Jesmona Black Bullets

Last weekend, I flew with T up to Newcastle to visit my parents and my Nan. O stayed behind in Devon with the girls. I think he probably drew the short straw in the whole arrangements as he was faced with the daunting prospect of … putting L’s hair into a bun for her ballet class on Saturday morning!

One of our favourite specialities of the North-East is Jesmona Black Bullets. When I was little, I just assumed that everyone knew about ‘Jesmona Blacks’. Small, hard, minty boiled sweets, they were a regular Christmastime gift in our family. It therefore came as a great surprise to me when I discovered that not only had my husband never come across them before, but also the entire population of the South of England was seemingly oblivious to these distinctive black and white tins of minty balls.

bullets in tin

Since we were down to our last ‘Jesdomona’ (as L calls them), and since I bought a replacement tin during my all-too-brief trip up North at the weekend, I am hereby seeking to introduce Jesmona Blacks to a wider audience across the North-South divide.

jesmona black bullets

And if anyone needs further convincing, then I must note that the tin has a multitude of uses besides being a smart storage container for the bullets. My skills in turning out cakes from loose-bottomed cake pans were greatly improved when I first thought to use a tall tin of Jesmona Black Bullets as a stand for the cake, allowing the sides of the hot pan to fall away from the loose bottom and down to the worktop. All things considered, I would certainly include a tin of Jesmona Blacks among my list of essential cake-making equipment!

jesmona blacks

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  1. Lucy

     /  March 6, 2009

    I’ve been using the empty tins as pencil pots in various schools in Cambridge and London since 2002 so I’m doing my bit to widen the knowledge of ‘Jesmondas’! I even took in a tin to the staff room one break-time…kept us quiet for most of the week which is no mean feat for a bunch of teachers!
    Luvnhugs, Lucy xx

  2. Never heard of them either until now. I must keep my eyes peeled for them, if they ever cross my path in the future.
    There are some American sweeties I still miss. I really miss cherry Lifesavers, wintergreen Lifesavers and butterscotch Lifesavers. Yes. I do miss those.
    (watermelon Jolly Ranchers were lovely too! I’ll stop now.)

  3. I’ll have to remember that trick if any of my children ever get into trouble at school, Lucy 😉 .

    And I’ve never heard of your sweets before now, Melinda! – although anything cherry and hard-boiled sounds wonderful (not so sure about watermelon, though …).


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