“ Brand: Lees of Scotland / Snack „
I like chocolate bars but sometimes it is nice to try something different if you are looking for a sweet treat. When shopping in Wilkinsons I saw these unusual snacks - Lees of Scotland Strawberry Meringue Bars. I like strawberrys and I love meringue so I decided to give one a try.
Although these bars are placed amongst the chocolate bars such as Mars, they don't in fact contain any chocolate. They consist of a single lozenge shaped piece of meringue, dotted with real dried strawberry pieces. The meringue looks as though it has been piped into shape so it does look quite traditional other than for the fact it is long and thin. The strawberry pieces look brownish rather than red which I thought made the bar look less attractive than it might have done. On the other hand, I know from my own efforts at fruit drying that real strawberry does lose some of its colour when preserved in this way. I would rather have less pretty but real strawberries used than brightly coloured artificial pieces.
TASTE AND TEXTURE
I think that the best meringues are crispy on the outside and softer but slightly chewy on the inside. This bar is perfect in this respect and I can't fault the texture of the meringue at all. The strawberry pieces in the bar that I tried were mostly very small although there were plenty of them. They seemed to add to the chewiness despite being little more than flecks. I was disappointed that I did not get more of a strawberry taste. If I had not known I was eating a strawberry flavoured bar, I would not have been able to guess the fact from the taste. With the last mouthfull, I did find the one larger piece of strawberry, and it did have great flavour - very similar to strawberry jam. If there had been more pieces of this size throughout the bar, I would have been happier. The ingredients show that the fruit amounts to just 3% of the whole. As it is the main taste is overwhelming sweetness. This isn't surprising as the meringue is obviously made largely from sugar. I liked the taste enough to finish the packet but it isn't special enough to make me want to buy the bar again. The second reason I wouldn't rush to buy these as a snack is the fact they are quite crumbly and therefore messy to eat. If I am snacking on the go then a chocolate bar is simply easier to manage as well as more filling.
The bar is packaged in a thin plastic wrapper which means it isn't protected very well from knocks etc. Meringues are so light and delicate that it seems mad to try and sell them in in such an insubstantial packet. The first two bars I picked up felt as though they were broken into pieces. The one I bought had started to crumble at one end too. I didn't mind this as I was going to eat the bar straight away but if I had planned to put them for guests they would have looked disappointing.
A HEALTHIER TREAT?
The pack says that these contain no fat, no artificial flavourings or colourings, and only 60 calories a bar. This sounds impressive but I think that if I was looking for a healthy snack I would prefer to go for something that contained less sugar, as that would be better for my teeth.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I paid 39p for my bar which I think is reasonable. I have only seen these for sale in Wilkinsons and a local corner shop [where they cost 59p] so they are not the most readily available product.
ARE THEY SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS?
There is no specific information that these bars are ok for vegetarians but I can't see any ingredients listed that would pose a problem. They are: sugar, pasteurised egg white, freeze dried strawberry pieces and vegetable oil.
I felt these were a nice change from a chocolate snack. I would recommend them if you are not looking for something especially filling and you don't mind the fact they are crumbly. If you don't like very sweet things or are looking for a strong strawberry flavour then I would not recommend them to you.
Why Did I Buy This Product
Another impulse buy I'm afraid. I was walking round Woolworths and they had a huge display of these bars. I had a sugar craving so I bought two, one to eat immediately and one to review later.
Lees strawberry light meringue bar is a light meringue bar with real strawberry pieces, has only 60 calories per bar, is fat free and contains no artificial colours or flavours. It sounds almost too good to be true. It cost me 49p from Woolworths, I've never seen it for sale anywhere else.
It comes in a metallic red and white foil wrapper. The wrapper has a picture of a strawberry and meringue on the front. The packaging is too light for this delicate product. I had to sift through the box of bars to find one that wasn't crushed or broken.
The product is around 5 inches long and slightly less than 2 inches wide. It is a very pale pink in colour with some darker red flecks of strawberry. It is swirled like you would expect a meringue to be.
The meringue is fairly brittle but the strawberry pieces are nice and chewy at the same time. It is really sweet, a bit sickly by the end of the bar. It has a really nice subtle strawberry flavour, almost like strawberry jam mixed with meringue. I ended up with strawberry seeds lodged in my teeth after eating this.
Will I Buy It Again
The product was nice enough, I might buy it again but I think I'll keep getting my sugar fix from chocolate.
For more information on lees products, log on to www.leesfoods.co.uk