Flying saucer (confectionery)

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Flying saucer
Flying saucer (confectionery).jpg
Place of originBelgium, United Kingdom
Main ingredientsSherbet and rice paper

Flying saucers (Flemish: Zure ouwels) are small spheroidal capsules of sherbet-filled rice paper.[1][2]


The first flying saucers were produced in the early 1950s when an Antwerp based producer of communion wafers, Belgica, faced a decline in demand for their product. Astra Sweets now owns the Belgica brand and continue to make the product. Flying saucers are officially registered as a traditional product of Flanders.[3] Their popularity in the United Kingdom from the 1960s to the 1970s was attributed to the Space Race and increased interest in science fiction.[2]

They remain a popular sweet in Belgium and the United Kingdom. Flying saucers came 12th in a 2009 poll among adults for 'Britain's top sweets'[4] and experienced a resurgence in popularity, along with other traditional sweets, in the 2010s.[5][6] They have also been featured on lists of vegan sweets for Halloween.[7] They were also a popular sweet in Ireland.[8]


  1. ^ "The lasting allure of the flying saucer". BBC News. 2014-06-12. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  2. ^ a b "Sweet history lesson on the evolution of confectionery". belfasttelegraph. 2018-08-23. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  3. ^ Traditional products of Flanders (in Flemish)
  4. ^ Renton, Alex (10 September 2009). "Goody goody gumdrops". Times 2. The Times. London. pp. 8-9.
  5. ^ Salter, Katy (2014-08-06). "Sherbet dips, flying saucers and the British retro sweet revival". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  6. ^ "Why are retro sweets tasting success?". BBC News. 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  7. ^ Allen, Elisa (2017-10-25). "9 ways to have a vegan Halloween". Metro. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  8. ^ "23 Undeniable Tastes Of An Irish Childhood". Retrieved 2021-05-06.