Tuesday, February 28, 2006


And the One I Prefer Is...

With three to choose from and, you might think, each in some way to my taste, which do I like best? Well, slightly to my surprise I prefer the original Jaffa Cake. While the new ‘Lemon & Lime’ version is unexpectedly good, my high hopes for the other new flavour – ‘Blackcurrant’ – have been dashed. ‘Vile’ would be a slight exaggeration, but it’s really not a taste I want to repeat (must invite some guests round to offer them biscuits / cakes / whatever that court ruling called them, before they go soggy).

So ‘Orange’ they should stay, despite orange and chocolate often being too sickly sweet a combination for me*. It’s the plain chocolate that gives it a sharper edge and makes it palatable. The ‘Lemon & Lime’ is quite zingy, tasting rather like Rose’s Lime Marmalade (I’ve not had any for a long time, but my Dad likes it and it was instantly familiar). But though I love blackcurrant and love chocolate, but put two of my favourite things together and the result is only a shade away from revolting, perhaps because it’s already a quite sour taste and just doesn’t go. It doesn’t help that these Jaffa Cakes taste not such much of blackcurrant as blackcurrant flavouring, which I always scowl at anyway.

The blackcurrant flavouring seemed so thoroughly chemical that, unusually for me, I checked the ingredients. Astoundingly, it claims a “6% Blackcurrant Juice Equivalent”, and I suppose the taste has probably about a 6% resemblance to that of actual blackcurrant; I’d recommend D’arbo’s Blackcurrant Syrup instead, which is 80% juice and quite my favourite rich and glutinous drink. Incidentally, the ‘Lemon & Lime’ came in at 4% equivalent and the ‘Orange’ 8%. Why the juice fractions vary I don’t know, but it’s the sort of thing manufacturers affect these days, not to create an authentic taste – that would need more juice and, presumably, expense – but in the pretence that a chocolate confection should in fact count towards your five daily pieces of fruit. The thing that most irritated me about each variety of Jaffa Cake is the way they’re marketing themselves as ‘health foods’: “Only 1g Fat” in large letters on the front of the pack, and three-quarters of the back of it given over to guff about healthy eating and how they’re “recommended by sports nutritionists”. How curiously unappetising. If I’d seen that when I picked them off the shelf I might easily have left them there. Who goes for such a naked con anyway?

I’d still choose a sizeable block of simple chocolate on its own over a packet of any flavour Jaffa Cake – Richard likes them, though he’s wisely avoided the new versions – but it’s good to try something new, isn’t it?

*Obviously I’d still eat orange-flavoured chocolate if there was nothing else in our home, which obviously proves that the Independent on Sunday’s recent report that chocoholism strongly resembles alcoholism and so is now to be treated at the Priory was measured and sensible, and not a loopy old pile of tosh even for a middle-class health scare, as you may initially have thought.

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Stick with the classic, I say!
I like the occasional lump of chocolate, but I can't eat lots of it. I'm tempted to go and buy a packet of Jaffa Cakes now though.
Ah, but which flavour?

Or all three?
I quite liked the lemon and lime one but you are right - blackcurrant really doesn't work. The original is still the best.
Well, the Co-op only had orange so I got them. Some of the boxes suggested trying the others, but they didn't have any. I've had enough blackcurrant flavouring for today though thanks to my blackcurrant Strepsils.
Blackcurrant and chocolate does seem to be a bit of a fad at the moment - I tried some blackcurrant Matchmakers recently, which were as nasty as you might expect.
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