If you’re a Scot, or very familiar with Scotland, you might already be aware of a company called T. Tunnock Ltd, commonly known as Tunnock’s, of Uddingston near Glasgow.
I was reminded of this supreme confectionery company when reading Christine’s most enjoyable post on the subject of the Tunnock’s teacake this morning, and thought it would be the ideal time for me to a) eat a Tunnock’s teacake and b) follow Christine’s lead by dedicating a post to the illustrious creators of this fine confectionery.
Without further ado, here is a picture of the two best-selling Tunnock’s products – the iconic caramel wafer and the equally iconic teacake:
While reading Christine’s post I was reminded of one of my favourite reference books, a tome I would make a considerable effort to save if my house was on fire: Nicey and Wifie’s “Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down”. If you haven’t yet come across this book, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is, as The Telegraph review states, “a crusading work of genius”. Essentially, it’s a book about taking tea and eating biscuits, but that description hardly does it justice. More of the book later, but first a few photos of the teacake and the wafer.
This is a sort of upside-down version of the photo above, showing the simplicity of the wrapping method, which consists of a series of folds of the foil around the teacake and a neatly gift-wrapped parcel of wafer:
As you can see from the underside of the wafer wrapping, a staggering 5,000,000 (and more) of these biscuits are made and sold every week. The corresponding figure for the teacake is just under 3,000,000 .
When you unwrap a wafer or teacake you will find that attention to detail has also been paid to the underside of the confection itself:
There is so much to say about these two biscuits (is the teacake a biscuit? It has a biscuit base and it’s listed in Nicey and Wifie’s guide as one of the “Marshamallow Sort of Things”, along with the Wagon Wheel, Kimberley and Jacob’s Mikado or Mallow, which is good enough for me) but it would be wrong not to at least pay homage to the exquisite packaging. Here I’m going to quote from my favourite biscuit guide book, on the Tunnock’s caramel wafer:
“Each biscuit is clad in its own rectangle of foil and paper, adorned with distinctive red and gold stripes. Poet Laureate Ted Hughes was fond of scribbling short verses on the backs of Tunnock’s wrappers, some of which he donated to the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society of St Andrew’s University. Apparently some in the society thought that he had committed a sacriligious act and defiled the great wafer’s wrapper, and as such weren’t as impressed as no doubt they were supposed to be.”
And finally, a peek inside the wafer:
And the teacake: