Posts Tagged ‘candy’

Sweets Review: Tilley’s Emerald Toffees / Oatfield Emerald Chocolate Caramels

19 March, 2009

THE last bag of Tilley’s brand traditional sweets I tried was Jargonelle Pears. They were a nice, but unexciting sweet experience. Something I’m expecting to be repeated here, with a bag of Tilley’s Emerald Toffees.

Tilley's Emerald Toffees / Oatfield Chocolate Caramels front of bag

Everything worth saying about the outside was said before, when I looked at their Jargonelle Pears. That means I can skip the boring part and get straight to telling you what these Emerald Toffees taste like. Or does it?

Something is amiss on the back.

Tilley's Emerald Toffees / Oatfield Chocolate Caramels back of bag

The back is where they list the ingredients for every single one of their sweets. Except, that is, for Emerald Toffees. I’ve been up and down the alphabetical list and they are simply not there.

Does it bother me? Not even slightly. You don’t eat sweets because you’re worried about antioxidents, sucrose and sodium bicarbonate. You eat them because you want your taste buds to have a party.

If, however, you are the sort of person who does worry about such things, then you’ll want to look at the bottom right-hand corner of the bag. That’s because the full Northants address of Tilley’s Sweets Limited is printed there. As is a telephone number, fax number and email address ( You can even visit the website,, where you discover that Tilley’s is part of Zed Candy. Are there any independent sweet makers left in the country? Comments at the end of the post please.

In the bag, there are about twenty of these little things.CLOSE UP

Tilley's Emerald Toffees / Oatfield Chocolate Caramels open, wrapper and unwrapped

I admit it. I didn’t expect to find chocolate covered anything in the wrapper. Looking closer at each wrapper does reveal some answers. Oddly, they have Oatfield branding. Which could explain why the ingredients weren’t listed on the bag. And, although the word “Emerald” is on there, they’re also called “Chocolate Caramels”.

Actually eating them reveals yet more questions and answers. What they are, are small rectangular pieces of something caramely and toffee-ish, covered with chocolate. There’s even something almost nutty or nougat-like about the taste. The whole thing is chewy enough to give you a minute or two of chocolaty, chewy, sweetness.

What do I like about them? A lot. I like the tastes of chocolate plus all the other confectionary tastes that I’m not talented enough to identify. I like how much chewy mileage you can get out of each one. And I liked the surprise of finding something completely unexpected in the wrapper.

What don’t I like? I don’t like not knowing that they are. Are they Oatfield Emerald Chocolate Caramels and not Tilley’s Emerald Toffees? And if I had to nitpick, I would say that they’re not exciting enough. Nothing is going to fizz loudly or turn your tongue blue.

What are they all about? That’s harder to pinpoint than you’d think. We might have a rogue batch here. Have these sweets landed in the wrong bags by mistake during packing? If you know the answer, do please leave a comment at the end of the post. Whatever the case, these Emerald thing-a-ma-bobs are delicious traditional sweets. They might not have any novelty value, but they are darned nice confectionary.

Have you tried these, whatever their true identity is? Have you got any insight or answers to the profound questions raised in this piece of serious journalism? If so, then do please leave your opinions, corrections, requests, recommendations and places to buy, here in the comments.


Sweets Review: Tilley’s Jargonelle Pears

12 January, 2009

A DIFFERENT one this time. Lately, I’ve been broadening this blog with reviews of snack foods. The problem is, no one read them. So here is another idea: reviews of sweets. Let me know in the comments at the end of this post what you think and if you want more.

First up is this pleasingly patriotic bag of Tilley’s Jargonelle Pears. This one was bought for £1 from a friendly trader on Brick Lane’s Sunday market.

Tilley's Jargonelle Pears front of bag

Tilley’s, proudly tell us on the front of the bag that they’ve been making “Finest Quality Traditional Sweets” since they were established all the way back in 1885. The bag itself weighs in at 150 grams which is about the same as a medium-sized mobile phone.

I’ve never heard of “Jargonelle Pears” before. But I do like ordinary ones. With colourful colours, this bag looked to be worth my time and money. What though of the back of the bag?

Tilley's Jargonelle Pears back of bag

The standard Tilley’s bag of sweets takes the approach of having the ingredients for every single one of their sweets printed on the back of the bag. It makes it as easy to read as the phone book. But then, with all the ‘E’ numbers trailing every list of ingredients printed, you wouldn’t want to worry yourself. There’s also the Northants postal address for Tilley’s Sweets Limited in case you want to write them a letter. And a telephone number, fax number and email address which is in case you want to bother them electronically.

From the email address, it’s not difficult to figure out the web address for Tilley’s Sweets as being An address that mysteriously takes you to an online shop called Zed Candy. Someone who, according to their ‘About Us’ page bought Tilley’s a few years ago. So that explains that.

What’s inside the bag? Jargonelle Pears that look like this in their wrapper.

Tilley's Jargonelle Pears wrapped

And look like this outside of their wrapper.

Tilley's Jargonelle Pears unwrapped

They are completely smooth. No rough surface or sugar.

What are they like? They have a bit of colour related flavour, but not much. For example, green ones taste a little but of sweet green. They would have to wouldn’t they, since the abstract concept of the colour green doesn’t have a taste. Except in the world of sweets. Either way, these Jargonelle Pears don’t have much of it.

By the time you crack the sweet open, you’re rewarded with an equally modest amount of fizz. Not much, but there’s something there at the end of all that sucking.

Total sucking time: 5-10 minutes

To sum up, Tilley’s Jargonelle Pears are subtle tasting, subtle responding boiled sweets. I like that they’re bigger than just about any boiled sweet out there. I’d prefer it if they had more flavour and more fizz, but there’s nothing to hate about them the way they are. The biggest downside is that you don’t get many in that standard sized bag.

Have you tried Tilley’s Jargonelle Pears? Do you work for Tilley’s/Zed Candy? Do please leave your opinions, corrections, requests and recommendations in the comments boxes here. And bookmark/subscribe to my blog while you’re at it.

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