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is a jaffa cake a biscuit or a cake?


"See to me Jaffa cakes are clearly a cake as I base my decision on the following simple to follow formula... If it is hard fresh and softens when it goes stale, it's a biscuit. If it is soft fresh and hardens when it goes stale, it is cake." Linette 

"I agree that Jaffa Cakes are properly classified as a cake, but I consume them as a biscuit (from a packet, with a cup of tea, and I'd eat it one my own, whereas I'd usually only have tea and cake with a friend)." Sam 

"Very true. Although cupcakes and muffins are also clearly cake and can be consumed individually so that issue is acceptable. Funnily enough in Swedish no such distinction is made. Cakes are kakor and biscuits are also kakor or småkakor (small cakes). Of course the taxman has become involved here so it got all complicated and legal rather than linguistic." Linette

"Hey - fig rolls start out soft and harden when they go stale. Are they a cake?"  Toby

"I must confess my ignorance of fig rolls. Is it like a swiss roll with figs?" Linette 

"It's a gooey fig confection encased in shortbread-type stuff, but don't let my description put you off. Definitely no good for dunking."  Mike 

 "Jaffas are cakes, at least legally speaking (http://www.educationet.org/messageboard/posts/38833.html), although according to Linnean classification (http://www.plesiosauria.com/dinobiscuits/biscuit.htm), it is a 'pseudobiscuit'. Apparently." Dan 

"The Fig Roll Question is a tricky one. I'm actually tempted to say yes. Smith reckons them to be pseudobiscuits too."   Dan 

"I like the Cladogram, though I disapprove of the measurements being simply on observed characteristics, I feel an analysis of ingredients and baking methods would provide a more rounded evolutionary approach to the study of this taxonomy. And how are Jammie Dodgers not a biscuit? They're so dunk-able!" Sam 

"Yeah, I thought that was a bit odd. I suppose one could make the case for it being a highly integrated jam/shortcake symbiosis, analogous to lichens."  Sam 

But would you want to eat it with, let alone dunk lichen in your tea?   Dan

"Nah. You make the lichen into tea (http://www.nativetech.org/recipes/recipe.php?recipeid=15), and then have it with a Jammie Dodger. "  Sam

"Technically an infusion as it has no "tea" in it but I'll let you off ;) Wonder what that tastes like...hmmm..."  Dan 

"But if you rule out all biscuits with symbiosies, where lies the humble custard cream? The addition of a 'gluing element' is I would say perhaps another evolutionary step away from - not seperate from - the plain biscuit. The addition of chocolate could be considered another such step. Evolutionary steps of course not being considered to be about superiority, more simply to create and fill new niches in the habitat of product diversity. And if we're looking at the evolution of biscuits - what would be the first meta-biscuit that crawled out tof the primordial baking sea? And which came first: the biscuit or the cake? I'll stop now."  Sam 

"I once worked with someone who once worked in a biscuit factory. I'll never eat jammie dodgers again. I think you have to dunk any 'hard' biscuit. Jaffa cakes aren't biscuits as they mush rather than crumble. Dunking is being taught in allsorts of locations to very small people. One grandma at my local mums + tots has quite quickly introduced a whole room of under 3's to dunking. Parents are being forced to drink endless cups of tea to provide their toddlers with drinks to dunk in. The main biscuits used are bourbons, custard creams, shortbread, and malted milk."  Cathy 

"Hard maybe...dry definitely. I find shop bought biscuits require dunking more often than homemade biscuits at which point dunking is more of a taste thing than a desperate attempt to make the biscuit palatable. But that is my personal opinion..." Linette

"It's a cake according to UK tax rules! Just learnt that from the BBC news website. It's amazing what you can find when your browsing." Sarah

"But a cakey biscuit! hmmm... jaffa cakes...yummmmmmm" Anon

"What about Kendal Mint Cake? It makes my brain hurt."  Tom

"It's too soft to be a biscuit!"  Cheryl

"It's a cake - it says so on the packet, & under UK tax rules. Cake. Only veeeery small, so you need at least half a pack at a time..."  Kirstin

"Linette sold it to me from the start! However I do beleive that although it may be officially a cake - jaffa cakes are one-in-their-own. What other sweet treat would cause such debate and ther really is no other biscuit/cake like it."  BL

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