Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Natural Confectionery Company Jelly Joiners
There are six flavours in the packet, indicated on the back as: crispy apple, delectable smooth banana, juicy orange, tangy lime, sweet cinnamon and ripe raspberry. Keen-eyed visitors might recognise the lime and raspberry flavours - they were used in the TNCC Christmas 2011 release 'Merry Blissmas'.
As with most of TNCC's gummy products, they aren't oiled (like the type of oil you find on products like gummy bears), but have a muted, somewhat dusty appearance. The colours aren't as bright as the illustrations of the front of the package, but that's what you get when you use all-natural colours. I actually had a bit of trouble telling cinnamon from banana and from apple when they were all mixed together in the bag, but spread out on the table, the colours are more recognisable.
The shape of the lolly is like a mutated version of a Lego piece, meant to facilitate and encourage buyers to play with their food and 'join' the pieces together before eating. The pieces are about 3cm long and 1cm high. Unfortunately, many of my pieces were horribly squashed and/or bent. The ones used in the photo seemed to be more of an exception rather than the rule.
Ripe raspberry is a common TNCC flavour. Earlier this year, they released a whole bag of snakes in this flavour. It's a very jammy flavour, sweet and a bit like red cordial. As expected there is no tartiness.
The orange-flavour piece is rather poor compared to other orange-flavoured pieces on the market. There's no tartness or juiciness, not even a juice flavour. It's more like mild orange cordial - nice but uninteresting.
Dark green lime is average. No bitterness, just a vague green flavour that doesn't really lend itself to anything.
Apple is pale green and is a surprisingly sharp representation of apple. Compared to the other sweet pieces, apple is refreshing and bold.
Banana is recognisable as bright yellow. It is a relatively good approximation of its fruit, unlike the other pieces in this pack. It's a very mild flavour though, quickly disappearing off the tongue.
Cinnamon is, I believe, TNCC's first item in their range with this flavour. The cream-coloured piece doesn't actually taste at all like cinnamon, but carries a vague, half-hearted warmth and sweetness. It's like coke syrup divded by ten. There's none of the full-frontal warmth or kick that I associate with cinnamon. By itself, the piece is bland, but not one I would avoid if eating these separately.
The pack recommends five flavour mixes.
Lime (dark green) and cinnamon (cream) is supposed to produce cola. I was surprised to find that the combination makes a pretty good cola flavour. It's a bit dollar-store in terms of depth, but still a good party trick.
Pear is made by combining apple (light green) and banana. After tasting apple earlier, I can definitely see how this flavour could be achieved as I already could tell there were pear notes present. Adding banana intensifies the sharpness of the apple, if only briefly. It's not quite pear but gets pretty close.
Mixing orange and banana will apparently get you bubblegum. I couldn't taste it - it just tasted like banana and orange to me.
Mandarin is made by combining apple and orange. I got a few whiffs of mandarin but it was more like the flavour found in flavoured water - a vague idea but not enough to really call it mandarin.
Raspberry and lime together creates raspberry lemonade. I've never actually tried raspberry lemonade so I can't comment on the realism of the flavour, but the pieces together complement each other well. Lime suddenly has a bit of depth when added to the raspberry. The flavour is still sweet but the lime does actually taste a little closer to the bitterness it's supposed to represent than it did before.
A few weeks ago, there was an ad spread in That's Life magazine, over three consecutive pages. (Excuse the terrible iPod photos.) At first I thought the ad showed additional flavours to the ones listed on the packet, (which would be really cool) but no, it's just the packet flavours advertised again.
I should point out that the packet says a serving is about 6 pieces and there are approximately 7.2 servings per pack. It's really easy to go over that serving size when playing with the different flavour mixings.
TNCC Jelly Joiners are a wheat glucose product.