Every so often, as a food blogger, one gets the chance to have samples of certain products sent to you to test and review. One such, is Sweet Junkie's range of sugar free sweeties.
I mean - sugar free? It had to be done. In the name of research, obviously.
First thing, though, was to quiz Michael - the man behind Sweet Junkie, and @SweetJunkie on Twitter - as to what the sweetening agent is for these goodies. You see, as a household, we are quite adamantly against the use of Aspartame or Acesulfame as sweetening agents. There has been far too much bad press regarding the both of them, to entertain it. So you can imagine how happy I was, to learn that the sugar-free sweeties use sucralose and maltitose both of which are perfectly acceptable.
Here you see Basil, hoping he'll get to try some - and deciding which!
Sorry, Basil - but sweeties aren't for dawgies. :( You'll just have to go back to gnawing your bone.
Immediately upon emptying the package, son & heir's eyes lit upon the Sugar-free Little Bears and he began to look hopeful.
Needless to say, the Little Bears didn't last beyond five minutes as they were sampled again, and again, until they were gone. Which goes some way to explaining just how good they were! The texture is slightly tougher than the ~cough~Haribo~cough~ version, which I found an improvement. I hate jelly sweeties that wrap around your teeth like glue, flatly refusing to detach until they've dissolved. These don't do that - which I can't help but think is a good thing, as they're aimed at young mouths.
Next up - and I must add here that all these sweeties were sampled over the course of a few days, rather than all at the same time. Too many sugar-free sweeties can have the unfortunate side-effect of having you spend far too long in your local "house of easement", as the Tudors so quaintly put it - was the Sugar-free Lun Jeelers.
Now I don't know about you, but I had to enquire as to what a "Lun Jeeler" actually was, before sampling same. It's all very well trying something, but if you don't know what it is supposed to taste like in the first place, it's a bit of a one-sided taste test! For those, like me, not "in the know", the name is a contraction of the name "Lung Healer" - so, a type of cough candy.
I sampled mine as I was entering my local supermarket, in the hope that it would a) stop me hankering after the breakfast I'd not had and b) stop me from hankering after naughty additional things that aren't on the list, and finally c) chase away my dry mouth (from missing breakfast, no doubt!). It was a big ask of a little sweetie, but goodness - it did the job! They have an intriguing taste, as the immediate flavour is citrus, followed by a very gentle sarsparilla-like effect. Now normally anything sarsparilla flavoured I just can't abide, but these were very nice indeed.
Regrettably, hubby's opinion of them was rather less printable. He spat his out very quickly, claiming it had caused one side of his gums to swell up! Bizarre.
The one sweetie that we had been sent that Hubby was keen to sample, was the Sugar-free Lemon, Lime & Acid drops. His particular interest was in the Acid drop, as they were a favourite from childhood.
He declared his Acid drop to be a creditable attempt - in that it was indistinguishable from a sugared sweetie, however felt that the Acid was a bit too gentle on the tongue. I had a lemon drop and son & heir had the lime drop and we both were very happy with ours. In fact, all mine was missing, was some sherbert in the middle - but then that'd be a completely different sweetie.
I'll tell the truth and say that I was more than a little leery of trying the Sugar-free Mint & Aniseed sweets.
I'm more than a wimp where mint is concerned - and far from it "settling your stomach", have found over the years that it has the exact opposite effect. As for aniseed, well in small doses perhaps.
I am quite sure that if you're a mint-oholic who likes the flavour of aniseed, you'll absolutely adore these sweeties. I feel bad about giving them a negative review, because the whole issue is simply one of personal taste. However, for me (and Hubby) we didn't last beyond the first two or three sucks. ~shrug~ It wasn't the sugar -v- no sugar, it was simply the combination of mint/aniseed. Don't let us put you off!
Last contender in this hall of fame, is the ubiquitous Cough Candy.
Now I've been sucking on Cough Candies ever since I was a proverbial nipper - and I can safely say that not only do Sweet Junkie's Sugar-free Cough Candy Twists taste exactly how they should do, but I honestly could not establish any difference in flavour or texture, between the sugar-free and sugared.
In fact, I've held on to the other two that were in the packet - and nobody's having them except me!
The long and the short of this review, is that if you're diabetic or watching your weight, but just love your sweeties - go along to Sweet Junkie and order up some to try. (You can find Sweet Junkie on Facebook, too!). I am quite sure you won't be disappointed - and they have just so many different types, other than those I've mentioned above.
For those of you who are lucky enough to not be diabetic or weight watching, go along and have a look at the glorious selection of sugared retro sweeties. You'll find yourself exclaiming "oh, I've not had those for years!" and reaching for the order button.
Just to confirm that this is a sponsored post. I was sent the sweeties free of charge for the purposes of this review, and received no financial reward. Any views expressed are my own or as expressed to me at the time.