Roudoudous first came on the scene in the early 1900s when a sweet thick syrup similar to Cotignac d’Orléans was sold by a bookshop in Paris, in little cardboard clam shells for children to lick. One of the cheapest sweeeties around, roudoudous became the rage between the wars, when money was tight. Maurice Chevalier mentioned them in a song La Fête a Neu Neu
Eventually real tuberculate cockle shells replaced the cardboard ones, but these were soon replaced with plastic. They were a seaside favourite, especially in the 1950s. They are still made today, but they are hardly as popular as they once were, although older people smile at the memories of licking their roudoudous at funfairs and beach holidays.
A roudoudou can also be a coil or spiral of liquorice.
Image by confiserie de France