The United Kingdom

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

The United Kingdom comprises Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Many, perhaps most, of its people associate the word “sweets” with the confectionery lining supermarket shelves or displayed in jars in small local shops. Confusingly, the term also covers a wider array of sweet foods eaten at the end of a meal, which may be called “sweet,” “dessert,” or “pudding,” depending on linguistic usage as well as social and geographic position. The word “afters” has now entered the culinary lexicon to refer to all three, in an attempt to avoid arguments about which word to use.