Pucker up for sour lollies

sour lollies

Sour lollies are one of the most sought after sweets in Australia. Just sweet enough, yet shockingly sour, it seems we can’t enough of sweet and sour lollies.

A taste for sour candy

Invented in the 1970’s, around since the ’80s, and part of every 90’s childhood, sour sweets are universally popular. Some are head-blowingly extreme whilst others are just lip-puckeringly sharp. Many are quite mild and just pleasingly fizzy on the tongue. All about sensation, they all take us on a journey from sour-to-sweet.

With most sour sweets the sourness is in the outside powdery/sugary coating. In some, such as the old school acid drop, the sourness is inside the sweet itself. Sour candy comes as both the jelly/gummy variety and also as hard boiled sweets. Sour jelly sweets are what we tend to think of when we refer to sour lollies. They almost always feature a sour sugar coating and a soft fruity jelly inside. It is this that creates the effect of sweet after sour.

So what makes sour candy sour?

All sour sweets have a mixture of acids in their sugar coating, known in the trade as sour sugar. Which is fair enough. There are a number of acids used in sweet manufacturing and they all have different flavour profiles, with varying levels of sourness, bitterness and astringency. It is the interplay of these various acids that makes all sour candies feel different on the tongue. Each brand will have its own well guarded secret recipes.

Citric acid provides a burst of sour tang that doesn’t last very long on the tongue. Found in lemons and limes, it is sharp and bright.

Malic acid is said to be longer and smoother on the tongue, also acting as a flavour enhancer that boosts the sweet fruity flavour. This is the acid found in green apples. Some of the extreme sour sweets use malic acid coated in oil so that it takes longer to appear on the tongue. Kind of like a slow release effect.

Tartaric acid is found in bananas and lemons. Moderately sour, it is the most astringent of the acids used in confectionary. It is that dry mouth puckering feeling like you get from raw rhubarb or strong tea.

Fumaric acid is strong and sour. It lasts longer on the tongue as it dissolves more slowly.

Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is also used. It is mildly fizzy on the tongue.

One of the five tastes (actual physical sensations triggered via receptors in the mouth) sour is activated by the acids in food. They quite literally make your mouth water.

Why does my tongue hurt after eating sour candy?

Most sour candy won’t hurt your tongue, yet extreme sour candy can irritate your tongue and the lining of your mouth. So much so that some even carries a warning label. The burning sensation is down to the acids; much like eating super strong salt and vinegar crisps.

If you do indulge in some extreme candy eating (or crisp eating for that matter) then cold milk, yoghurt, or ice cream will help to soothe the burn.

We think eating sour lollies should be lip puckeringly pleasant, not a hazard to your oral health. Here’s our pick of the best sour lollies suitable for everyone…

The best sour lollies for your lolly buffet

Sour cola lollies

Everybody’s favourite – you can’t go wrong with sour cola lollies.

Sour heart lollies

Soft, squishy, AND sour. Our sour heart lollies are pretty in pink, but we also sell blue sour lollies too.

Sour mix lollies

A bumper bag of party mix sour lollies is the simplest and most effective way to buy sour lollies in bulk. They are also gluten-free. We know this can be a minefield, so we wrote this post on choosing gluten-free lollies to make things a bit clearer. You’re welcome.


If you are planning a party or special event, you don’t want to miss our tips and tricks on how to make a lolly buffet.

Why not explore our range of sour lollies online? Get all your bulk lollies for a lolly buffet at wholesale prices here.

This article was reproduced on this site only with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Online Wholesale Lolly Shop”. See original article:- Pucker up for Some Sour Lollies. The Lolly Shop is a wholly owned subsidiary of Opera Foods PL.

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