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.