As someone who has been wheat intolerant for almost 10 years now, one thing I’ve constantly found a challenge is finding something tasty and satisfying when I want to indulge my sweet tooth and crave something ‘naughty’. Although there’s been a boom in dairy/wheat/gluten-free brands over the years, with supermarkets dedicating sections, even aisles, to these alternative products, we should now be spoilt for choice.
In the vast majority of cases though, when I’ve got excited seeing a new wheat-free brownie/muffin/cake [insert name of sweet treat here] on the shelves and bought it with high expectations of it tasting like the real wheat deal…It usually doesn’t and I’m left chewing a drier, heavier, not as satisfying version of said product.
Being a health freak, it’s not often I spend money on these food items but when I do, I’ve always hoped that even just one would exist and taste like it ‘should’, whether including wheat or not. Yes, I studied food technology and understand how the gluten in wheat flour, in most cases, is essential to result in the spongy, light texture and all the rest, and accept that items without this basic ingredient will never match up.
Step up PERK!ER Foods. I was in Tesco and as a sucker for branding and visuals, the brightly coloured packaging of the buckets of Rocky Road and Tiffin bite-size treats immediately caught my eye. Cute little messages like “BEWARE! Keep under lock and key, contents are likely to be snaffled!”, “Share if you dare!” and “A mini riot of flavours and textures, fun, fun fun!” made me laugh, and I instantly fell in love with the brand.
‘A small, young British company following our passion to create delicious gluten & wheat free food in our Yummery’ – that’s what PERK!ER are all about. Also selling a range of breakfast cereals, porridges, muesli and porridge pots, plus soon-to-be launched handmade breads, their ‘GLORIOUSLY GLUTEN-FREE’ mission and fun personality is reflected in their vibrant website and social channels on Twitter and Facebook.
Funnily enough, I entered a competition on their Facebook page – upload a selfie showing how perky you’d feel if you won some PERK!ER treats. I was thrilled to find out I’d been chosen as one of the winners and couldn’t wait to receive my winning goodies, which arrived at my desk at work @TheMediaOctopus on Friday. A new office mug, a bucket of each variety of treat plus a full-size version, this made my day!
Now for the important part, the taste test!
ROCKY ROAD: Crunchy biscuit & soft marshmallows enveloped in milk chocolate
The crunchiness of the biscuit pieces married with the chewiness of the marshmallow plus the sweetness of the chocolate…just divine. As someone who’s forgotten what ‘real’ Rocky Road tastes like, these were completely satisfactory and had me wanting to eat the whole bucket (dangerous!). Unlike other wheat/gluten-free alternatives I’ve tried before, these little bites were far from dry or tasteless, plus they didn’t crumble or disintegrate in my hands. My boyfriend James, who has recently cut out wheat from his diet, also commented on how tasty they were. In comparison to their wheat counterparts, he said he could tell a difference BUT not in a negative way; he almost ate more bites than I did!
TIFFIN: Crunchy biscuit, honeycomb & raisins covered in milk chocolate
For me these only JUST beat the Rocky Road as my favourite. The layer or chocolate on top, revealing the delicious combination of biscuit, honeycomb and raisin as substantial, sweet and firm bites were a winner. Again, these succeeded in not crumbling away while being indulgent and tasting like how Tiffin pieces SHOULD. For James, another hit with his sweet tooth and a thumbs up for buying again in the future, when both of us wheat-free eaters fancy a chocolatey treat.
So, a huge big up and thank you to Ann Perkins and partner, Steve Turner, for creating a fabulously fun brand delivering delicious gluten/wheat-free treats, you are our saviours! Now let’s go find their breads and cereals….