All work and no play makes Storm something-something…

TEDIOUS! That’s the word I was looking for. So instead of another rant or attempt at deeper meaning, I decided to create a t-shirt design and do show-and-tell.

…okay, the truth is that I spent my time doing this design instead of writing, and now I’m going to pass it off as an intentional plan. Which is now blown, because I’ve told you.

No matter! The fact is that I (and to a lesser extent, Paul) fell in love with Jaffa Cakes on our first trip to the UK. If you’re from the British Isles, you probably just pumped your fist in the air with joy, slapped a high five with whomever was near you, or went to the cupboard to fetch yourself said snack cake.

Sadly, as a citizen of the U.S. I don’t have that last option*. For the benefit of my fellow Statesfolk who aren’t familiar, the closest analog to Jaffa Cakes in the U.S. is probably Oreo Cookies: widely beloved, habit forming, everyone has their own style of eating them, and some people go absolutely kabonkers for them (present company included).

More precisely, they’re a disc of soft cake roughly the circumference of a golf ball that needs to go on a diet, with the top half coated in chocolate. So what, right? Well, yes, except that I left out the most exciting part: between the cake earth and cocoa firmament lies a dense atmosphere of orange filling. Too thick to be called jelly but not chunky like marmelade, it is most often described as “squidgy”: toothsome and satisfying, particularly in combination with its co-conspirators.

When we return to the UK, I seriously may bring a spare suitcase with me to haul back a supply of the real deal: McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes**. And to express my enthusiasm while there, for at least a portion of the trip I shall wear the cake itself as a crest upon my own chest. Because, honestly, when you’re enthusiastic about something, why keep it to yourself?

Don’t answer that. Unless of course you’re enthusiastic about answering rhetorical questions.

* yes, you can find Jacobs brand at some stores here, but a) they’re goddawful expensive, and b) they’re ever so slightly different from the original McVitie’s. And DO NOT suggest buying Pim’s by Lu. They’re not bad, but they ain’t Jaffa Cakes. Sort of like calling Chicago-style pizza “pizza”.

** In general I’m not brand-loyal; this is one exception. Similarly notable is that when we visit Canada I stock up on Heinz Ketchup, but that’s a story for another time.


  1. Posted May 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Shipping is frickin’ expensive, but it is possible to get large quantities of McVitie’s Jaffa cakes sent to you:


  2. Wayne D.
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Do google up the story of how Jaffa Cakes are VAT-exempt, while chocolate-covered biscuits (cookies) are not. (Cheat: it’s in the Wikipedia article.) The cake/cookie distinction is deliciously nerdy.

  3. Posted May 6, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I believe I found the McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes at the Potomac Mills Wegmans once, if I see them there again I will raise the alarm (and I agree, Pim’s is a sad, sad substitute).

  4. Posted May 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I believe that I offered you a pack of jaffa cakes for when you returned to this country. I intend to hold to this promise.

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