Sweets of Yorkshire - Part 1

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Sweets of Yorkshire - Part 1

The Tradition of Sweet Making In Yorkshire

We, at The Sweet Scoop are proud of our Yorkshire heritage of confectionery manufacture. The county of Yorkshire, often referred to as 'God's own country', is home to many popular and well loved sweet and confectionery brands.
Let's have a brief look at the history of sweet making in our region and explore some of the big names in sweet production. 

Liquorice Making in Pontefract

When looking at the history of sweet making, the most important place we must start, is with Pontefract, near Leeds. Pontefract itself is steeped in history, but today we are focusing on the manufacture of Liquorice. Nobody is quite certain who first brought it to the town, but the likelihood is that it was 14th Century Monks who settled at Pontefract Priory, close to the castle.

The soft loamy soil was ideal for growing liquorice as the roots like to run deep into the ground. In the early days it is said that the monks extracted the sap from the roots of the plant and combined them with other herbs for medicinal purposes, for treating coughs and colds and also for stomach complaints.

By the time of the English Civil War (1642-1651) large areas of land was being used for liquorice production in and round Pontefract. It was in 1614, when the Extract of Liquorice was used to make small lozenges, they were stamped by cakers (workers that embossed the lozenges by hand, as many as up to 30,000 a day). The embossed stamp, imprinted the shape of Pontefract Castle to signify quality. In 1760, an apothecary by the name of George Dunhill produced the first 'Pontefract Cake'. He added sugar to the liquorice and the rest is sweet history!

Today Taveners is one of the UK's leading manufacturer of Pontefract Cakes and these remain a top seller! 

Lion Confectionery and Where It All Started

Another great story in the history of Yorkshire sweet manufacture is that of Lion Confectionery. Check out our popular blog here about Lion Confectionery. Established in 1903, Lion is famous for its gummy sweets including liquorice. Frank and Albert Hillard began making sweets at their home in Cleckheaton and now the company is part of Tangerine, the UK's 4th Largest Sweet Maker.

Lion produce Midget Gems, Football Gums, Fruit Salad, Liquorice Gums, Poor Bens and Wine Gums.

Joseph Dobson & Sons - Home to the famous Yorkshire Mixture

Looking at the famous names of sweet manufacture in Yorkshire, then we must not forget Joseph Dobson & Sons. They are known across the world for their traditional boiled sweets, mega lollipos and they are home to the famous Yorkshire Mixture. Yorkshire Mixture is a collection of traditional boiled sweets including pear drops, humbugs and rock. Most notably though are the fish. A large fish shaped, fruity, boiled sweet and every portion must have at least one.

Traditional sweet making at Joseph Dobson & Sons goes back a long way. In fact, the company was established in 1850 and is still run as a family business today. Based in Elland in West Yorkshire, they continue to manufacture from old traditional recipes.

Here at The Sweet Scoop, we have a fabulous array of Dobson Mega Lollies including Blue Raspberry, Bubblegum, Tutti Frutti, Traffic Light (these change colour as you eat them), Strawberry Split, Sherbet Lemon to name a few. Along with the forever popular Sherbet Pips and Cola Pips, these small hard boiled sweets are a great favourite with all, children and adults alike.

This concludes part 1 of our Sweets of Yorkshire, keep in touch with ourselves through our social media pages.

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  • Al-motamid Mogul

    Do you do the famous sweets called fudge do you SUGARFREE is very hard to find in sweets shops around the UK 🇬🇧 please can you send me a email you have a good day 😊 THANKS Mr Al-motamid Mogul

  • Dan

    Strange really that Joseph Dobson don’t actually have the traditional large fish in their mixture but a smaller, less iconic version.



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