Sunday, 25 May 2014

Toffee milks

Toffee milks
sold unwrapped in dairies
Here's a blast from the past. Who remembers toffee milks? These were staple lollies growing up in New Zealand in the 80s. You'd buy them individually at the dairy for 10 cents and they sat in an open box before being wrapped in a paper bag that didn't quite cover the top, much like the original peanut slabs.

Back when you could buy 1 cent lollies, a 20 cent mixture provided abundant treats and a 50 cent mixture could last for days, spending 10 cents of your meagre pocket money on a single toffee milk was a sizable investment  but one that was entirely worth it. These chocolate covered toffees were notorious for numbing teeth if you bit directly into them but would soften in your mouth and last for ages if you did it just right.

Toffee milks had other uses, too. At our school, they were great gambling currency for knucklebone competitions. This craze swept our school (around the same time as dodgeball, elastics and skipping) in the mid-80s, so much so that the school had to relax its "play outside at lunch time" rules and gave us one classroom with carpet to play in each day. I guess they figured it was better than us all scraping our fingers trying to play outside on concrete.

We would play each other for toffee milks and you could only start a game if you could prove you had a toffee milk to give the winner if you lost the 1-1 bout. A few people tried promising IOUs; sometimes these were a safe bet as they often meant the competitor wasn't very good so you were sure to win but not always guaranteed they'd front up with your prize. I'm quite proud to say that I was really good at knucklebones and, along with one other girl, regularly accumulated a stash of toffee milks I had won in the pocket of my school uniform. Between us, we did pretty well ... and I was thrilled to beat her in a one-off Champion of Champions match.

The other day, a colleague and I spied a jar of toffee milks on the counter at Superfino. We talked about how much we'd loved toffee milks as kids, ordered our coffees and I rushed back to work for a meeting. Shortly afterwards, I found a toffee milk waiting on my desk. Just like that I was taken back to 1985 when I always had a packet of knucklebones ready to go in one pocket of my school uniform and a bag of toffee milks in the other! Yes, Whittaker's toffee milks easily make it onto the list of #myfavouritethings.

1 comment:

Cory said...

Toffee Milks. Awesome!