and hexagonal, with a flip cardboard top and an overpowering dark blue background. And of course they are no longer made in York, since Rowntrees was bought up by Nestlé and they moved production to Germany.

Buy some for Lulu!

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