Thursday, July 31, 2008

Musk Sticks

Musk Flavored SticksA couple of years ago I had my first experience with Australian musk lollies.

That time it was LifeSavers Musk, little compressed hoops of sugar with a light musk flavor. It was like eating incense cones (you know, if they were made from sugar and not sawdust).

But I was still intrigued enough to pick up what I thought was a more authentic Australian Musk Lolly. This is from a brand called Black Gold and called simply Musk Flavored Sticks confectionery.

The bag was a bit bigger than I wanted at 200 grams, but then again it was only $3, so it seemed like a fun gamble. I was told that the LifeSavers were a bit firmer than the traditional sticks and this is true.

Musk Flavored SticksThe little extruded sticks remind me of Conversation Hearts, Altoids or Canada Mints but also a bit like a stripe of dried out frosting. They do have gelatin in them, so they’re not appropriate for vegetarians (well, I don’t think true musk would be appropriate for vegetarians either).

They are strongly scented, kind of a generic “nice smelling shop” vibe. The thing is, I don’t mind it. It’s kind of like rose, orange blossom and Avon’s Skin So Soft. It’s pleasant enough, not bitter or syrupy like some floral flavors can be. But it’s not terribly satisfying. I don’t finish a stick and then think, “I’d like another.” Instead I put the package away and think, “I should write about those at some point.” But I got them back in January and only really put them back in the review queue when I moved offices and had to empty out my desk. (They do make a fine desk freshener.)

If you end up with some out of curiosity and don’t know what to do with the other 180 grams, maybe this reciep for Pink Musk Stick Mushrooms will help. Also check out this essential nostaligic Australian lollies list.

Name: Musk Flavored Sticks
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Black Gold
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose's Wine & Spirits
Price: $3.00
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chalk, Australia

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:40 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I guess I am socially programmed to like the musk sticks (grew up in Australia) but I have to say the gold&black;brand - cheap and nasty.

    Comment by trashalou on 7/31/08 at 12:23 pm #
  2. I grew up eating musk sticks as well and they have always been a favourite.  I find it is better to let them dry out a bit before eating them, or they do make harder versions in other brands.  Also I agree that Gold & Black make generic versions of lollies for supermarkets and are the cheapest you can buy here in Australia and some of their stuff is just horrible.

    Comment by cbear on 7/31/08 at 1:17 pm #
  3. Wow, that package wins the award for most uninspiring.  Could it be any more plain?!  I guess it fits the candy inside, eh?

    Comment by Patrick S. on 7/31/08 at 1:32 pm #
  4. Yeps Black and Gold is a generic supermarket brand

    Comment by rosa on 7/31/08 at 1:48 pm #
  5. Although I find the idea of musk flavored food to be nasty, I must step to the defense of these.

    1.  They may be a generic supermarket type brand, but even after being sent to a faraway land as a curio, they were still cheap.

    2.  Sometimes the cheap supermarket candy is still good.  The cheap starlight mints, butterscotch discs and even milk caramels are usually fine.

    Back to my original comment: candy that’s old lady purse flavored on purpose…eeccchh.

    Comment by Dave on 7/31/08 at 3:09 pm #
  6. That recipe is awfully… interesting. I might cancel that mushroom quiche I planned for dinner D:

    Comment by Lucy on 7/31/08 at 11:41 pm #
  7. Do not want!

    Comment by Rachel B. on 8/01/08 at 3:59 am #
  8. I still have the Musk Lifesavers I bought with you at Mel & Rose’s. Maybe this weekend…

    Comment by Sera on 8/01/08 at 5:32 am #
  9. Cybele's avatar

    Thanks for the info on the brand. I should have suspected as much from the dull packaging and lack of web address for the company.

    I’m still curious to try the “premium” musk lollies.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/01/08 at 8:09 am #
  10. One other thing.  If you decide to go forward with your “dried frosting candy” idea, count me in.  That sounds like it could be soooo good.

    Comment by Dave on 8/02/08 at 11:14 am #
  11. Oh yummy.. Musk sticks are good, its high up on my list… Not everyone likes them. Its probably one of those lollies that don’t fit most peoples tastes buds.. Its like the vegemite of all the lollies.

    Black and gold is pretty much a cheap supermarket brand.. But then again, I havnt seen musk sticks that aren’t supermarket brands. Black and gold is pretty nasty sometimes..

    $3?? That’s kind of expensive i reckon. Musk sticks cost $1.50 a bag in the shops.

    Here’s what you can do with musk sticks.

    Put a few sticks in a bottle of vodka, and let it dissolve for a few days.. Put the vodka in two bottles though, so it doesn’t over flow.. And you can shake it up to mix it i guess.. Serve in a shot glass smile

    Comment by Catherine on 8/07/08 at 8:02 pm #
  12. I know this was earlier before but I would like to reiterate: Black and Gold is a nasty brand.

    When I first moved to Australia I bought black and gold sugar (cheapest) but I had to throw the whole bag out - it tasted like cigarette butts. This has caused me to regard all their products warily.

