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Halloween Food Taste Test: Trick or Treat?

Halloween Food Taste Test: Trick or Treat?

6 minute read time

The countdown to Halloween is almost over!

Have you taken a trip to your local farm to pick your pumpkin? Have you stocked up on the sweet treats for the kids who will come knocking? Do you have your Halloween outfit down to a T?

One of the best parts of Halloween is not only the scary films and hiding under the duvet during these cold nights, but the sweet treats you get to sample!

There’s no denying that we all tuck into the sweet stuff when Halloween rolls around, but what’s if you’re hunting for some free-from treats instead?

Well, here at YorkTest, we wanted to blind test 10 products – five of which have a free-from option. Our very own Grim Reaper bone-picked 5 lucky colleagues at YorkTest HQ to taste them and tell us which option they thought is free-from. If they guess wrong, they’ve been tricked! If they guess correctly, they can tuck into a yummy free-from treat!

How it works:

Asset 1

There’s been a common misconception built up over many years that free-from food can be dry, tasteless, dull and, well, a bit boring! So, Grim Reaper wanted to prove that free-from food can taste just as good as the standard cakes and biscuits.

Let’s face it, free-from food has come a long way since the days of seeing only a few products on the top shelf in the supermarket. Now more than ever, there’s an array of options guaranteed to trick your taste buds! Let’s check out our five fangtastic options…

Tesco Snappy Milk Chocolate Fingers vs Tesco Free-From Belgian Chocolate Fingers

Asda Lemon Layered Slices vs Asda Free-From Gluten Lemon Slices

Morrisons The Best Dark Chocolate Ginger Biscuits vs Morrisons Free-From Gluten Stem Ginger and Dark Chocolate Biscuits

Sainsbury’s Cherry Bakewell Tarts vs Sainsbury’s Free-From Wheat, Gluten, Milk, Cherry Bakewell Tarts

Tesco Finest Sticky Toffee Cookies vs Costa Free-From Egg and Milk Sticky Toffee Cookie

Tesco Snappy Milk Chocolate Fingers vs Tesco Free-From Belgian Chocolate Fingers

Tesco is now home to shelf after shelf of free-from options – from gravies to chocolate puddings. In the past, it was often difficult to treat yourself to a crumbly biscuit with your cup of coffee, as the wafer/digestive centre contained wheat.

Luckily for all people who are wheat and gluten-free, Tesco has brought out tasty free-from chocolate wafers to dip in your brew or coffee!

Our in-house Laboratory Manager, Katrina, who is in charge of quality control and procedures, as well as developing new products for the company, was the first Halloweener chosen to taste test the wafers.

After munching through both biscuits, Katrina was asked “Which is the free-from option?”. She opted for the standard, not free-from biscuits, resulting in a….
trick halloween yorktest

Asda Lemon Layered Slices vs Asda Free-From Gluten Lemon Slices

Grim Reaper explored another department to pick his next ghoul. Next up is Design Executive, Charlotte, who supports the marketing team with any Graphic Design requirements, from product packaging to event pull up banners.

Charlotte was presented with some sweet and tangy lemon slices from supermarket giant, Asda. The non-free-from slices were from no other than Mr.Kipling (RRP: £1.00) and we paired these with Asda’s wheat-free and gluten-free lemon slices (RRP: £2.20).

Asda hit the headlines in April 2018 after expanding their free-from ranges. The Mirror had reported that many items from the supermarket’s free-from section are now 40% cheaper than other leading supermarkets.

Charlotte tucked into both slices. Grim Reaper asked her the ultimate question: “Which is the free-from option”. With no hesitation, she opted for the standard lemon slice as the free-from answer:
trick halloween yorktest

“I thought the non-free-from lemon slice looked relatively small and the sponge wasn’t as fluffy. I’ve never really tried free-from food, but I had heard in the past that it can be quite bland. That’s the reason I decided to opt for that choice as I thought that was the free-from option.

“I was so shocked when I was told that I hadn’t chosen the right one. The actual free-from choice was delicious! The lemon zest was quite strong, and the sponge was fresh and plump. If I was gluten-free, I would choose these as a sweet treat for sure!” Charlotte says.

Morrisons The Best Dark Chocolate Ginger Biscuits vs Morrisons Free-From Gluten Stem Ginger and Dark Chocolate Biscuits

Next up, the office ghoul decided to put Morrison’s free-from range to the test. These dark chocolate and ginger cookies are the perfect autumn treat. Both biscuits, standard (RRP: £1.75) and free-from gluten (RRP: £1.60), are part of Morrison’s ‘The best’ range, so we had high expectations! It’s also worth noting that the free-from option is cheaper than the standard!

The Grim Reaper snuck up on our Senior Full Stack Developer, James, as he was coming out of the Accounts room. Presented with both the standard and free-from options, James took a bite of both and found it very difficult to choose which one was the free-from option. However, when he made his decision, it proved correct!

“I’m pleased I chose the right one! To be fair, it was extremely challenging to guess which one was the free-from, as they tasted the same. It was a wild guess!” James said.

Sainsbury’s Cherry Bakewell Tarts vs Sainsbury’s Free-From Wheat, Gluten, Milk, Cherry Bakewell Tarts

Sainsbury's halloween

For our penultimate Halloweener, the office ghoul chose Richard to taste test Sainsbury’s free-from range.

Dairy-free, wheat-free and gluten-free Cherry Bakewell Tarts (RRP: £2.00) were on the menu, compared to the standard Cherry Bakewell Tarts (£0.90). Richard dived into both cakes and he came to the decision that the Free-from Cherry Bakewell Tarts were the free-from option.

What made him guess correctly? Richard says: “It was a tough decision. The only reason that swayed my choice was the fact the free-from tart tasted a little sweeter. I was surprised at how great the free-from option tasted

Tesco Finest Sticky Toffee Cookies vs Costa Free-From Egg and Milk Sticky Toffee Cookie

Last but certainly not least, Grim Reaper made his way to IT to handpick Sabrina who is our Junior Full Stack Developer. She was presented with Tesco’s Sticky Toffee cookie (RRP: £1.50), along with Costa’s Vegan Sticky Toffee cookie (RRP: £1.85).

Sabrina sampled both cookies and was certain that it was Tesco’s Sticky Toffee cookie which was the free-from option.

trick halloween yorktest
“I was surprised afterwards when I was told I had chosen the standard one. The free-from option had a melt-in-the-middle centre, so I thought there was no way that was free-from. I was even more surprised to learn that it was milk-free and egg-free – two top ingredients for making cookies. Perhaps the pecan nuts on top of the vegan cookie should have given the game away”.

Sabrina added: “I’m not vegan or free-from, but I’m definitely picking this up when I’m next in Costa!”

Costa halloween

The results:

Through this spooky experiment, we found that three out of five participants couldn’t differentiate between a free-from and non-free-from food. This shows that the free-from cakes and biscuits that were tested taste just as good as the standard equivalents.

As for the other 2 participants… they must have exceptional taste-buds!

Halloween may well see you getting more adventurous in the kitchen. But if you find your stomach is less excited about the changes, there is an easy way to confirm whether new additions to your diet aren’t working for you. YorkTest’s Food&DrinkScan Premium programme analyses your IgG reactions to 208 food and drink ingredients to pinpoint the foods you need to avoid.

What free-from treats will you be dipping into this Halloween?

Check out the full video below!


Our Food Intolerance ProgrammesWe’re here to help you identify your trigger foods to get you on the way to a healthier, happier you.Find Out More

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