Bites: The penny drops on cheap treats

This week's New Review Food Special celebrates nature and, admittedly, there's not much that's natural about sweets, but they are a simple pleasure. And since belt-tightening is all around (financially, if not physically), sweets give pleasure beyond their diminutive size. One of our favourites for cheap thrills is online retailer A Quarter Of, purveyors of old-fashioned confectionery, which reports sales up 100 per cent since this time last year. That's a lot of flying saucers...

It seems that penny sweets are more popular than ever because we all want a treat when times are tight, no matter how small.

For a sunny disposition, we prescribe a glass Kilner jar full of nostalgic treats such as milk bottles, shrimps, pineapple cubes and Blackjacks on every desk and kitchen counter across the land: £13.47 will buy you 900g worth of tooth-sticking joy, which can then be replenished with your favourite (such as midget gems, £21.48 for 3kg).