Sherbet Dip Dab
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The combination of the old-fashioned flat lolly and sherbet to dip it in is always a winner! When I had just started up A Quarter Of I made a rookie error and received a very stern email rebuking me for it. I referred to the powder that you dip your lolly into as sherbert and was told, in a "teacher at school type way" that there's no R in sherbet! Needless to say, I have never made the same mistake again...
For anyone who was a British kid around the 1970s or 1980s, the phrase Dip Dab will bring back some seriously zingy memories of that amazing fizzing sherbet, dancing like sparks on your tongue and the roof of your mouth. The satisfying ‘ptchh’ of the packet tearing open, and that ruby red lolly waiting inside, this was an amazing treat for anyone who liked their sweets with a bit of a tingle to them.
For anyone who didn’t get to enjoy these when they were young, Dip Dabs are a packet of white sherbet, with a bright red lolly in the packet. You could lick the lolly and dip it in the sherbet repeatedly, or – if you were a bit more impatient – scoop up mounds of satisfying sherbet using the lolly like a spoon. A few of us may even have been guilty of tipping the whole packet in our mouths, and then enjoying the sweetness of the lolly after. Definitely a delicious treat, guaranteed to get you delightfully sticky no matter how careful you were. Fizzy and acidic, these are wonderful for those who want a change from the more traditional chocolate or chewy sweets.
Of all the retro sweets, these might have the most names. Dip Dab is what appears on the packet, but we’ve seen dib dab, dib dab sweets, sherbet dib dab, sherbet dab, and a whole host of others. For those of us who don’t often write sherbet, you might even stick an ‘r’ in there to make ‘sherbert dib dab.’ Easy mistake to make when there are so many possible names! Even dipdap sweet was a common one, so it seems you could call them pretty much anything you wanted – they were so iconic, people would still know what you were talking about, and that hasn’t changed even today!
Sherbet sweets are immensely popular retro sweets, and we’ve seen things like Flying Saucers launch themselves from their first production in the 1950s all the way into the 2020s, but there’s no question that Dip Dab sweets are among the most popular ways to eat sherbet. Maybe it’s that satisfying, juicy lolly tucked inside, or maybe it’s the ability to tip a whole pile of sherbet in your mouth and shut your eyes while it fizzes and tingles away. Whatever it is, a Dib Dab is still a very popular treat which many of us love.
Another one of Barratt’s special sweets that has delighted children for decades, Dip Dabs are now available in a bigger range – you can get Dip Dab Sours, Dip Dab Softies, and the original Dip Dabs we all know and love. There are even Dip Dab ice lollies on the market these days, so they’re definitely still popular. The packaging hasn’t changed much, though it’s not exactly the same as the bag most of us knew and loved; the lolly on the front has been changed for a round one, and the packet has a lot more yellow on it than it used to. All the same, it’s not the biggest change we’ve seen, and it could have been worse.
So what’s in them? Well, the good news is, sherbet is mostly made of sugar – perhaps not such good news if you’re looking for a healthy snack, but we all need a bit of an energy boost now and then. That wonderful tingly feeling comes from mixing an acid and an alkaline (usually bicarbonate of soda), and when the two get wet, they fizz together. Wow, does it produce a zing! They might be one of the most memorable retro sweets purely for the fabulous sensation they produce. It’s a wonderful sort of tingle which is pretty unique in the world of tastes and textures. They also have no gelatine or animal products, so they’re perfect for vegans and vegetarians, which makes them an ideal treat in today’s market, where more and more people are looking to move away from consuming animal products.
No matter when you got your first taste of Dip Dabs, they probably made a pretty big impression on you, and their popularity hasn’t faded yet. Today’s kids are still tipping up packets, coughing as the sherbet goes the wrong way, and delighting in that rush of a chemical reaction turning their mouth into an experience and a half!
Sherbet Dip Dab are also available as part of these fantastic gift sets
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