“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Type: Jelly „
I remember as a child constantly being dragged around Marks & Spencer by my mum. I really hated it, but at the checkout she would always pick me up a pack of Percy Pig sweets as my reward!
Percy Pigs are fruit gum sweets that are pig shaped. They are made by Marks & Spencer and have actually become quite iconic for the company (they've been going since 1995). They started off in just strawberry and raspberry flavour but now come in many different variations including Percy Piglets (small versions), Penny Pigs (lemon flavoured), Percy Pig and Pals (grape and cola flavoured), Reversy Percy, Veggie Percy and Phizzy Pig Tails. Limited edition Percy Pigs often pop up during special events too.
I decided to turn vegetarian many years ago, for various reasons. This meant not just cutting out meat, but cutting out products that contained gelatine, rennet (stomach lining) and other animal related nasties. Therefore I had to say goodbye to many of my sweets, including Percy. Quite unfotunate since I have an extremely sweet tooth.
I always found it rather ironic and quite twisted that Percy Pigs contained pork gelatine. Gelatine can come from all different animals including cows, pigs and chickens. Is is made up from such delighful things as skin, bones (including hooves), tissues, organs (including brain) and some intestines. Gelatine can be sneaked in to many types of food, therefore if you want to avoid it you need to check most packaging. There is no goodness in gelatine, it is simply a cheap way for companies to make money.
In August 2011 Marks & Spencer began to put Veggie Percy Pigs on their shelves. Needless to say I was pretty excited and headed straight down there!
Veggie Percy Pigs contain no gelatine and are suitable for vegetarians. They contain pea protein which may seem strange, but certainly less strange than bones and organs! They come in a green pack, whereas the normal packaging is pink so they're pretty easy to spot. The pack is 170g which contains about 18 pigs which I think is a pretty generous amount - I can only get half way through the pack in one sitting before feeling ill! They look just like normal Percy Pigs - pink with happy little faces. The only difference is one of the ears is green coloured. If you find a Percy Pig with 2 pink ears, it ISN'T a veggie pig! M&S describe them as 'super chewy fruit gums with the green ear guarantee'. The pigs are quite squidgy and foam like, except for the ears which are more like firm jelly.
Like normal Percy Pigs they are quite large in size - I'd say maybe an inch and a half, by an inch and a half. They cost about £1.50 which may be higher than supermarket brands but pretty average compared to other sweet brands such as Haribo and The Natural Confectionary Company. I don't really think they're bad value for money considering there are quite a few pigs per pack (and they are are delicious).
They are very chewy, although a lot less harder than the normal Percy Pigs that I remember. I can effortlessly bite chunks out of him, which was harder with the non-veggie version (although for this reason they do tend to get stuck in your teeth). They have a strong strawberry taste and are very juicy - I'm not ashamed to admit they make my mouth water, mmm! I find them very morish too. If you're a vegetarian (or not) that loves juicy chewy sweets, then I definitely recommend these to you.
Unfortunately Veggie Percy Pigs are not suitable for vegans as they contain beeswax (for glazing). However they are free from artifical colours and flavouring. Obviously sweets aren't the healthiest of foods, but in moderation you should be fine!
Marks and Spencer's have mad myself and other non-carnivores up and down the land very happy by introducing a new addition to their highly successful Percy Pig range.
The Veggie Percy might be in the shape of a cute piggy face but unlike the standard Percy no oinkers are hurt in making them. . Pea protein may sound a weird and unappetisisng ingredient in a sweet but its used as an alternative to pork gelatin, as a gelling agent to give the sweet's texture.
Opening the pea green packet I am greeted by a lovely, sweet strawberry smell. It reminds me a little of strawberry milkshake. There's about 20 Percys in the 170 gram packet. I think at £1.39 they may not be the cheapest sweets but they are no more expensive than other versions of Percy and I know they are good quality.
Poor percy has got a green ear. Don't worry he's not got swine flu, nor has it gone septic. The green right ear is the way to identify a Veggie Percy from a normal one with two bubblegum pink ears. He's a cute fellow but I've got to eat him. The foam pale pink face is perhaps a little firmer than normal but the strawberry, fruity flavor is delicious. I violently rip one of Percy's ears off. The more translucent green and pink jelly that form his ears is more jelly like an and have a slightly different flavour. Its fruity but I'm not quite sure what it is. Perhaps there is a hint of grape in there.
Apparently Percy contains apple, orange and elderberry juice from concentrates. There's also strawberry, cherry , grape and raspberry flavours which apparently are not artificial nor are the colours. . These would be better for children than other sweets littered with e numbers. A couple of these would a be a good treat for a dieter looking for a sweet treat, as there's only 25 calories in one Percy and literally no fat.. The only thing to watch out for is the sugar content. Each sweet makes up 4% of the recommenced sugar for an adult.
Percy is not suitable for vegans as beeswax is used as a glazing agent, plus cows milk is used n the manufacturing process.
I'd like to give a trotter up to Veggie Percy. Thank you again for three years devotion to develop this wonderful little fellow.