Growing up everyone has their favourite treats. For some people its crisps, others chocolate bars or weird flavoured bubble gum, but for me it was sweets. I wasn’t a fan of boiled sweets, but I loved penny chews, flying saucers, milk bottles and millions from the pick n mix selection. Over the years my tastes changed and now my treat of choice would be a slice of cake or some rich dark chocolate. This is probably a good thing, as when I became vegetarian and now coeliac, this puts nearly all sweets in the forbidden bin…or so I thought!
When the lovely people at Goody Good Stuff offered to send me some of their new range of suitable-for-everyone sweets, my childhood nostalgia took over and I eagerly accepted. The entire sweet range is vegetarian, fat, gelatin, dairy and nut free. They are also made with no artificial colours, use natural flavours and are Halal & Kosher certified. Wow!
I was sent 6 of their 8 varieties to try and in the interest to giving them a fair review I teamed up with C, one of my coeliac friends, for a sweet taste test. We took out jobs very seriously and made score sheets and everything! Each of the sweets was awarded marks of out 10 for Aroma, Appearance, Texture and Flavour. I’ve then added together our scores and took the average to create an overall score out of 40 for each one. It was a lot of fun, although I was on a complete sugar high by the end of it!
Interesting enough, our top and bottom choices were the same, but the middle ones shifted about a bit. Here is the summary:
I couldn’t help but smile when I saw these, they used to be one of my favourites growing up. The aroma of cherry hits you the minute you open the bag, it’s a sort of fake cherry smell but so reminiscent of my childhood. The texture of them is bouncy and chewy, yet surprisingly soft. Not as hard as Haribo sweets, probably due to their lack of gelatine. They had a lovely cherry flavour and we both agreed we would happily eat these again. Joint score 66/80
Again the aroma was very strong and smelt just like you’d opened a can of coke. These scored highly on texture and appearance and I loved the sugar coating, it was ever so slightly sharp and fizzy and really enhanced the cola bottle experience. Sadly I’ve never liked cola bottles, but I could tell they were a very good representation so tried to be fair with my marks; C adored them – hence their high score of 65/80
These were fun little sweets. A mix of white ‘cream’ and red ‘strawberry’ blobs. They were springy and chewy and the perfect size to pop 2 or 3 in your mouth at the same time. I liked how the white and red blobs tasted different too, rather than just being a different colour, so worked well eaten together. I would have liked the strawberry ones to have been a little bigger though, possibly also strawberry shaped like in one of the other packets. Scored 60½/80
Another sweet I remember fondly. Again, the aroma was strong when opening the bag and it smelt quite fresh, rather than chemical. I loved the two tone, blushing red and orange hue to the sweets, just like a real peach. The texture was wonderfully soft and also juicy, not chewy. The fine coating of sugar was just right too, not too thick, so that it didn’t actually crunch when you bit into it. I loved these but C wasn’t so keen on the flavour (like me with cola bottles) so it scored 52½/80
This was a mix of shaped, coloured and flavoured gummy sweets. Unfortunately, this meant that the smell of them together in the bag was a bit overpowering and confused, due to all the different flavours fighting for attention. However, the sweets themselves were very nice and we were both impressed with the attention to detail on the shapes of the sweets. They were slightly firmer in texture than the cherries but still soft enough to chew easily. The flavours were a bit off though. The pineapple tasted very tropical, but the strawberry one I had tasted more like orange and the banana was a very fake banana milkshake flavoured banana. Good, but we both felt they could have been better. 50/80
Sour Fruit Salad
This was our least favourite. To start with the majority of the bag was green and yellow sweets, with only one red, orange and pink sweet in the bunch (there’s more sweets than shown in photo). I thought at first they were all the same shape, but they are in fact different, only subtly so. The sugar coating doesn’t help, but we felt they could have been more distinctively shaped, more like the tropical fruit mix. They were also called ‘sour’ but neither of us got any kind of sour flavour from the sweets nor the sugar coating. On the plus side we loved the gooey soft texture of the sweets, but felt overall these were a bit hit and miss. 43/80
All in all both C and I were impressed with the variety and quality of the sweets, and we would definitely buy our top four again. They are a great choice for people with certain dietary requirements, or vegetarians alike. I’m sure they would be a hit at a children’s birthday party. You can find a list of their stockists on their website.
Goody Good Stuff also told me that the sweets are suitable for baking with as they can withstand temperatures up to 250C. Naturally I wanted to try this out and used some of the Strawberry Cream sweets to create a cupcake. Their small size and flavour seemed to make them the ideal choice. I mixed some of the red strawberry sweets into a vanilla sponge base and used the cream sweets on top as decoration. Whipped cream seemed appropriate to use as the topping and I flavoured it with a few spoonfuls of strawberry jam and a hint of pink to tie it all together.
The sweets held up well in baking and kept both their colour and flavour. However, I had to store my cupcakes in the fridge as I’d used fresh cream for the topping, which did cause the sweets to go a bit hard and chewy, but otherwise they worked well. I bet they would be great in a cookie or slice or some kind.