Thursday, 26 May 2011

The candyman can... Sugar free sweets review

Who can take tomorrow
Dip it in a dream
Separate the sorrow
And collect up all the cream?

Apparently the Sweetjunkie can. A while back, Michael Dickson who runs Sweetjunkie contacted me to see if I'd be interested in taste testing some of the sugar free sweets that Sweetjunkie have to offer.

I'm not a big boiled sweet lover, chocolate tends to be my treat of choice, but for long car journies pear drops are always a must in our car. Lately however, I've been trying to manage daily nausea and have found that boiled sweets are amazing for that. Being a child of the seventies I loved the idea of boiled sweets, they were what we were allowed to take on school trips, and I remember having competitions on the way to grand prix with my dad where we tried to make our sweetie last the longest. To this day I have to consciously think "Don't crunch. Don't crunch"

Opening the parcel (which seemingly did the rounds of High Barnet before getting to me via the local barber's. Don't even ask!) was exciting, both Mum and Mark were practically fighting me for the contents. Each sample in it's own little bag, with a cute label meant that I didn't have to try and work out what we were tasting.

Aniseed twists were my favourite, it's going to sound weird, but being an adult, sweets feel smaller in my mouth and these were pleasingly solid and large, I was kept happily quiet for a good while by these. What I really liked was the strong flavour and the fact that they didn't taste of sweetener, as since cutting out diet coke, I do try to avoid artificial sweeteners where possible. I liked that even though I wasn't eating bucketfuls of sugar neither did I feel like I was eating bucketfuls of chemicals. Looking at the website, Michael explains that:

"...the bulk of the sugar is replaced by 'Isomalt', derived from sugar beet, which our body treats as a dietary fibre, has low effect on blood sugar levels, does not have the dental issues of conventional sugars and has a substantially lower calorie count. Although Isomalt gives the physical texture and characteristics of a traditional boiled sweet it is not actually sweet enough by itself to make a convincing imitation of, say, a cherry twist. Sucralose, a product derived from sugar and discovered almost 35 years ago, is around 600 times sweeter than conventional sugar and passes through the body without being broken down and converted into energy i.e. calories. It is the addition of this product that gives a sweet that has the physical attributes of a conventional sweet whilst being kinder to the teeth, kinder to the waist line and not significantly altering blood glucose and insulin levels. In brief a sugar free sweet has 'no added sugar' as we or our bodies would recognise it but, instead, is made of sugar derived products that will mimic physically and in flavour a traditional sweet made entirely of refined sugar whilst transiting our system unconverted to effective calories, not affecting blood sugar and insulin levels and not attacking our teeth. i.e. a sweet suitable for diabetics, weight watchers and those concerned for dental health alike"

The sugar free sweets have become a staple in my handbag as they're ideal for when I fancy something sweet as they last long enough and are strongly flavoured enough for the "do I want to go and get chocolate?" phase to pass - which is great for me. I wouldn't advocate sweets as a way to lose weight, but certainly for me they divert me from that 11am and 3pm snack attack.

I've still got limes and lun jeelers to go, as well as having the packet of mint and aniseed sweets in my handbag (I bitterly offered to share these yesterday and was most relieved when the person said no). I have to say, that despite my initial reservations these sweets are great, the aniseed twists are definitely my favourites, and if you want a taste of real retro sweeties, then give Sweetjunkie a go. The website has a pleasingly retro/ kitsch feel to it,  as well as being easy to use. The only thing I would have liked would have been paper bags of sweets - how cool would that be? But you can't have everything and anyway, I'm not sure how practical that is for delivery.

Mark and I are off to Skye for our holidays and I will be putting in an order for a quarter pound of some of these. Lots of fun, especially for those of us who are babies of the seventies! 

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