Thursday, September 29, 2005

Norfolk Manor Jelly Babies

Name: Jelly Babies
Brand: Norfolk Manor
Place Purchased: Grocer in San Francisco near Golden Gate Park
Price: $3.79
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 81
Type: Jelly

If you have ever watched Dr. Who with Tom Baker, you’ve seen him carry around that little white paper bag and offer folks Jelly Babies. I never knew what they were, just that they were different from jelly beans and not quite Swedish fish. I finally stumbled across them at a little grocer I stopped in after a meeting in San Francisco over the weekend that carried a lot of UK candies (I picked up a very fresh Curly Wurly while I was there too!).

Unfortunately, not having grown up in the UK, that is the sum total of my exposure to them. I had no idea until I started to make this post that the different colors had some sort of personality. This site has a pretty good history of the candies (apologies as they seem to have put black text on a dark blue background). The important thing to note about this review is the brand - these are Norfolk Manor Jelly Babies. The Bassett’s Jelly Babies (the original) are not imported into the US (so I’ll have to have someone grab some in the UK).

A jelly baby is simply a jelly candy with a grainy, crystallized sugar coating on it. Not quite a smooth as a jelly bean, the coating is like a very fine granulated sugar, only with flavor.

The colors are quite nice, in soothing herbal colors of red, green, another green, orange, yellow, another yellow, and black. The smell fruity and sweet, just like jelly beans. If you remember the Swedish Jelly Rats I reviewed a while back, they’re kind of like that, but larger and with a bit more of a sugary coating. The shapes are wonderful, little pudgy-bellied, round-headed babies. The babies are flavored according to their colors, but I wasn’t really able to figure it out. Orange is orange, yellow is lemon and one of the greens is lime. Beyond that, I can only say that they were fruity. Black might be currant, red might be strawberry.

They’re exceptionally sweet and the flavor has no hint of tart to it, just a slight blessing of fruit aroma for the most part. They cute and easy to share and of course they’re a nostalgia favorite for generations of Brits. I am, sadly, not terribly impressed with them. Should I find the Bassett’s, I will probably give them a try, just to be sure that I’m not missing something. Just for the record, I do like jelly candies in general: gummi bears and Swedish fish and even some jelly beans, these were just too sweet without enough flavor.

More about Jelly Babies here.

Rating - 4 out of 10 (alas, I don’t think I’m going to eat the rest of them)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:22 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewJelly Candy4-BenignUnited Kingdom

  1. Anyone british knows that these are not the real Jelly Babies.  The real ones are made by Bassett’s

    Comment by Anonymous on 12/31/69 at 4:00 pm #
  2. Have just read your blog and have to say that unless you have tasted Bassett’s jelly babies, then you don’t really know what they should taste like!  There are only six colours now and they have names!  Black is Bigheart, pink is Baby Bonny, orange is Bumper, green is Boofuls, red is Brilliant and yellow is Bubbles.
    I’ve been totally addicted to them for some 50 years, and have tried many imitations, but there is no-one that comes even close.
    If you would like me to send you a pack, then email me.

    Comment by Carole (jelly baby addict) on 2/25/06 at 12:31 pm #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Thanks Carole - if you poke around a little more you’ll find that I did get a hold of some of the real Bassett’s babies last November.

    You can see the real review here. Sadly, I’m still not fond of them and they only got one more point that this knock-off version. But I’ll say this, I think they’re just the cutest little things and I’m glad that other folks adore them, I’d hate to think that a candy with such a vibrant history and with such fervent followers wouldn’t get their fix.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/25/06 at 2:13 pm #
  4. what colour is the inside of a jelly baby?  is it, as i thought, a clear color and the outside shell is just a simple coating…..or as others say, the same colouring all of the way through?  please reply, asap!  thanks for your help!  love the site, keep up the good work!

    Comment by Paul Mansell on 6/23/06 at 2:04 am #
  5. They are coloured the same all the way through, Paul.

    Comment by ingulund on 8/24/06 at 6:24 am #
  6. Where can I get Bassett’s Jelly Babies in San Francisco? Help please. I love them and the Cost Plus store at Fisherman’s Wharf stopped carrying them. Eek. I miss my candy grin

    Comment by Cole R on 5/30/08 at 11:17 am #
  7. I found the original Bassetts Jelly Babies. After a bit of research I found them them a shop called “British American Imports” I went there today and picked up 5 bags. Unfortunately they’re about 6 dollars a bag but oh so worth it. Here’s there website. .
    There located right next to the Portrero Shopping Center on 15st. Its really easy to miss but there’s a sign pointing to the door you just have to ring the buzzer (with the british flag next to it) and someone will open the door and the shop its self is quite tiny. They’re open 10am through 5:30 pm from Tuesday through Saturday. But its awesome none the less. I know I definately plan on going back.
    I also hear of another british import store. but I haven’t been there. So good luck.

    Comment by Ariel on 6/19/08 at 6:41 pm #
  8. wow, little low rating for me with the hardness factor for the Gummi Bears I had at the breaking teeth level but then it’s only opinion.  Anyway is there a review on one of my favories- the British Fruitips- I get them in the colorful tube format for $2.00 in ailse 3- the British section.  I guess if you only want sour and don’t like the variety of sweet- sweet is good for candy not for main dishes- then you’ll probably hate them or give them a 4 but I love them!  I also use to love those hard candy fruits with the big banana.  That was back in the days when they had Pink Panther bars and he was the top star in England along with Paddington and Dougal.  Sadly no well done Ant and Bee cartoons Wow this is getting to be nostalgia although you can’t beat Pink Panther too much when he was good for a quality cartoon- minus the laugh track of course- but a Pink Panther cereal?  What was the product- oh yeah the J-babies that in the origianl form were pegged at the Beatles and made huge as a result.  I love ‘em and find in my non-scientific research that people either love them or just spit them out.

    Comment by Donny wallace on 11/05/08 at 8:53 pm #
  9. I am a 26 year old female from London, I have never been fond of the Bassetts Jelly Babies as I can’t stand their ‘gritty’ texture, however I recently tried Haribos Jelly Babies and they are amazing! Give them a try smile

    Comment by london_girl85 on 11/05/11 at 4:33 am #
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