Bon-Bons, Jellies, Chocolate and Liquorice...from the National Trust

Probably not the first place to look for vegan confectionary, but the National Trust has a pretty good selection at some of their locations. Vegan toffee bon-bons are still as rare as hen's teeth so to find them sitting there in an NT gift shop is quite a surprise. Even vegetarian jellies are still unusual, and what about hard liquorice without gelatin or beeswax:

Toffee bon-bons in two flavours...plain vanilla and lemon. These sugar coated toffees are made without condensed milk, butter or cream. We found them a bit hard for our liking...lacking that toffee chewiness you'd expect from bon-bons...but still very tasty. The lemon ones have a good smack of citric acid which hits you on the sides of the tongue.

Large soft fruit jellies....the sort your grandma would like as they're not too chewy. These jellies appear to be the same thing sold in two different packs. They're gelled with pectin rather than gelatin. Fruity, sweet and deliciously sugary.

Dark chocolate drops....big button style. These are not too dark and not too challenging for plain chocolate. They're the sort of dark chocolate you can eat lots of, rather than the richer stuff you savour. You'll probably only find these in Norfolk locations as they're made by Gnaw of Gnawfolk.

Pontefract cakes...those liquorice discs you either love or hate, are hardly ever vegan as they usually have gelatin as an ingredient. These ones use potato starch as the gelling agent and taste pretty spot on to us. Black, sweet, hard but chewy...and really rather good.

This haul of sweets is from just one gift shop...see what else you can find at the many National Trust locations nationwide. We bought ours from Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk... a 15th Century moated manor house with a secret priest hole. Well worth a visit....not just for the gift shop.

Footnote: Ingredients
Here are the ingredients panels from the packs we reviewed.
Note that lactic acid (present in the fruit jellies) is produced commercially from sucrose or glucose rather than from lactose.

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