    The brand also makes single ply toilet paper, caustic cleaning products (very bad) and a variety of other pre-made low priced goods. I am scared of them.

    Comment by Gigi on 8/12/08 at 1:42 am #
  13. Black and Gold is a seriously low rent “brand”.  It is a generic brand that the smaller supermarkets and corner stores tend to carry.  Some of their stuff is ok - but the musk sticks - well I don’t know.

    There are a couple of good brands - and they do taste better and the texture is better. The good quality ones tend to be soft and almost “fudgey” in texture.  That’s when they’re fresh and oh so good!

    Comment by Karyn on 8/29/08 at 8:29 pm #
  14. There’s also a related product called “fruit sticks” that are a similar extruded material except they have several more flavours and colours. They also have musk sticks in them, but the musk stick flavour improves dramatically, possibly due to a mixing of flavours.

    Wikipedia has an entry ( but I’m damned if I can find any reference to them elsewhere (no, they’re not the crappy “wizz fizz” brand fruit sticks).

    Comment by Craig on 9/21/08 at 2:07 pm #
  15. Yea they definitely taste like Grandma used to taste.

    Comment by peter on 9/24/08 at 12:02 am #
  16. Musk is the greatest flavour in the world. Well, one of. And I don’t envy those to whom it is a strange and foreign concept; you are missing out.

    Comment by Emily on 9/30/09 at 3:00 am #
  17. Um, you do realise there isn’t actually a Black & Gold (B&G) factory here right? As stated, B&G are a smaller, independent supermarket house brand, but those actual musk sticks would be made by some local confectioner, along with various other house brands. It is the confectioner you want to criticise. Once upon a time, the B&G ice cream was the most beautiful creamy vanilla I’ve ever tasted, but that was a long time ago, lord knows who makes it now. FWIW, the B&G jelly lollies are a reasonably fine product, only problem is, the packet ain’t nearly big enough!

    Comment by Natalie on 2/10/10 at 3:44 pm #
  18. Musk Sticks, which I personally LOVE, might be a bit sweet for some. The taste really varies. Some will border tasting like dish soap and others will be fabulous.

    Personally I haven’t found any better than the Franklins Brand (like the generic Coles brand but for Franklins Supermarket).

    You can also get what I call Musk Drops - little bags of tiny musk lollies. These are odd because they can be soft or hard. Musk lollies RULE!

    Comment by IceKat on 5/14/10 at 7:38 pm #
  19. Catherine, as a connoisseur of confectionery vokda and a massive, massive fan of Musk sticks you may well have just completed my life.

    I wish I could find these easily in the UK. The Australia Shop in London sometimes has the Musk Life Savers but they fly out at a ridiculous pace.

    I nearly imported a kg box from Australia a few months ago.

    Comment by Chris on 8/05/10 at 6:51 am #
  20. I had to comment on this as i was trying to explain fruit sticks to people in the usa today and found your site.  Musk sticks weird shape makes them good for decorating kids b’day cakes if u slice them up thinly.  I think they’re a peculiarly Aussie thing, always get chopped down musk sticks in mixed lolly bags :D I’m going to try the vodka thing!

    Comment by Sara on 8/29/10 at 4:52 am #
  21. I recently made my first trip to Australia and tried musk sticks. I will not be trying them again! Tehy taste like perfume was spilled on the candy! Yuck!

    Comment by creepingjennie on 12/26/10 at 9:08 pm #
  22. Musk Sticks rock! They are my favourite Candy and right at the top of the list when family from Aust. comes to visit me in Europe! I can easily polish off a bag in one sitting!

    Though for Non-Aussies that i have shared with, they(Thankfully!) cant stand the things and think they either taste like perfume or old ladies… More for me i guess!

    Though my Balkan born Husband loves them… But he also loves Vegemite! I think he was Aussie in his past life…

    Comment by AussieAbroad on 10/22/11 at 8:23 am #
  23. The best Musk Sticks of all (Musk Lollies,Musk drops) and heaps other stuff come from Pittsworth Confectionery.
    They do have a website.

    Comment by Lorraine on 3/14/13 at 3:40 pm #
  24. I’m currently eating Black and Gold Musk Sticks and have almost finished the entire packet! They were such a staple of childhood life growing up in rural Australia (and we only ever bought the cheap brands) that it took me completely by surprise just how unloved this lolly truly is!

    Comment by Patricia on 10/31/13 at 8:50 am #
  25. I am sorry but I personally think that they taste like soap:( I personally wouldn’t share this lollies to my friends…. sorry

    Comment by beth_b on 3/19/15 at 7:23 pm #
  26. I am polishing off a bag of B&G musk sticks right now !

    Comment by Mickyj on 7/25/15 at 5:19 am #
  27. Black and gold generic are pretty ordinary. There are better, but even then not necessarily consistent in quality. I must say I am amused by those who say they taste like grandma or old women….. Odd pecadilloes for some…

    Comment by Scott on 8/20/15 at 2:15 am #
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