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This Britain

Minor British Institutions: Paynes Poppets

In a changing world the gratifying thing about Paynes Poppets is, obviously, that they are still with us, but also that their cardboard box packaging remains uniquely inaccessible.

They still have that little half-moon corner where, in theory, you press in with your thumb and the card gives way to leave an ideal-sized dispensing hatch for your Poppets. In practice this just squashes the box and you end up tearing a rather less elegant orifice from which your Poppets will indeed pop, after a fashion.

The raisin poppet original was invented in 1937, but there are some new fillings available now, including a very acceptable crunchy biscuit confection. Sadly the toffee-filled "toffett" variety has now been rebranded as toffee poppets, and that doesn't sound right at all.

Some 10m Poppets are munched per week, according to the makers, which "means that in a year we've chomped our way far enough to reach the centre of the earth!!" We could chomp a good deal further if more of our supermarkets offered their customers this timeless British classic.