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 Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 14:54

@Islanddawn wrote:
@nordmann wrote:








Ah one of my favourite from childhood, Iced Vovos! Eat the marshmallow and jam off and then chuck the rest of the biscuit away. Smile  They're Australian as far as I know.

What you are admiring there is the humble Mikado, designed by James McCarthy, chief confectionery innovator of the then Jacob's Biscuit Company in Dublin in the early 1930s. Jimmy left behind a pretty impressive record of biscuit and bar designs, many still going strong and copied throughout the world.

Mind you, if the Australians appropriated it and flogged it as their very own Iced Vovos, they were simply emulating some other great confectionery thefts that mark the 20th century out as one of the vilest in the history of global confectionery conflict. The Norwegians have perfected the villainy to a fine art, even nicking the pack designs and fonts, and they're still at it.

A few examples.







Norwegians, as with your Ozzie Vovo, really believe all the above are local inventions.

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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 19:46

Australian Iced Vovos were first branded and registered in 1906. An Australian icon.

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 20:25

The thlock pithens! So McCarthy was the thief! Never trusted that sod after the fig rolls thing anyway!

They'll have to take his statue down now in Bishop Street. Or maybe not - Valeo Foods Ltd, who now run the Jacob's brands, claim that the Mikado has been a children's party staple since the 1880s. McCarthy's been given credit for something they were already producing, it seems, and even before the Vovo too - so Arnott isn't off the hook either.

I'm telling you - it's a vicious and cut-throat world, that confectionery one. A right den of iniquity.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 20:58

Well, the company producing them is owned by Kraft, who have already ruined Cadbury's chocolate, so all of these are likely to have the coatings replaced with American pseudo-chocolate in future.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 21:34

Errr ... here's an advert for both Mikado and Iced VoVo biscuits made by Aulsebrook's Biscuits which appeared in 'The Star' (Sydney, Australia) 21 November 1905 p4:



The Aulsebrook biscuit company were originally from New Zealand (established there in the 1860s) which moved to Australia about 1890. They were making Iced VoVos at least until 1908.

Another company that were supposedly making Iced VoVos around 1900 was Hardman Biscuits (of Sydney) which had been started by the Hardman brothers after they'd emigrated from England in the 1850s. The Hardmann Biscuit Company was eventually bought by Arnotts, but that seems to have been much later in the 1940s.

And an Arnott's advert from 'The Mercury', 14 June 1904, again mentioning with both VoVos and Mikados:



see:

https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/iced-vovos-who-did-it-first/


But I believe Jacob's Biscuits (established in Ireland since 1851) started producing the Mikado biscuit in about 1885 ... which is when all things Japanese were in vogue in Britain (both the Japanese Cultural Exhibition in London, and the debut of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera 'The Mikado', were in 1885).
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Fri 04 Nov 2016, 23:02

The Vovo looks like a Mikado that's been run over by a steamroller. Maybe gravity is stronger in the Southern Hemisphere. Or maybe this was how they got round the patenting law.

McCarthy was a leading light in the prestigious Rathmines and Rathgar Operatic Society, which often does G&S's The Mikado even today. Though that's beside the point now that we know he was just another whose confections obviously extended to the verbal.

If I find out they nicked this one I'll be desperately disappointed. This was what one expected from the granny after a trip into town to do the shopping, along with a green-ink biro (something I never understood, though enough of my hand written literature from the period survives to indicate that it persevered for years).


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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Sat 05 Nov 2016, 09:29

I wonder if there are any other old hippies out there who remember Frank Zappa'a immortal line: "the crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe"? In younger and happier days, I always argued that "apostrophe" here did not refer to the irritating punctuation mark (which has caused so much ill-feeling over the years, often between otherwise good friends), but to the exclamatory figure of speech. The meaning of "crux of the biscuit", however, has always eluded me.

I was amazed that this is still being discussed:

https://www.quora.com/What-does-this-mean-The-crux-of-the-biscuit-is-in-the-apostrophe



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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Sat 05 Nov 2016, 19:03

Not exactly a biscuit, but a Mikado nonetheless - any 2-8-2 steam loco
"The wheel arrangement name "Mikado" originated from a group of Japanese type 9700 2-8-2 locomotives that were built by Baldwin Locomotive Works for the 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge Nippon Railway of Japan in 1897. In the 19th century, the Emperor of Japan was often referred to as "the Mikado" in English. Also, the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Mikado had premiered in 1885 and achieved great popularity in both Britain and America." as wiki would misleadia. Biscuits, along with tea, are required to be placed on the buffer beam at Raven Square station for any arriving train's crew, but the digestive is most favoured if there is a choice.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Mon 07 Nov 2016, 10:14

In the biscuit war scene, there is alarm that the Cafe Noir biscuit recipe has changed - and not available in any taste in my area now. McVities have Hobnobs galore have much to answer for tampering with this small treat. One more thing to add to  a growing list of my delights of fading memory
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 16 Nov 2016, 16:08

Christmas biscuits everywhere - a Dutch type sold by Tescos ought be served on top of a steaming cup of coffee to be fully appreciated. I am greatly tempted to try it just to get a selection of remarks. I have a guest coming tomorrow for coffee who says she had better not be offered Family Circle biscuits. What on earth are they? Too late to rush and get some just to be annoying.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 16 Nov 2016, 17:14

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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 16 Nov 2016, 17:15

I was behind a lady in the M&S Food Hall today and she had ten tins of shortbread in her trolley. Nothing else. The tins all featured a large stag and two members of his family (see below). Either someone with an untreated eating disorder, or she had completed all her Christmas present shopping at one fell swoop.




