Monday, 28 November 2011

Natural Confectionery Company Merry Blissmas

(My apologies for not posting sooner; I was on a team planning a national event and blogging fell by the wayside.)

I'm getting back into the swing of reviewing with this bag from Natural Confectionery Company.  A step up from its usual range, this bag of 'lime and raspberry flavoured jellies' clocks in at a huge 300g, and these little babies aren't cheap, either. At my convenience store we're selling them at $6.99 per bag; Coles Online is selling a bag for $6.42 ($2.14 per 100g) at the time of posting. They are pretty expensive for a seasonal product, so I hope they live up to the price.

The bag features a gold band with white stars, perhaps to help the package distinguish itself more easily from the rest of the TNCC range. The graphic on the front is of the familiar 'raspberry' shape we are all familiar with, with one raspberry in a light green colour, the other in a darker red, and tied together with a red ribbon. As with all TNCC products this item has no artifical colours or flavours. These jellies also have a 'soft, fruity centre' and already I'm wondering if this is a reuse of the machinery that makes the Tropical, Tangy and Berry Bliss ranges. The name certainly suggests so.

Upon opening the bag, I'm greeted with a faint, nondescript sweet scent that for some reason reminds me of the toy shop nearby. (Yeah, I don't know either.) The jellies themselves aren't as bright or glossy as the graphic on the front suggests; rather, the lime-flavoured jelly  is a boring and dull olive-green, while the raspberry-flavoured one is more of a muted dark pink. I'm seeing a little variation in the colour of the raspberry jelly, but the lime stays depressingly boring.

  As well as the raspberry and lime jellies, inside the bag I'm also finding these little blogs, which from the texture I think are escaped 'middles', or the soft centres. The funny part is that they have been through the moulding process; you can see the ripples. There were about four or five in my bag, and they were all from the raspberry jelly, not the lime. Interestingly, I've never had this problem with the rest of the Bliss range.

A bite reveals that these are seasonal additions to the Bliss range. Like the other varieties in the range, these jellies have a similarly-flavoured centre. I'm finding as I make my way through the bag that the amount of soft centre, and the placement, varies a little with each jelly.  Though I haven't found any that are actively oozing, it's easy to make some of them burst just by squeezing it gently.

Disappointingly, the raspberry jelly doesn't taste very raspberry at all, and instead just gives me a vague 'berry' taste. There's a little tartness from the outside jelly, but the inside centre only serves to soften  the tartness rather than follow through with further notes. By itself, the centre is very jammy and overly sweet.

The lime surprisingly does taste strongly of lime juice (surprising, because I can't any mention of lime in the ingredients list). There's a big sharp note of lime from the outer jelly, and the soft centre continues with this rather than overwhelming it as with the raspberry. The lime is not as sweet as the raspberry, and eaten together they contrast each other nicely.

As with the rest of the Bliss range, the texture of the outside jelly varies. Some are tougher, like a cheap jelly, while others are very soft and easy to squish.

Just for kicks, I just happened to have on hand some Tropical Bliss (which I think have been discontinued), and I've pictured the Merry Blissmas alongside an orange-flavour jelly from the Tropical range.