Business, food, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Biscuits and a whole lot of history

The end of May brought us National Biscuit Day and it triggered a feeling of nostalgia to reminisce about the biscuits I loved to eat as a child and what I associate with that period in my life. After several conversations with others, I realized just how much fun it was to think back to retro brands or products that have hit the headlines over the years. Even a slight tweak to the product can make people automatically say, “It’s not the same as back in my day”.  

The biscuit world has gone through many changes over the years – let’s see can remember any of these famous biscuit moments?

The return of the Trio Bar

Brought back under the McVities name, the notorious 1980s Trio bar made a comeback in 2016 after 13 years as a limited edition after being discontinued by Jacobs.  The well-known calypso jingle from the original 1984 Trio TV advert, featuring loudmouthed singer Suzy, and I bet if you asked anyone to sing the Trio song, they could give it their best shot! The Trio bar proved so popular that they have remained on the supermarket shelves until this very day.

(Picture: Yvette Caster/Metro)

Storm Desmond halts production

Back in 2015 when Storm Desmond hit the UK, one of the biggest biscuit factories, McVities, flooded causing biscuit production to halt for three months. In February 2016 the factory was still struggling after a massive clean-up operation. Gold bars managed to be restored into circulation, but the factory remained closed, que a momentous number of complaints to supermarkets when Ginger Nuts and Custard Creams were out of stock!

(Picture: Stuart Walker/ In-Cumbria)

Jaffa Cakes – or are they?

This must be the biggest biscuit debate in history! Jaffa cakes are biscuit-sized cakes introduced by McVities in the UK in 1927 and are named after Jaffa oranges.  As McVitie’s did not register a trademark on the name “Jaffa Cakes”, other biscuit manufacturers and supermarkets have made similar products under the same name.

The product’s classification as a cake or biscuit was part of a VAT tribunal in 1991. In the UK, VAT is payable on chocolate-covered biscuits, but not on chocolate-covered cakes. McVities defended that Jaffa cakes were biscuits due to their size and shape, and the fact that they were often eaten in place of biscuits. The company even went as far as allegedly produced a giant Jaffa cake in court to illustrate its point! McVities won their case and Jaffa cakes were then registered as cakes. Many people argue that they are most definitely a cake because of the 3 layers: a Genoise sponge base (aka a cake base), a layer of orange-flavoured jam, and a coating of chocolate.  

(Picture: Sky News Website)

The best dunking biscuit revealed!

A cup of tea and biscuits go together like fish and chips or Tom and Jerry. It is a fact. If you are a dunker though, is there anything more disappointing than holding your biscuit in the tea just a fraction of a second too long, the next thing you know you have soggy mush at the bottom of your mug? It is just grim.

Fortunately, a study in 2004 conducted by McVities, revealed which of the nation’s classic biscuits holds their own for longest when dunked in a hot cup of tea. Would a custard cream crumble under the pressure? Or perhaps a chocolate digestive would come out on top?

The best biscuit for dunking emerged as a plain rich tea! Research led by Dr. Stuart Farrimond discovered that the classic biscuit typically survives 14 DUNKS into a cup of hot tea, blowing its competitors out of the water!

The same study was conducted in 2007 with the Chocolate Digestive coming out on top. To mark National Biscuit Day 2020 Wrens Kitchens carried out a new found study that revealed the best dunker to be the chocolate Bourbon. Yes, everyone’s favourite chocolatey pick-me-up is more than just a pretty face – it beat all the other teatime staples in the study.

With all these conflicting conclusions there is only way to solve the theory: Eat more biscuits.

Now that is a theory I can get behind.

Do you remember your favourite biscuit as a child? Head over to my Instagram page to join in the discussion.

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