British Guy Meets American Candy: The Taste Test

One of my coworkers has a bowl of assorted American sweets (candy) on her desk that I hadn’t tried before and another coworker suggested that I should do a Buzzfeed style video of “British person tries American candy”. Whilst this was an excellent idea I have no desire to inflict my face upon the wider internet but I did feel that this would make an interesting blog post. So I have risked an imminent sugar coma to sample all of these sweets and share my opinion with you.

Laffy Taffy

I went for the banana flavour. This sticky bar attached itself to both my fingers and the wrapper like glue, which was fitting because wallpaper paste was the predominant taste that I got from these sweets. There were two jokes on the back; the better one was “What’s a cat’s favourite thing to read? A catalogue!” I repeat, that was the better joke. Points for trying though; none of the other sweets had bad jokes on.

Rating 3/10

British food they are similar to: Penny chews

I recommend you give them to: The younger sibling that you made cry but are still angry at for crying.

If you ever run out of glue you could try Laffy Taffy.
If you ever run out of glue you could try Laffy Taffy.

Necco Wafers

These have been made in the US since 1847 and the only thing that must keep them going is nostalgia or people trying to poison their enemies. If you can imagine getting some chalk, covering it liberally with mouthwash and then trying to eat the result you will be close to what these “sweets” taste like.  One of the other flavours tastes how I would imagine urinal cake to taste. These little discs of doom left an aftertaste that made me want a mouth transplant. Maybe it’s just my British palate but I really couldn’t stand them.

Rating 1/10

British thing they are similar to: Chalk

I recommend you give them to: Someone you hate with a fiery passion.



I have been sold a lie. We have Smarties in the UK but they are similar to M&M’s albeit with nicer chocolate inside. These Smarties are multicoloured small discs of sugar that have different flavours. I found them rather chalky and very sweet but the flavor was not unpleasant and I can imagine them being popular at Halloween.

Rating: 7/10

British food they are similar to: Refreshers.

I recommend you give them to: Kids at Halloween.

These weren't bad at all.
These weren’t bad at all.


I went for the “gotta-have grape” flavour of these. They weren’t unpleasant but had a strange chemical aftertaste. They were tiny and I may have accidentally dropped a few into the keyboard so if you see any typos later on that’s my excuse! As with the Smarties I can imagine the very sweet taste is appealing to children. I would be willing to try a different flavour of Nerds to see if I prefer it.

Rating 6/10

British food they are similar to: You can find Nerds in the UK but I’ve not seen them for years.

I recommend you give them to: Someone who has doesn’t have many taste buds.

These aren't the worst things in the world.
These aren’t the worst things in the world.

Red Bird Mints

I was expecting these chunky red and white mints to be hard but they dissolved in my mouth in seconds. I was left with a decent minty aftertaste that no doubt improved my breath and they didn’t stick to my teeth or crunch into razor sharp shards like a lot of British mints do. Not bad at all.

Rating: 7/10

British Food they are similar to: They taste like soft Murray Mints.

I recommend you give them to: That friend who always has bad breath.

Minty fresh!
Minty fresh!

Although I didn’t try them in this test I have to say that my favourite American candy is Sour Patch Kids. What’s yours? Do you agree with the findings of my taste test?

Thanks to Jen for the idea and Sam for the candy.

21 thoughts on “British Guy Meets American Candy: The Taste Test

  1. mckelodeon

    This is all I did when I studied abroad in England. All I can say is avoid our Kit Kats. British Kit Kats are superb in every way. If you’re looking for substitutes for British candy, I’ve found that: Whoppers = Maltesers, Mounds = Bounty, Milky Way bars (here) = Mars bars. And yet, I still haven’t found anything nearly as good as a Cadbury Flake here.

  2. Your descriptions of the tastes are hilarious and made me laugh out loud. Thanks for brightening my day! I have never tried any of those sweets but will definitely avoid them when visiting the US next time 🙂

  3. No one does sweets like us Brits 🙂 Just along from the Cinemas where I live there is a ‘traditional’ sweet shop with jars full of everything you, your granny and your great granny can remember! It’s always packed out in there 🙂

    1. I miss those shops! I always spend far too much in the traditional sweet shops. I definitely agree that we are the best at making sweets, its the huge sweet tooth most of us have!

  4. Bea

    I’m actually one of the people who likes necco wafers. They taste terrible to most people because modern candy is flavored with artificial fruit where as the necco wafers are flavored with spices such as anise, cloves, and cinnimon. If you’re expecting fruit and get spices, anyone would be disappointed.

  5. “Chalk.” Damn straight.

    Yes, your coworker totally gave you crap candy. Clearly the leftovers even her kids didn’t want. If you must have Laffy Taffy at least try the green apple.

    Try a chocolate covered gummy bear. Or a starburst.

    Three sour patch kids will take the skin off your tongue. Recommended for that coworker who just won’t shut up.

    1. The candy bowl was half empty and the ones that people didn’t want were left to I’ll have to wait until she restocks. We have Starburst in the UK, I like them. I will have to chase down the chocolate covered gummy bears!

  6. My American friend did a potato chip (or crisps, if you prefer – sheesh) challenge when she was living in Bangkok. Your candy challenge reminded me of it. Yeah, American candy is, really, not for the adult and sophisticated palate. Hahahha. But I love the idea, I need to do one in Cambodia!

    1. You should, I bet the candy there is very different to the candy in the UK and the US! I would love to do a crisp challenge here but there are too many samey international brands in the UK and US like Pringles and Walkers/Lays.

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