Food and Drink
Traditional sweets made the old fashioned way
Cheddar is famous for its cheese, but did you know it’s also home to one of the country’s oldest sweet factories?
Martin Mizen has been working at The Cheddar Sweet Kitchen, in the Gorge, for over 50 years.
He loves his job and says there's nothing else he would rather be doing for a living.
The sweets are made strictly according to the family's traditional recipes, which have been handed down through four generations.
The factory was set-up by his Great Great Uncle in 1905 and is now one of the largest producers of hand-made, old fashioned sweets in the country.
Life is sweet for Mark and Martin
As sweet-making is a two-person job, Martin is helped by his assistant Mark who loves making sweets.
Visitors are invited to watch free demos
An ex-engineer, Mark is now being trained to take over the family business. And as he's married to Martin’s god-daughter, Martin is satisfied that the sweet secrets will stay in the family.
The sweets are made from a mixture of sugar, liquid glucose and water heated in a pan. The liquid is boiled, and then pushed and pulled as it cools to make the sweets.
For the first time in 100 years, parents are expected to outlive their children - because of a childhood obesity time-bomb. So are sweets becoming an anachronism?
Martin thinks not. He advises people to consider them as treats and never has more than two in one sitting, which is lucky as he is also diabetic.
"They can help take the bite off your appetite if you’re looking for something satisfying, that won't leave you feeling over stuffed."
And if this has sent your taste buds into overdrive, then you can visit the sweet factory any time.
Mark and Martin often have fascinated sweet fans watch over them and are amazed with the reaction.
So what are their favourite sweets?
Martin loves fudge whereas Mark enjoys the "last sweet of the day - as it means I can go home!"
last updated: 18/12/2007 at 14:41