April 1, 2011

The Sweet Life – Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free & Retro Sweets!

La dolce vita indeed. Whether you are visiting Dublin and have food allergies or not you should try to find your way to George’s Street Arcade which is located between South Great Georges Street and Drury Street. The Victorian George's Street Arcade is one of the more alternative shopping venues of Dublin with great variety and atmosphere. It has been operating solidly since 1894 and has about 50 units supplying everything from retro clothing, music and antique books to cafes, hairdressers and tarot readings - check out their website for some interesting history, location and shop listings.
On a more food allergy friendly note let’s talk about ‘The Sweet Life’ which is located inside the arcade on one of the middle stalls. Any passer-by might get drawn in by the lure of brightly coloured sweets which brings on a nostalgia of youth with all the ‘old’ candies and sweets available like Wham Bars, Sherbert Fountain and Mint Crisp but we dietary restricted folk will be drawn in by all the food allergy friendly sweets inside!
- Dairy free
- Gluten free
- No added sugar
- Sugar free

Like Restore Health Food Store, which I wrote about last week, The Sweet Life stock the Dairy free Caramel Choices and the 'Choc n’ Orange', 'Chocolate' and 'Choc n’ Crispie' bars from the same brand which are Gluten free as well. Also in the Dairy free category are
- Celtic Dark chocolate
- Celtic mint crisp dark chocolate
- Plamil dairy free chocolate bars (orange, milk, mint and sugar free)as well as the chocolate drops which are great for food allergy friendly baking because they are free from dairy, eggs, gluten and soya to name but a few.

In addition to all of the ‘listed’ Dairy free items it is also good to note that many of the retro sweets are naturally Dairy free as well such as the
- Refresher bars
- Stingers
- Double Dip
- Nougat

The Sweet Life also has Stockley’s ‘Cinder Toffee’ which looks like the delicious honeycomb inside of Cadbury's 'Crunchy' chocolate bars. I was quickly glancing at the ingredients and I do believe that they are Dairy free but some things sound too good to be true so you should probably double check before indulging - but I’d almost put money on it! I was also told that The Sweet Life is expecting their ‘Choices’ Dairy free and Gluten free Easter eggs to be arriving any day now so I will be interested to see what they look like too!


On the Gluten Free side of things many of the chocolates listed above are GF as well but the most interesting thing to note is that many of the retro sweets are Gluten free like the
- Pips
- Pineapple chunks
- Pear drops
- Tutti Frutti

But if you get dazzled by all of the brightly coloured produce just ask for advice because the ‘sweet keeper’ is very helpful and will guide you through what you can and can’t have. An oddity to note is that the Bon Bons are only sometimes Gluten free. It seems that the supplier is in the process of changing over to Gluten Free (which is brilliant news) and so it depends on which stock is received… I don’t know about cross-contamination in the factory or in the sweet jars in The Sweet Life but the proprietor seems very aware of the needs so maybe just ask if you are in doubt.

In addition to the above there is also a Diabetic section which carries a range of Cavalier chocolate bars as well as a whole slew of Sugar free de Bron sweets such as
- Cherry gums
- Wine gums
- Fruit & Juice Toffees
- Sweet Licorice
- Jelly Bears
- Strawberry Cream
- Fruit Gums
- Peppermint

but don’t forget to Brush your teeth!

The Sweet Life
Stall 9, George’s Street Arcade
South Great George’s Street
Dublin 2
Web: www.myspace.com/thesweetlifedublin
Opening Times: mon-sat 10:00-18:00

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