Posts Tagged ‘devona’

Sweets Review: Devona Jelly Babies

27 February, 2009

IN for testing this time is a bag of Devona Jelly Babies. The same Devona that brought me nice-but-dry Toasted Tea Cakes last time. And from the same Brick Lane Sunday market stall. Though I’m sure you can get them from lots of shops too.

Devona Jelly Babies bag

Being a Devona brand of bagged sweets, it looks much the same as every other bag of Devona sweets. That means very little writing or labels to get in your way. And that’s a good thing, because you can see exactly what you’re getting.

Devona Jelly Babies print on front of bag

The print on the front and bottom-right corner suffers though. I’ts just too easily scratched off. Not as bad on this one, but Toasted Tea Cakes was almost impossible to read. This time, we can finally read that it comes from Appleton & Sons Ltd. And what’s more, they’re local, coming from Bow in E3. That makes these, and all Devona sweets, proper East End sweets, and that scores them bonus points.

Devona Jelly Babies barcode

The barcode and ingredients on the other side however are badly scratched off. Honestly, you’d think there was someone going over each bag with wire wool before they left the factory.

What I can make out is that this is a 160g bag. And that sugar, glucose syrup and gelling agent and lots of E numbers make up the bulk of these jelly babies.

What do they look like close up? Like this…

Devona Jelly Babies jelly baby close-up

As far as I can tell, they’re bigger than the more mainstream jelly babies out there. I’ve counted five different colours. And each one is covered in a kind of sugar that leaves white marks on your fingers. Like the sort that icing for cakes is made out of. What’s it called? Caster sugar? Is that it?

So, what are they like? The sugary surface gets them off to tasty a good start. There’s an almost hard surface. One you bite through, you get a soft, moist jelly interior. It tastes a little of the colour of the jelly baby. But not much. Mild sweetness and mild jelly flavour are where the flavours and tastes end. These jelly babies are all about the funny texture.

What do I like about Devona Jelly Babies? Quite a lot more than any I’ve tried so far. They’re not too small. The combination of solid-ish body and squishy insides make them an interesting eat. They’re not too dry. And there’s nothing too strong to put off even timid sweet fans.

What don’t I like about Devona Jelly Babies? For a start, there’s not enough in a bag. You’ll polish them off in moments. They don’t have enough taste or flavour. There’s little to surprise you. No explosion of fizz, crackle, tang or sourness.

To sum up, Devona Jelly Babies are very edible little sweets. Not exciting. Just satisfying and tasty.

Have you tried Devona Jelly Babies? Do you work for Devona? Then do please leave a comment. What did you think of them? Got any requests, recommendations or places to buy?

Sweets Review: Devona Toasted Teacakes

26 January, 2009

TILLEY’S Jargonelle Pears were a good start. Perfectly respectable. But lacking that eccentric yummy-ness that sweets need. Time to see if Toasted Teacakes from Devona fare better.

Devona Toasted Teacakes front of bag

This little bag was bought from the same place as Tilley’s – a trader at Brick Lane’s Sunday market. And it’s a plain little bag. There’s a “Devona” roundel sporting the words “Quality sweets for over 50 years” stuck on. But little else. Or is there?

There are some words printed on the bottom-right hand corner. Only they’ve been rubbed into illegibility. I think it used to say “Toasted Teacakes” and something else. But what that other thing was, we may never know.

The back of the bag isn’t exactly crammed with detail. What we get instead is a little white box.

Devona Toasted Teacakes back of bag

In that box, we learn that these sweets are called Toasted Teacakes. That they are make mostly of desiccated coconut and sugar. That the bag weighs in at 140g. And… not much else besides. This bag is leaving the sweets to do the talking. So let’s find out what they’re like and if you should buy a bag.

Devona Toasted Teacakes open bag

They look yummy enough. I’d describe them as little cylinders of coconut that’s been lightly toasted at each end. Which is what I’m hoping they taste like.

That’s exactly how they taste. They taste a little of coconut. Nothing more to say about the taste. But there is something to say about the texture.

Normally when you enjoy a coconut based sweet, it crumbles as easily as sand. Not Devona Toasted Teacakes however. These are as solid and as chewy as popcorn. Something that catches you by surprise. You don’t expect coconut to be as chewy as this.

What do I like about Devona Toasted Teacakes? I like coconut. I think it should be in everything. It doesn’t taste as if it’s been pumped full of chemicals. Which is good. It’s chewy enough for you to get a good few seconds out of each one. And you get a good number in each bag.

What of the downsides to Devona Toasted Teacakes? There’s not a lot of flavour. And compared to some sweets on the market, they don’t surprise you enough. When you bite into the chewy coconut, you half hope to be greeted by an explosion of fizz. But that doesn’t happen. Which could make them a little boring.

To sum up Devona Toasted Teacakes are yummy in a conservative coconut way. If you like coconut based sweets, you’ll probably enjoy these. If you like exciting or funny looking sweets, keep looking.

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