"Family Circle" biscuits! Good grief they are considered naff even in Bootle!  But the "Rover" assortment is even worse: if you wish to shock your friends, get a tin of these, Priscilla - and hand them round from the tin.


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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 16 Nov 2016, 17:55

However, I have been reliably informed that Family Circle vintage tins are now a collector's item: they ae sold on EBay!





EDIT: I see it says 1kg /2.2ibs on the tin above. I bet one with just the weight of biscuits in pounds and ounces would be more valuable.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 16 Nov 2016, 18:11

If you have this biscuit tin, it is worth a fair bit of money (£300). It is the "rude" Huntley and Palmer Ginger Nuts tin. You have to open link to see tin - it won't copy.

http://severnbeachantiques.com/famous-rare-1980-huntley-and-palmer-rude-garden-party-ginger-nuts-tin
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 16 Nov 2016, 18:48

Surely the acme of biscuit offence would be to offer her a plate of assorted broken ones? (You used to be able to buy these cheap) - or perhaps a packet (opened, natch) of Tesco basics digestives?
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 16 Nov 2016, 20:57

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Surely the acme of biscuit offence would be to offer her a plate of assorted broken ones? (You used to be able to buy these cheap) - or perhaps a packet (opened, natch) of Tesco basics digestives?


A family tale, oft repeated at gatherings:-

My great uncle was in the habit of going into the Co-op on the way home from primary school to buy broken biscuits but one day the conversation went thus:

Wee Bob; "A ha'penny's  worth of broken biscuits please ".

Shop assistant; "Sorry son, we've none today, it's the breaker's day off".

Boom, Boom.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Wed 16 Nov 2016, 21:34

@ferval wrote:
@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Surely the acme of biscuit offence would be to offer her a plate of assorted broken ones? (You used to be able to buy these cheap) - or perhaps a packet (opened, natch) of Tesco basics digestives?


A family tale, oft repeated at gatherings:-

My great uncle was in the habit of going into the Co-op on the way home from primary school to buy broken biscuits but one day the conversation went thus:

Wee Bob; "A ha'penny's  worth of broken biscuits please ".

Shop assistant; "Sorry son, we've none today, it's the breaker's day off".

Boom, Boom.
Reminds me of the hotel my stepfather stayed at once when he went to an away match in - shall we say Norfolk? - . When he asked for toast at breakfast, he was told "The girl who knows the recipe does'nt work on Sundays".
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 15 Dec 2016, 00:12

Marie Biscuits were named after the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, the wife of Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria's son.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Thu 15 Dec 2016, 08:16

FL wrote:
Marie Biscuits were named after the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, the wife of Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria's son.

Except in Ireland where Peek Freans products, along with most other English goods, were being boycotted in the mid 1870s. Ireland was in the middle of yet another famine - one that peaked in 1879 and which is generally forgotten these days - and yet again the British political reaction had been simply to raise local duties on exportable foodstuff (turning a famine into potential genocide so the British importers could keep their profit margins healthy). However this time the Irish lower classes, left with rotten potatoes and gruel to eat, responded by refusing to buy any English products dumped on the depressed market, a campaign organised by the newly instituted "Land League", the forerunner to the Irish Independence Party which ultimately designed the new state in the 1920s.  The franchised producer of "Marie" biscuits, Jacobs, decided it best therefore to re-christen them "Marietta" - a name not associated with any royal family, and especially Big Vic's brood, so the middle classes could continue snacking without feeling guilty.


Still popular today ...
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Mon 19 Jun 2017, 11:22

I have nearly finished my Queer City: Gay London From the Romans to the Present Day, Peter Ackroyd's excellent new offering: it has been a fascinating read, sometimes funny, more often very sad. This snippet, however, in the final chapter did make me laugh:

"...the Wolfenden Committee was established in 1954 to inquire into the legal status of homosexual acts. The committee comprised the great and the good, but they were neither conventionally 'liberal' nor unprudish in their social attitudes. For the sake of the ladies present at the proceedings, homosexuals were known as Huntleys and prostitutes as Palmers after the well-known firm of biscuit makers."

One wonders what was served with the tea during breaks in the committee's deliberations.
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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Mon 19 Jun 2017, 14:10

@Temperance wrote:
I have nearly finished my Queer City: Gay London From the Romans to the Present Day, Peter Ackroyd's excellent new offering: it has been a fascinating read, sometimes funny, more often very sad. This snippet, however, in the final chapter did make me laugh:

"...the Wolfenden Committee was established in 1954 to inquire into the legal status of homosexual acts. The committee comprised the great and the good, but they were neither conventionally 'liberal' nor unprudish in their social attitudes. For the sake of the ladies present at the proceedings, homosexuals were known as Huntleys and prostitutes as Palmers after the well-known firm of biscuit makers."

One wonders what was served with the tea during breaks in the committee's deliberations.





and

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PostSubject: Re: Biscuits; Past, Present and Crumbling   Mon 19 Jun 2017, 14:55

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