All of you will know by now, all of us here at BasketsGalore look forward to Taste-Test Thursday, so it was with much delight that we received a selection of new products to taste last week.
These were sweets from Pandora Bell in County Limerick. Pandora Bell use centuries old recipes and only the purest ingredients. Their Salted Butter Caramels are made in traditional Copper Cauldrons and their Handmade Lollipops and Candy Canes are stretched and rolled completely by hand. They use real Butter, Honey and Whole Nuts, Fleur de sel from Guerande and Fine Dark Chocolate. They add extract of nettles, Spinach, Spirulina and Beetroot for jewel-like colour and their jellies include 70% natural pulp.
The Fruit Jellies "felt posh and tasted luxurious", another commented that they "were very nice, just not their cup of tea". "Very sweet & quite large" was another comment and "Very natural tasting and not too sugary". Highest rank: 9.5/10. These were two peoples favourite, including mine.
The Salted Caramels were "smooth and didn't stick to the teeth", "Lovely - soft and rich", "Really nice" and 3 peoples favourite. They are also available in a very cute milk urn container! Highest ranking: 9/10.
Honey Nougat Fudge was "soft and very sweet". We put it in the fridge and then it was "very creamy with a nice bite to it, with almonds and pistachio nuts", also "Beautifully packaged". Rank: 9/10.
The Traditional Handmade Sweets are made by "stretching and rolling sugar syrup with natural colours and flavours for the classic Sweetshop look and taste" came in the following flavours:
Blackberry & Champagne: had an "unusual flowery flavour", "a nice combination". They were one person's favourite & one persons joint favourite. Highest ranking: 9.5/10 .
Apple & Ginger: Sweets had a "curious taste, but went back for more and second time tasted better" - I think this speaks for itself! "A bit like Ginger Beer" but no-one ranked it overall favourite.
Grapefruit & Mint: This one we decided needed to be crunched to bring out the full flavour. but as this required a lot of sucking first it failed to appeal and was the least favourite of all the flavours - more of an acquired taste.
Rhubarb & Vanilla: This tasted of rhubarb & custard and the vanilla came through later. Two people chose this one as favourite, two as second and one as third.
Raspberry & Rose: Expectations were high on this sweet, but we felt that the Rose dominated too much, like Turkish Delight at the start but with Parma Violet flavour later. It was, however one persons 2nd favourite, but several people voted it as least favourite (please note though that this is just our tastes, some of us are a bit boring & safe taste wise!)
The overall opinions were that the taste of these sweets changed the longer they were sucked and new flavours came to the forefront after a while. As they were long lasting the advantage of not eating so many was mentioned, as was the lack of wrapper being perfect for the cinema. No rustling!
Pandora Bell describe these sweets as "Sugar and spice and all things natural. Pandora Bell’s Traditional Sweets are floral, fruity, spicy and delicious" which sums them up perfectly. It was great to taste something that little bit different to the norm and your favourite would just depend on personal preference.
These have now been put forward for consideration for our Christmas hampers, with the Directors having their own taste test and deciding whether we have an opening for them in this years range.
We wish everyone at Pandora Bell the best whatever the outcome, they are already doing fabulously well appearing in designer shop window displays! Thank you for sending us such lovely treats to taste, we truly enjoyed them.