Aniseed ball

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Aniseed balls (next to a metric ruler for scale).

Aniseed balls are a comfit type of hard round sweet sold in the UK, Ireland, Malta, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. They are shiny and dark reddish brown, and hard like Gobstoppers, but generally only 1 cm across.

They were a staple traditional sweet in the 1950s and 1960s in Australia and New Zealand but have become rare in recent years.[weasel words]

They are flavoured by aniseed oil, have a very strong aniseed flavour, and last for a long time in the mouth before dissolving. In the centre of the ball is normally a whole rapeseed, which is used for forming layers of sugar around, although other nuclei are sometimes used, for example a sugar crystal.


  • Adele Nozedar: Great British Sweets: And How To Make Them at Home. Random House, 2014, ISBN 9781448161218
  • Aniseed balls voted Britain's favourite childhood sweets. The Telegraph, 30. Oktober 2009
  • David Clay: On this day in Yorkshire 1953: Aniseed balls used to set off limpet bombs. Yorkshire Post, 17. November 2016
  • Martin Wainwright: Sweets we loathe. The Guardian, 5. März 2005