My confection of choice would normally be that of something containing substantial amounts of chocolate, perhaps with a hint of nuts. There are times however when I'm not in the mood for chocolate, which I know some might find strange. On these odd times I quite like to diversify considerably and go for something fruity.
York Fruits are the original creation of Terry's of York from whence they get their name. They are now made under the banner of Smith Kendon a company of which I know very little except for the fact they do make those tins of sweets found frequently in Motorway café's and shops. I used to buy York fruits for my Mum and for my Mother in Law and although they are now made under this new banner the quality and eating pleasure has not diminished in any manner.
There are 6 flavours of jellies in the plain but attractive box, and there are two layers of individually shaped and flavoured sweets. There is a green circular shaped jelly which sits quite proud of other shapes and smells of a green apple. There are two teardrop shaped sweets in varying shades of red with the darker being Raspberry and the lighter being Strawberry. The diamond shaped yellow sweet would need no introduction in any box being that this is the lemon jelly, whilst it's citrus friend the Orange has acquired a half moon shape. The last purple sweet to yet be given a flavour is the Blackcurrant and perhaps my favourite from the box.
The citrus flavours of the Lemon ad Orange will require little description, but it should be said that although these are sweets the citrus elements in them are tangy, sweet and the odd hint of bitterness which was something I did not expect, a very realistic fruit flavour in my book. The purple Blackcurrant has a nice tang also but it seems to be packed with a much more fruity flavour and is just magnificent.
Each sweet is a jelly, but not like a Rowantrees one you make to go with that vanilla ice cream, but a far more subtle distinguished and mature jelly, with real fruit juice. The inside of each sweet has a very soft and juicy texture whilst the sugary jelly shell which houses it, is of a harder texture and consistency than its sweet a lovely insider pal.
Size wise I'd say each fruit is about perfect, just short of a gluttons bite, and just too big for a child. The colours are very inviting, and as I sample the Strawberry am reminded again of the juiciness and real fruit juice. I like Strawberry generally, but this was my least favourite from the box. The Raspberry was perhaps the tangiest from the selection and gave the Blackcurrant a run for its money. The sharp and sweet green apple was one which I thought I'd find odd, but I was surprised as too it's authentic flavour and more so to it's very orchard smell.
At around £2.19 per 200g box they are by no means the cheapest jellies you will buy, but they may well be the best, they are sweet, bitter, tangy, fragrant and just sugary wonders. There varied taste in the box might well themselves be worth the little extra outlay, but for me it is the harder sugary outer shell which is best, for it is the getting past this that leads to the soft and juicy jelly holding all those fantastic flavours.
Every year, because I'm not a huge lover of Chocolate my mum likes to get me stocking fillers consisting of various jelly and foam sweets and the occasional packet of marshmallows. Amongst my stocking fillers this year I was pleased to see that mum had bought me a box of fruit jellies called York Fruits.
Although York fruits are available to buy all year round, they seem to make a special appearance on supermarket shelves during the festive period and for whatever reason appear to be more popular around this time of year. Perhaps so a box or two can be given as a gift to others like me, who aren't huge lovers of the traditional chocolate selection boxes or chocolate reindeers and santa's.
***What are York Fruits***
York Fruits are simply an assortment of soft, juicy, fruit flavoured jellies with a sugar glaze which are trademarked and manufactured for the company Smith Kendon although previously manufactured by Terry's In York - hence the name York Fruits. The fruits come in different shapes including a circle, a teardrop, a half moon and a diamond. These sweets are not your typical jelly sweets that you would dish out to children but are a rather more sophisticated indulgent treat for the adults to enjoy at this time of year and indeed any time of year.
There are 6 flavours to choose from consisting of apple (green circle), blackcurrant (purple circle), Orange (orange half moon), Lemon (yellow diamond), Strawberry (pink teardrop) and Raspberry (dark pink teardrop). The flavour of each fruit is unmistakable and easily recognisable, even if you didn't have the colours as a guide, packed full of fruitiness and so soft that they really are a pleasure to eat. These fruits are incredibly rich, indulgent and sweet so I find that I can only eat 2 or 3 at time which gives the box a little more longevity, and of course I do have my favourite flavours as anyone else would.
Although incredibly sweet, the apple and lemon flavours certainly have that extra tang compared to the other options and both the orange and lemon flavours have a zestiness about them that you also don't get from the other flavours. I can't believe how juicy these jellies are. My ulitmate favourite has to be the strawberry flavoured jelly. Above all others it just has that little something extra for me personally but I enjoy eating everything contained inside the box which is a thumbs up straight away.
Apart from the sugar coating, these fruits are incredibly soft...so soft that your teeth just seem to glide through the jelly and there is very little chewing involved as the sweets just seem to dissolve in your mouth - gone in an instant.
Opening the box, you don't immediately get hit with a strong fruity aroma, instead if you want to get a hint of the fruitiness contained within these sweets you have to get your nose up close and personal. They're not intensely fragrant but rather lightly fruity and sweet smelling, not at all overpowering.
Although I find these sweets to be an indulgent treat I was surpised to find that each sweet only had 30 calories, with just a trace of fat. The downside to these jellies is the carbohydrate content, with 7.5g per sweet of which 5.4g is sugar - great if you're looking for that extra energy boost.
The jellies are Gluten free and indicate on the box that they are suitable for vegetarians.
Sugar, Glocose Syrup, Water, Gelling Agent (Pectin), Citric Acid, Flavourings, Colours.
If you want to enjoy your York Fruits it's best to store them in a cool dry place, as they can easily deteriorate in warm humid conditions. The shelf life on these jellies is quite long, with the box I received at christmas time having a lifespan of approximately 8 months. There's no way they'll last that long in my cupboard...they'll be lucky if they last 8 days now that they've been opened.
***Pack sizes available***
York Fruits come in 3 different box sizes, 200g, 250g and 400g. The box I received as a gift was the 200g option containing 2 layers of these jelly sweets, with each layer housing 11 jellies making up a total of 22 jelly sweets per box. The sweets are contained within a rectangular card box with two plastic trays one on top of the other
***What about the cost***
Unfortunately York fruits aren't the cheapest of jelly sweets on the market, but you're paying for the sweet luxury I guess. A 200g box of the jelly delights will cost you £2.29 in your local Tesco which seems a lot for 22 sweeties, but with these, a little really does go a long way.
***Do I recommend them***
Yes yes yes, I definately do recommend York fruits to any adult who has that sweet tooth and is looking for something a little indulgent to satisfy their needs. Although a little on the expensive side, its not like it's christmas every day.