Thursday, January 25, 2007

Astra Flying Saucers

imageYou may find this hard to believe, but I’ve never had Satellite Wafers, UFOs or Flying Saucers before. I’m not sure why, but for the longest time I didn’t actually know what they were.

For the most part I thought they were toys. That they were some sort of technically edible wafer with a toy or prize inside. (Shows how much I was paying attention.)

I’m certain I’m not alone in my confusion about what they are, so I’ll try to demystify them.


The wafers are made up of two disks of slightly foamed corn starch (kind of like communion wafers or that stuff that they put on the tops of Torrones). They’re dome shaped to hold a little reservoir of powdered candy. You can shake them and they make a light rattling noise. The powder is a slightly foaming white dextrose candy kind of like a Pixy Stix.

The brand on these is Astra and they’re made in Belgium. I get the impression that there are a couple of other brands out there, including Gerrit’s Satellite Wafers, which are also made in Belgium ... so maybe there’s just one factory out there in the Belgian countryside cranking away on these traditional European novelty sweets.

The wafer itself is rather delicate and can crack if it’s fresh (and just get soggy and bendy if it’s not). This would explain why there was some candy powder in my bag of 35 pieces. Only two, as far as I could tell, had let loose their contents. The wafer is ever so slightly sweet but basically unflavored. If there’s an acceptable style to eating these, I missed that indoctrination as a child and can only say that I take a bite out of the Saucer, eat the little wafer and then dump the contents onto my tongue.

The powder is uncolored and tastes a bit like green apple (again, there could be different flavors ... or not). Sometimes I tossed the other half of the wafer, sometimes I ate it. The powder inside has a slight fizz to it, not quite as strong as Zotz. In fact, sometimes it wasn’t fizzy at all, sometimes it was absurdly fizzy.

Now that I’ve had these I’m sorry I didn’t seek them out as a child. They’re basically disk shaped Pixy Stix only you can eat the container they come in. I’m guessing the wafer also somehow offsets the huge sugar rush you would ordinarily get from straight dextrose.

You can read more about Astra Sweets who made these here, but it appears that Astra Sweets took over Belgica TOP, the originator of the Flying Saucer some years ago.

Name: Flying Saucers
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Astra Sweets
Place Purchased:
Price: $1.79
Size: 1.54 ounces
Calories per ounce: 104
Categories: Chalk, Carbonated, Sour, Belgium

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:40 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I loved these as a child.  I had an American relative who would come to visit me in Canada and bring an assortment of different candies.

    I used to empty the packet of sugar and kind of let the rest melt on my tongue.  I don’t know what the accepted way of eating them was because I was the only one who ever had them.

    Comment by Helen A. Handbasket on 1/25/07 at 11:09 am #
  2. I’ve never even heard of them!

    Comment by Grace on 1/25/07 at 11:57 am #
  3. Oh Christ. These were a staple of my childhood, always in the pick n’ mix bag and even though I was the one who put them in there, I hated them. They’re absolutely disgusting. The shrbert inside is tounge rapingly bad and the “saucer” is like chewy, squeaky polystyrene. I’m not feeling the love for Flying saucers. Not now, not ever.

    Comment by GTO on 1/25/07 at 2:42 pm #
  4. I just had these this week. They’re amazing—noise makers [especially fun during a quite classroom!] and just plain fun to eat.

    Note: have the similar effect as a Frisbee when thrown in such a fashion ^.^

    Comment by Julia on 1/25/07 at 7:27 pm #
  5. I work for a local candy store and we sell them all the time.  Off hand, I can’t remember the brand we sell, but they come in two varieties-regular and sour.  I prefer the sweet ones, but a lot of kids like the sour ones.  The prefered method for eating them around here is to get a lot of saliva in your mouth and let the wafers disolve in your mouth.  I do agree that the outsides taste like stale communion wafers.

    Comment by Angel on 1/26/07 at 2:08 am #
  6. I don’t think I’ve ever had these, which is kind of shocking to me.  I’ll have to try to find some and check them out.

    Comment by g on 1/26/07 at 5:00 am #
  7. When I was a kid, our local candy store had them,but there wasn’t powder inside. Instead,there were little panned hard candy balls, almost like tiny jawbreakers. They were just unflavored sugar, but they were rainbow colored. You would never really buy these after the first time,because they were about the blandest thing in the store, but I’d be interested in trying some with fizzy stuff instead of crappy beads/sprinkles.

    Comment by zac on 1/28/07 at 5:54 am #
  8. I have never even seen these before! I wonder if they sell them in the gift shop of the International UFO Museum and Research Center (in Roswell, NM)? I’ll have to check when I’m in the vicinity over the weekend!

    Comment by Tricia on 1/31/07 at 6:13 pm #
  9. Alas, they do not sell them at the UFO Museum. Maybe I should print this review and send it to them, urging them to stock the candies in the future!

    Comment by Tricia on 2/08/07 at 8:19 am #
  10. I adore these, they’re a childhood staple of mine, and I admit I still eat them!

    There are a couple of different ways to eat them, there’s the bite and suck method, where you eat the edge of the saucer, then suck out the sherbet. There’s the dissolve method, where you stick the whole thing on your tongue, letting it dissolve and the sherbet seep through, which is my favourite way to eat them. My sister picks the top of the saucer off and eats it, then empties it into her mouth, eating the second half after.

    There’s no particular eating method, they’re really just about fun! WOO!


    Comment by Erling on 4/17/07 at 6:15 am #
  11. I love these, I’ve only had them once!
    how I learned to eat them was to let them sit on your toung untill the wafer melts away and then your hit with a punch of sour!
    Does any one know how to get them cheap in the states?

    Comment by Zoe Westbrook on 11/13/07 at 12:28 pm #
  12. I am a designer and I’ve never seen these, but when I saw the picture of the packaging, I immediately thought of cheese. I wondered why. Then I googled Kraft. Ah. The color association. That Astra kids logo is a dead ringer to the Kraft logo. And the blue/yellow background is often used in Kraft cheese products. So, erm. I don’t know what you’re gonna do with this imformation but it’s just an observation.

    Comment by melissa bing on 2/16/08 at 4:20 pm #
  13. can you get a recipe and make these yourself…theyre gorgoues..??

    Comment by Jessica Landers on 2/19/08 at 1:28 am #
  14. as a child i spent several summers in england, with my grandparents, I loved them as a child, I went back to england and took my children and both of my sons use to run around the corner just to get there ufo’s, they bring back alot of memories, sherberts were the best candies you could get, and to eat them you pop them whole in your mouth and when they disolved the tangy treat kicked in

    Comment by Dwayne Sager on 10/25/09 at 1:59 pm #
  15. I luv dissolving the yummy sherbet in water it tastes fab everyone should try it. Don’t mix flavours thuogh it don’t taste nice!

    Comment by Maddie on 1/31/10 at 3:54 am #
  16. When I was at the state fair a few weeks ago, they had a candy store with Satellite Candy. My mom made me buy them because she loved them as a kid. The ones I got had sprinkles inside instead of powder! They were pretty good. :D

    Comment by Rita on 8/27/12 at 10:25 am #
  17. I love them growing up in the 50’s & 60’!!
    We played communion with them as a kid in Chicago!
    I still love them!!

    Comment by Karen Luc on 9/02/12 at 8:42 pm #
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