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When I am at work, I have a terrible habit of eating sweets. This doesn't happen at home as I am fully occupied, but at work when I am typing or concentrating on a document, I am always delving into a bag of something (usually malteasers).
Aswell as the guilt of the extra calories, I was also worried about my teeth, so I started to look around for some sugar free sweets. I came across the Chupa Chups website which gives lots of information about the various types of lollies that they make, some of which are sugar free, low in fat and carbohydrates. The Cremosa brand were sugar free so when I next passed the newsagents I purchased a "Strawberry and Cream" and a "Peaches and Cream" lollipop.
Although they were nice, they were nowhere near as nice as the full sugar fruity versions that they make, but I think this is more down to my taste for quite sour or tart things rather than the creamy fruity taste of the Cremosa.
However you can't have everything in life and at least these lollipops are guilt free! At 15p in my newsagent, they are an absolute bargain.
I'd love to pretend I'm some wicked cool Candy Raver buying these to stop my jaw clenching from the all-night partying I'm doing. Second best, I could claim that I buy these because they're a design icon, the logo having been created by Salvador Dali. Or I could claim that I like these because they're actually a health food in disguise (the Chupa Chups website contains the slightly bizarre claim that sucking "stimulates your immune system" by "increasing the flow of oxygen", news that will no doubt gladden the hearts of men everywhere).
The sad but inescapable reality, though, is that I'm just a sad kidult who hasn't put penny sweets behind them yet. It's just that now I've got a job instead of getting 20p pocket money a week, I've graduated to these lollipops, which cost a whopping 30-40p and shine brightly in their multicoloured packaging from newsagents' counters all over the country.
Unwrap the sweet and it looks like the confectionary equivalent of a merry-go-round, a crazily red and white striped ball on a stick. Unlike other lollipops, they're pleasantly non-sticky so you can hide one in your bag without it covering your mobile phone with goo. The texture is almost unnaturally smooth and creamy, and the head is really hard, so you can get plenty of suckage in (ooo-er) before you succumb to the inevitable urge to crunch it up (not so ooo-er).
What do these taste of? Well, you'll be shocked to hear that there's a strong bouquet of artificial sweeteners with a hint of artificial strawberry thrown in. I don't care how much they say that there's "real fruit" in these, they're not going to be recommended by nutritionists as part of the five-a-day plan any time soon. I think Chupa Chups need to rethink that angle anyway, since the whole charm of these sweets is precisely that they're full of evil unnaturalness and taste like something from an alien planet which is entirely lacking in carbon-based lifeforms. Pretending they're healthy just spoils the fun.
So I'm walking down the aisle of Woolworths and I'm passing by the pick'n' mix section, eyeing up the Turkish Delight and the mint humbugs, I'm about to "consider" what I am allowed as Weight Watchers points these days sometimes limit you to what you can and what you can't have, and if say a bag of sweeties tips the scales at maybe 20 to 25 points, I can kiss goodbye my healthy three meals a day routine and bask on a bag of sweets instead.
I consider the mint humbugs and I'm about to stick my hand into the jar to grab the scooper when I hear a familiar voice. There in the corner of my eye is one of the children who belong to the local Weight Watcher's leader. Needless to say Karen is only nine years old, but already looks like an athletic gymnast, a complement to her mother's good eating and exercise regimes. If Karen is in, then you can bet your bottom dollar Sue will be following behind her.
So when Sue (my leader) catches up with me, I've changed my position to the "low fat" shelf and in front of me lie fruit gums, American hard gums (hardly low fat but I digress...) and these "Cremosa by Chupa Chups" hard boiled sweet lollies, which individually come pre-wrapped in a delightful coloured foil package, almost vacuum packed in a kind of a way!
And as Sue walks away, I grab another lolly for good measure for fear that she will return and for the sole reason that I won't be tempted by anything else. Talk about the forces of good watching over you...
** The Packaging & The Price **
Similar to the sugar loaded "Campino" sweeties in look and feel, these lollipops are the equivalent albeit the sugar and includes sticks for that "lolly"design! Infact if you want a product overloaded with sweeteners, then this is the product for you.
One wonders for the price of 35p whether this lolly is actually THAT expensive compared to normal priced Chupa Chups lollies. Our Woolworths store for example sells the normal lollies individually between 25p and 29p so in effect you are paying 10p or 5p more for these super packaged lollies instead.
Each lolly is individually wrapped in a vacuum packed kind of a way and is awash with colours of the lolly against an iceberg on a pink background. There is also a lot of Spanish writing than English on it, thus giving away its roots here. Indeed history wise the company hail from Spain, which is probably why many years ago when I lasted visited a family friend in Ronda, near Marbella there were hundreds of these lollies and other types of hard boiled confectionery from this company on offer.
A Little known fact; "Melody Pops," are also made by Chupa Chups too! Our local pharmacy has this on sale for 45p and some are also sugar free.
Size wise, the lollies come in the same measurement as standard sugar Chupa Chup lollies.
** The Look & The Taste **
Just like "Campino, Strawberries and Cream," variety, here the strawberry tasting Cremosa looks exactly the same, with red stripes flowing downwards on a white background. The taste is also similar, with no aftertaste of anything but strawberry scents and aspartame added sweeteners. All in all, a well rounded strawberry lollypop and unlike Chupa Chups normal lollies, it isn't of a clear candy design.
What is undoubtedly hard to believe is that this lolly is kind to teeth as well as being totally sugar free. The lolly is very smooth on the tongue too, almost as smooth as a "Murray" mint and has a strong, long suckable quality that Chupa Chups lollies are famous for.
The scent of the lolly isn't very overpowering either, quite understated and not from what I am used to with the artificially added (and sugar loaded as well as expensive) "Tootsie Roll," lollipops which, unless you have a Delicatessen near you that have American branded foods on offer, you won't find a better scented lolly in this country than Chupa Chups products. "Tootsie Roll," lollies are my absolute favourite lollies but they are far and away from the concept of a sugarless lollipop that has the bonus of being kind to teeth.
** Additional Information **
The main website (www.chupachups.com) is awash with information that is general, up to the minute and tempting to read and check out. A section called "Why Sucking Is Good For You," invites you to learn about the characteristics of sucking lollies or just sucking in general. Did you know that sucking for example increases the flow of oxygen and stimulates saliva? You also learn about the ingredients of this product which I am not going to mention because a) This is a consumer review and b) I don't go to the bother of reading many ingredients these days other than the Sat Fat content and calories!
All I would say is that this product has been heavily tested and the information is available to the consumer in regard to being kind to teeth. For a sugar free product this is just a bonus that it's also kind to teeth.
Since 2005 when I started buying these lollies as treats for kids at school, (ok, for me too!) I'm disappointed to find that Chupa Chups haven't launched any other flavour other than Strawberries and Cream.
** Conclusion **
At just 0.5 points per lolly (Weight Watchers points) you can't get any lower in terms of food value on the diet and for a treat I would say that this lolly is a good sweet to grab when moments of having too much sugar free chewing gum gets up your nose! These days there aren't many sugar free sweets that are available unless you consider sugar free mints which carry laxative warnings, or Weight Watchers sweets only available at meetings. Here you have some variety of a different kind of sweet against other alternatives such as "Milky Way," and "Flyte" chocolate bar. I don't find the price very expensive and at the same time I have found that the lolly lasts as long as standard Chupa Chup lollies. Go grab a pack and start sucking!! ©Nar2 2007.