Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

rock a British sweet made in large and colourful sticks. There are two types: ordinary rock, sold at seaside resorts and other places visited by tourists, and Edinburgh rock, which is the original form of the sweet but remains mainly a local speciality of Edinburgh. Ordinary rock is a sweet of the plain pulled candy type, which is always professionally made, since it demands very complex pulling techniques. Each cylindrical stick consists of a coloured outer layer enclosing a white core with lettering made of coloured candy (‘A present from Llandudno’ or something of the kind) which runs the whole length of the stick, so that each letter is actually a long strip whose cross-section is that of the letter, and wherever the rock is broken the exposed ends will show a legible inscription (though one of them will show the letters in reverse. The letters are made in a fairly large size from hot coloured sugar and surrounded by a white matrix and coloured outer layer; then the assembly is drawn out to great length so that it becomes quite narrow. Sometimes the sticks are as long and thick as a child’s arm.