I’ve just eaten two sticks of Blackpool rock (my family have just returned from a day out). Both sticks of rock had “Blackpool Rock” written across their cross section. How do they make the rock so that when it sets, the writing is still legible?
It gets stretched, a lot, so that what start off as large letters and very fat pieces of rock, become very long and thin. Then they are chopped into pieces, packaged and sold. It’s mostly a boiled sugar that becomes semi-liquid and very stretchable at the right temperature.
Googles your friend, well kinda your friend in this case. I found this site, but it seems to have left something out.
Basically, they form the letters using strips of coloured candy surrounded by the white candy, when it is already fairly solid.
The letters are made on quite a large scale, then the rock is rolled until it gets to the right diameter, which stretches the writing out lengthwise while shrinking it in size.
Here’s another nice article on the manufacturing process, from a British supermarket magazine.
What the heck is “Blackpool Rock”? Is it some sort of hard candy? The site linked doesn’t seem to have a very good picture. Are the words on the interior (like the illustrations on this page)? It’s sold in stick form? I see the site actually has a book out about it so I guess it must be really famous in the UK…
I took too long writing up my description, and others have done a better job with links as well. So, I’ll erase most of my post and answer the second question:
It is hard candy, about ½” – 1” in diameter and perhaps a foot long. It typically is has colored exterior and a name written out in the white center that runs the length of the candy. These are popular in seaside resorts in England, such as Blackpool.
It is named after the archetypal English seaside resort of Blackpool.
Cool, thanks for the replies. I’ve never seen the stuff before. The second article Colophon linked was very interesting. I liked this quote:
Having visited one of the factories to see it being made, I can assure you that the whole process is rather less interesting than one had always imagined it would be.
Most industrial processes are, sadly. You think it’ll be cool, but nine times out of ten all you see is a room full of shiny stainless steel cuboids and a few guys in hairnets.
Just to be contrary, ( ) I was taken a few times (as a kid) and always thought it was absolutely fascinating to watch how the lettering was done.
I’d recommend it to anyone in the area to call in and see. YM, as always, MV.