• 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.

  • Biscuit Encounters on Twitter

  • 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.

The Party Benchmark Biscuit..

There are many things that remind me of my ever distant youth – eating warm raspberries fresh from the bush aged three, watching storms over the sea aged five and falling off the top of a wardrobe aged six.

And of course there were the parties. Jelly and ice cream, Wotsits, pineapple and cheese hedgehogs and bleach white sandwiches.

But the biscuit of my youth and the item by which EVERY party’s catering provisions were judged was the spangly bright and sugar rush inducing Fox’s Party Ring.

Even the name states that it has an integral role to play in all celebratory gatherings and we were most miffed if a plate of the bejewelled beauties were not found on the tea time table.

Coming in five different icing colourways, the Party Ring was first introduced in 1983 by Fox’s to celebrate the new brash chemical food dyes that had been developed to brighten up our mealtimes. There was a slight scare when the purple and yellow combo was removed due to health issues linked with the dyes, but after a large scale uproar from the University community it was reinstated with a safer list of ingredients.

Given this information, there is no wonder we ran around like 90’s ravers when we attended a party in our pre teens.

The ring formation also allowed the biscuit to be used in various party games as they fitted a finger perfectly – so in true ‘pure design’ terms the form, function, aesthetic and presentation was spot on with the name they had been christened.

There is also a very particular way to eat the Party Ring. Having placed one of your chosen colourway (pink with yellow lines is my favourite) on your index finger, you proceed to lick the glossy icing from the biscuit until the entire coloured surface has gone. The challenge is to complete this without the biscuit cracking or collapsing – it is an art.

One downside to this method is that the carob gum icing is quite abrasive and after a couple of biscuits you end up with a scratchy tongue like a cat. The fact that ‘try rasping’ is an anagram of ‘party rings’ I am sure is no coincidence.

I am very glad to say that Fox’s Party Ring can still be found on almost every supermarket shelf, and I was actually given a whole tins worth a few Christmases ago, so there is no excuse to not continue the trends of my youth as I enter my thirties.

Fox’s Party Ring – the first and best celebratory biscuit.

Claire Potter

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One Response

  1. Excellent eating method. I used to like how the glossy icing went rough once you’d worked yr way though the outer shininess.

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