As bizarre as this sounds, I will be writing about pick ‘n’ mix today after dreaming about it the other night and being inspired to talk about its amazingness! Pick ‘n’ mix is Amelia and I’s cure all, solve all, ultimate feel good food. Though, there are a few other top contenders I must admit, but more on those another time!
My boyfriend Brad, calls it Pig ‘n’ Mix, which is probably because of the way my Sister and I gorge ourselves on it, so from here on in, we shall refer to it, as pig ‘n’ mix! We have both been known to go to the cinema before, just simply to buy sweets, granted it’s not the cheapest option around, in fact it’s definitely one of the most expensive, but I’m just not sure what else to do in terms of crisis and desperate need for a wide selection of hand picked sweets and chocolate. When I say crisis, I can think of a particular occasion, when Amelia and I were both upset about something and our solution (at least temporary anyway) was to go to the cinema, buy nearly £10 worth of pig ‘n’ mix and sit in the car in the car park gorging ourselves on it! All I can say is, that was the exact thing that we both needed, right at that moment to put a smile on our face. It didn’t solve the problem, in fact it created another one (stomach ache!) but it was the perfect thing to make us feel better.
I’m not suggesting pig ‘n’ mix is the cure for all your problems, nor is it a great idea to stuff your face with it every time you have a bad day! BUT it does have it’s place. As I’m sure for all of you, there is some sort of comfort food that has the same effect for you. Though, sometimes different problems call for different types of comfort food I think!
Though it feels like pig ‘n’ mix is becoming a rarity these days- in favour of more ‘hygienic’ sugar fixes. Don’t get me wrong I do get freaked out by the old school shop keepers that think it’s still OK to dish it out with their bare (and often long finger nailed) hands, but when done properly… i.e. using a scoop… I really do love pig ‘n’ mix! When just chocolate or just sweets simply won’t cut it, pig ‘n’ mix is undoubtedly the answer. The trouble is, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find it these days and when those places that do, dish them up with their hands I’m left with increasingly few options.
I’d like to share a story with you, which sums up just how hard it is to come across legitimate pig ‘n’ mix these days. I went into a little village shop recently and it is safe to say, it was quite honestly the strangest shop I’ve ever been into. Not only did it smell like an old people’s home (sounds harsh, but you all know what smell I mean when I say that) but it was the odd collection of products that they had for sale. It appeared to be second hand books and ornaments, as well as being a newsagents of sorts. As usual though, my eyes lit up at the sight of pig ‘n’ mix (bearing in mind the smell I had just encountered on arrival, I probably should have been more than just a little bit sceptical at this point, but my childish joy overrode). She had a pretty good selection, so I thought I’d start with the Sour Snakes and requested 3. At that point, she pulled out a bare, long finger nailed hand and dished up my sweets (don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against long finger nails, just the yellowing, haven’t been cut for a few years type) so feeling slightly nauseous I said “Eerrm that’ll be everything thanks”. The woman was obviously a little baffled after the audible excitement that I had just expressed not moments ago, but fortunately Mum was on the case looking to try and ease what was becoming an increasingly awkward situation, and was frantically looking around trying to find something else to buy, eventually she spotted crisps (in a wrapper) and added it to my 3 sour snakes & we made a swift exit.
It’s such a shame, because that shop was local to where I used to work and I would have been a VERY regular customer there, had the story above not enfolded and a scoop simply used.
I have actually recently found that a local newsagents near me, which sells pre-bagged sweets for 40p each or 3 for a £1. Now the chances are, the shopkeeper has divided these up with his hands, but the point is, I don’t see it, so most of the time, I don’t think about it. Ergo I can enjoy my (no doubt long finger nailed) hand picked sweets in peace.. because I haven’t seen his hands, nor have I seen them touching my sweets. So here I urge all pig ‘n’ mix shop keepers to either use a scoop OR just pre-dish them up in small bags, so you can still experience the joy of picking and mixing.
But I really do believe (despite what a grumpy shopkeeper told me recently) that you are NEVER too old for pig ‘n’ mix. I hope some, if not all of you can relate to this. In fact, I’d be interested to know if anyone out there does believe you can be too old for pig ‘n’ mix? Of course, you will never change my opinion on this- I will be stuffing sweets into my mouth for all eternity, but I’d be interested to know your thoughts? If, like us, you believe you are never too old, then share your secrets… where can we buy the best pig ‘n’ mix?! It really does seem to be a dying breed these days.
We have found Posh Pick & Mix, which is an online shop selling jars of sweets of your choosing, all nicely packaged with a personalised label. Not ideal for a spare of the moment sweet treat, but a really lovely gift idea!
ALSO, for any ‘Made in Chelsea’ fans out there, the ‘Candy Kittens’ site is up and running (though not selling through it yet) and I can honestly say it looks really good! Still not sure where the girls in hotpants come into it though…! I like my sweets without a side order of skinny, naked flesh thanks!
So on that note and after an exhaustingly long post, we’re off to eat the sweets from our photo shoot!
By Hollie Brooks
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