Friday, January 28, 2011

Nigel Slater, Toast and Space Dust

Over Christmas I enjoyed the TV adaptation of Nigel Slater's Toast - I used to wear jumpers like that in the 1960s - and have since read the book.

It is a remarkable piece of writing and, being divided into short sections, is ideal for reading on the commute to work and back. Take a heavy novel with you and the train can be past Wigston Junction before you remember who is who and what has been happening.

Slater even mentions Malcolm Saville twice.

One thing worries me. Slater tells the story of his boyhood and adolescence through the food he and his family ate. He is very good on the sweets of the period, mentioning long-lost chocolate bars like Summit and Aztec that most of my readers will be far too young to remember.

But he also mentions having bought Space Dust in the 1960s - and I have no memory of having eaten it or even heard of it in that decade. Wikipedia appears to back me up: its disambiguation page for Space Dust redirects you to Pop Rocks - a brand it says was first offered to the public in 1975.

So is Nigel Slater wrong about Space Dust or is my memory at fault?


Wartime Housewife said...

I remember eating Space Dust in the 1970s. It always gave me a headache so I stuck to Blackjacks and Fruit Salads.

Jonathan Calder said...

Thanks WH. I would date it to the 1970s too.

Cornishjim said...

'The idea of producing Space Dust was first conceived in 1956 by William Mitchell, a chemist at General Foods. However, Space Dust as a form of candy actually only came in to circulation in 1975.'from weluvsweetscom.blogspot
I remember buying them from Devoran Shop (RIP) or Post Office (RIP) or Bakery (RIP) all near the School(closed/ moved)in mid to late 70's.
Never a fan

Manfarang said...

I do remember buying something called Space Food in the 1960s.A rather tasteless confection.

Simon Titley said...

I wonder if Nigel Slater is recalling 'kali' (pronounced 'kay-lie'), which was sold loose in sweet shops in the 1960s.

'A Quarter Of' (an online retailer of retro sweets, at defines kali as a type of sherbert, but the kali I remember was a mixture of red and yellow coloured crystals.

Kali's attraction to small children in the 1960s was that they could buy one-eigth of an ounce (in a small cone-shaped paper bag) for only one old penny, which stretched pocket money that bit further.