Saturday, 10 March 2012


These little felt biscuits come from British Cream Tea at All Things Original. They are well known biscuits recreated very cleverly in felt. They look good enough to eat and they transport me back to my own childhood of Iced Gem eating despite my mother’s desire to ban all sugar and live on wholefoods in the 1970’s. This little biscuit was born in 1850 in the town of Reading, Berkshire. Huntley and Palmer were experimenting with some new biscuit technology but disaster struck and the new biscuits emerged from the oven having actually shrunk. Thomas Huntley liked these mini biscuits and found his ‘Gems’ sold well. Sixty years later in 1910 icing was added and they continued to be a best seller becoming ‘Iced Gems’. Today they are made in Liverpool and seem just as popular as ever. Next on the plate is the Jammie Dodger which is made by Burton's biscuits, who produce a wide range of biscuits but are best known for Waggon Wheels and Viscount which both take me back to my sugar filled childhood. Finally my favourite the custard cream. The baroque markings on the surface are in-fact Victorian fern fronds which were in vogue in the latter half of the 19th century. I haven’t been able to discover who invented the custard cream or when it was produced but I can confirm that Peak Frean’s first cream biscuit was the bourbon on sale in 1910. My great grandfather ran a grocer's shop in Newcastle Under Lyme at this time. I wonder if he was selling these biscuits with such a long history?

1 comment:

  1. Oh Yes the Iced Gem was my favourite when I was little, I can remember picking them out at the co-op where my mum always gave her members number and we'd get greenshield stamps and have sessions sticking them in the books. Did they actually taste of anything? or were they just sweet and the right size for dolls.