• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

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  • The Synod of Biscuitry

    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

70s Party Biscuits

partyI well remember my childhood parties in the 1970s; a game of What’s the Time Mr Wolf?, arguing over my new Action Man (no it’s mine, you can’t play with it), followed by a slap up tea party where the table would be laden with bowls of crisps, fizzy pop, jelly, sausage rolls, cubes of cheese and pineapple speared on cocktail sticks, and plates of full fat, sugary sweet biscuits riddled with just about every E number known to man – eating a handful of these chemical filled delicacies had the potential to turn any saintly child into a miniature hooligan who would almost certainly be served with an ASBO these days.

But did we care? No! Those biscuits were bloody tasty and I grieve the passing of some and the removal of the menace-making additives from others.

As a father of two I go to many kids’ parties today, which are sadly a poor imitation of what I experienced as a child. The tummy ache inducing feast of yore has been replaced by a healthy middle class mix of carrot sticks, bowls of houmous, breadsticks, pieces of fruit and those wretched Pom-Bear crisps. Even raisins are banned, described by these no-sugar fascists as ‘baby crack’.

So in honour of the old times, when a child could eat a Penguin without his parents being ostracised or when a Jammie Dodger was considered to be a suitable break time snack at school (5 a day in the 70s consisted of a packet of crisps, a Jammie Dodger, a packet of sweet cigarettes, a Black Jack chew and a packet of Trebor Blobs), I present my top ten biscuits from my childhood parties.

Top Ten biscuits at my childhood parties

1 Jammie Dodgers.

2 Cadbury Animal Biscuits.

3 Chocolate Fingers.

4 Party Rings.

5 Funny Faces.

6 Iced Gems.

7 Malted Milk.

8 Fox’s Sport Biscuits.

9 Pink wafers.

10 Biscuits filled with mallow, whose name I can’t remember (if you know, please tell).


Martyn Cox


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9 Responses

  1. Seeing our childhood party memories are pretty similar, I believe you might be referring to the marvellous Tunnock’s Tea Cakes

    Or those ones where the marshmallow was sandwiched between 2 biscuits and coated with coconut perhaps? I seem to remember jam was involved somewhere as well.

    After swimming club, mum always treated me to 3 jammy dodgers plus a bottle of Whiteways Peardrax in the cafe afterwards. Absolute heaven.

    • Yes VP, it’s the mallow and jam layer,stuck between two biscuits with a scattering of dessicated coconut on top that I’m thinking of. Can you remember what they were called?

  2. Yes I love the Tea Cakes – you can still get them.
    My kids had the same sort of party food as you described above plus home made sausage rolls. I never signed up to the healthy option for parties. After all its a party and if you cant have a few E numbers then when can you. My two are strapinig teenagers now who dont seem to have suffered in any way so bring on the party rings and pink wafer biscuits.

  3. isn’t that a snowball?

  4. The Pom Bear crisp is a horrible object. Part prawn cracker, part communion wafer, part styrofoam and part upholstery stuffing.
    A raw carrot at a children’s birthday party is borderline abusive.

  5. I never went to a 70s birthday party, I was only born in August of 1979. But I do remember glorious biscuits everywhere in the 80’s at parties, the best being the Jacob’s selection – Kimberley, Mikado and Coconut Creams. Yummy!!! I do recall oat cakes at one party, a terrible memory and she was one of my best friends, so sad.

  6. Oh I remember those mallow biscuits you wrote about. They were great, but sadly I have no idea what they are called.

    Have children’s parties actually become as awful as serving houmous and carrot sticks? That’s dreadful! And a ban on raisins? Do people not know it’s a fruit? The world has gone mad!

    Jammie Dodgers are still a staple in my home!

    Ryan

  7. Iced gems – like eating barbed wire. In today’s H&S conscious society, do they file down the pointy bits of iced gems?

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