Does nobody care about the traditions of Yesteryear any more? Clearly not! I was wandering round the Co-op the other day and thinking how good it was that the store has reverted to calling itself ‘The Co-operative’ (bringing back memories from the days of my youth when it was known as ‘The Co-operative Society’) when I was stopped dead in my tracks by a bag of Bassett’s FRUIT Allsorts with a notice splashed on the front of the bag announcing: NO LIQUORICE HERE!
Heresy! Especially since the denouncement of liquorice is being held by the company’s famous logo-character, ‘Bertie Bassett’, who is made out of LIQUORICE ALLSORTS! Now what kind of brand betrayal is that?
Apart from which, how can one possibly eat an ORANGE, BLUE or GREEN Allsort of any sort? All the more so when the GREEN one seems to be flavoured with some kind of bathroom disinfectant…
I hope ‘The Co-operative’ will note my serious displeasure and pause to ask themselves whether FRUIT ALLSORTS really deserve to have a place in their emporium!
Not that they really deserve for the story to be told, but the invention - or more accurately the ‘discovery’ of Liquorice Allsorts - is, in fact, a fascinating tale.
In 1899, one Charlie Thompson, a salesman of George Bassett’s Sheffield confectionary firm visited a wholesaler with various trays of sweets made from liquorice and cream paste. At the time, each variety was sold separately and went by such names as chips, rocks, buttons, nuggets, plugs and twists.
Failing to make a sale, Thompson was gathering up his samples when he dropped them all over the counter and in gathering them up, willy-nilly, created a jumbled assortment that immediately caught the customer’s eye. A new product was born and was called ‘Liquorice All-sorts’.
The edible logo, Bertie Bassett, first made his bow in 1929 and is, therefore, old enough to know better than to be pushing something as essentially unappealing - and downright un-British - as FRUIT Allsorts!