Lusting For A … Fisherman’s Friend?

For several months I’ve been quite literally lusting after a bag from Tusting. As someone who has a cupboard full of bags, suitcases and holdalls in various sizes and styles discovering their site was quite exciting and it’s only through sheer willpower and determination that I haven’t already ordered a bag from them. I put this down to being unable to decide between the Clipper or the Melchbourne. Of course there is also the £300+ price tag attached to each bag that makes me stop and think twice each time I reach for my wallet.

However I felt unable to resist this week when I noticed how to take advantage of a promotion with Boden. They stock the Tusting Clipper for £300, £30 less than Tusting themselves. However their current promotion is 15% off if you spend over £120 meaning you get the Clipper bag for only £255. Suddenly it was much easier to decide between the two bags; did I want to spend £325 or £255? Yes, you guessed it, the cut-price Clipper should arrive on Monday. I’m embarrassed to admit I’m looking forward to it.

What I’m not embarrassed to admit however is how much I like Fisherman’s Friends. You may recall a while ago I blogged having a general moan about spending one weekend feeling rather poorly and generally sorry for myself. If you missed it I wouldn’t say you missed much but feel free to have a read.

One person who did read it was Janita who dropped me an email and suggested a Fisherman’s Friend might be just the thing to ward off those commuter colds. When I saw the name, Fisherman’s Friend, it was like a deja-vu flashback.

Suddenly I was back to when I was around 7, perhaps 8 years old. Back then I would spend every other weekend with my granddad and on those weekends I was allowed to have one of the sinus clearing menthol lozenges from the tin he always had in his jacket pocket. I also realised that it was a brand I hadn’t seen or at least don’t recall seeing, for so many years I had genuinely forgotten it.

However with a fan base of millions in over 100 countries, Fisherman’s Friends from Lofthouse in Lancashire have been quietly introducing different flavours, some uniquely regional, to no doubt attract a younger market. For the last few weeks I’ve been quietly researching the difference in taste between the original Fisherman’s Friend and the newer flavoured varieties; as far as I can gather only the original extra strong and the aniseed versions are full fat, the rest are either low sugar or sugar free.

Trying to decide which ones I liked more was no easy task. I liked the choice of flavours in the low/no sugar varieties, Cherry and Lemon being my favourite, but they just didn’t taste like a Fisherman’s Friend. They just weren’t as strong as I like. The sweetener makes them too sweet I think BUT that is because I prefer the strong menthol eucalyptus taste which for me, identifies Fisherman’s Friends from other sweets.

When I pop a cherry flavoured one in my mouth it tastes exactly like a cherry menthol Tune and I play the old 2nd Class return to Dottingham advert in my head. Yes, they are nice but they just don’t taste right to me. I have to say this was true even when I compared the Original Extra Strong with the Extra Strong No Added Sugar version.

With all that said, when I offered them to people in the office the initial reaction was “Fisherman’s Friends? I haven’t heard of them in years!” but few were willing to take one as they all remembered them as being “very strong!” However a few colleagues aren’t old enough to remember them so happily tried them, said they were quite nice which resulted in the wary ones trying them and declaring that, by and large, they liked them but weren’t willing to try the original version.

Last week I happened to pop into the shop next to the office and noticed that on the counter was a box of Aniseed Fisherman’s Friends, these weren’t low sugar so I bought them and they are re-assuring strong, I’ve since noticed the Original Extra Strong version for sale in Boots the chemist. What I would like to try however are the Spicy Mandarin and Apple and Cinnamon flavours, not to mention the Salmiak which is supposedly very much an acquired taste.

What I’ve opted for is the FFC (Fisherman’s Friend Cocktail). Lemon and Blackcurrant varieties go quite well and I’m currently enjoying Aniseed and Cherry. I wouldn’t try Blackcurrant and Mint, it wasn’t that nice.

Of course what makes all of them taste even better is the simple fact that they come from my own Fisherman’s Friend tin, which will be stowed safely in my new Tusting Clipper bag as of next week.If you send in 4 Fisherman’s Friends wrappers you can get your own tin, full details at www.fishermansfriend.com

Few of us are likely to be braving the Icelandic deep sea but travelling in most parts of Britain requires all the protection you can get and these fiery little lozenges are great when you’re walking to the bus stop or station, morning or night.

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