Sunday, 21 December 2014

No more silver foil to play with!

Oh no. Another iconic thing from childhood gone! I refer to the silver foil that wafers of KitKat used to be wrapped in. It's been discarded in favour of a sealed plastic wrapper, like this:

I hadn't had a KitKat in months, but bought a pack of seven the other day, as I was shortly going to have Jackie, my next-door neighbour, over for coffee; and any KitKats not consumed by us both while chatting would become my 'Christmas treat'. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that the unstoppable March of Progress had done away with yet another relic of the past! (Although, to be honest, the old wrapping was an anachronism - albeit delightful - and it was amazing that it lasted up to 2014)

But it was always fun (sort of) to rip away the paper red-and-white outer wrapper, and then tackle the silver foil. It was vital not to tear this foil in one's eagerness to get at the chocolate-covered crispy wafers within. It had Uses, you see.

The foil - in my childhood we called it 'silver paper' and made no distinction between this kind of foil and the definitely more papery wrapping used for cigarettes - could be made into miniature darts for throwing, or into little cups that stood up, or even into tiny hats (very useful indeed, if you were a pinhead). No doubt kids who were black belts in Origami made many other wonderful things with it. As for grown-ups, it was well-known that the silver foil from a KitKat was an excellent standby for connecting bare wires around the house, or in one's motor car.

Or was it in fact used to repair the electrical circuit in badly-corroded metal battery torches? In the days, that is, when your average Ever-Ready battery was a big, blue, paper-covered thing that tended to leak a messy fluid? It's hard to remember, and there's no advice on this in my 1958 Rupert Bear annual.

If you want to know an awful lot about KitKat, then this Wikipedia article delivers:

Perhaps they changed the wrapping because they had bought a New Machine for the job. It surely couldn't have been because there was a problem keeping KitKats fresh. I mean, they fly off the shelf, don't they?

I'm glad to say that the chocolate wafers were as nice to eat as ever! And only 107 calories, and each wafer a proper knock-'em-cold, take-no-prisoners hit of chocolate. (Just don't get addicted)


  1. There shall soon be little remaining of all the individual solutions we grew up with and I sometimes think these plastic wrappers are designed to stop older folk getting any sustenance !

    I have an unopened Kit Kat in the house from about fifteen years ago, not due to me not liking them but because it comes in a slightly pinkish box. They were given out at a wedding of a friend's child to a Japanese guy, these had been brought over and were cherry flavoured (so we are led to believe...).

    The only old product I do not mourn the passing is the hard shiny waterproof stuff we were presented with in the bathroom which could never clean up the mess nature designed us to make...

  2. The Japanese Green Tea Kit Kat is so delicious! I've only ever had one, from a kind friend who had just returned from there. I wish they were more easily available.


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