by Anna Campbell
As most of you know, I've been away from home a lot lately. One of the pleasures of staying in nice hotels is that you get a daily newspaper in most of them (something I've stopped getting at home). I love to lie in a bed that someone else will end up making, starting the day with a nice leisurely read.
While I was away in Brisbane this week for the Brisbane Writers Festival, I was reading the local newspaper, the Courier-Mail. And guess what I found?
Yes, something dear to the heart of every true Bandita and Buddy! An article on that classic of Aussie cuisine, the Tim Tam!
Before I give you a rundown on what the article said, for those NOT in the know (poor, poor things!), the Tim Tam is a chocolate biscuit/cookie. It's coated in really yummy chocolate and then there's a layer of malty biscuit, then another layer of chocolate, then another layer of biscuit. It sounds quite simple - yet it somehow is a miracle of nature!
For more information on the Tim Tam and its history (it was actually named after a winner of the Kentucky Derby. Ross Arnott who owned the biscuit factory had a flutter on this particular pony and when it came in, he decided to immortalize the geegee in chocolate), check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Tam
For a recipe for a Tim Tam thick shake, check out this link: http://www.arnotts.com.au/our-products/products/arnotts-tim-tam.aspx
The TT thick shake actually sounds pretty good. I've never come at a popular way to eat TTs - the Tim Tam slam. This involves biting off diagonally opposite corners and then dipping the biscuit in a hot drink or some milk and sucking the liquid up through the biscuit. Seems like the ruination of a good Tim Tam to me!
For most of my life, Tim Tams have only been available in their wonderful classic milk chocolate incarnation. And I have to admit, even though I now have a choice, I've never been coaxed to explore beyond that - how can you mess with perfection?
But Rodney Chester, the journalist who wrote the article the inspired the blog, did a survey to see what varieties floated people's boats.
Just for your info, the varieties now available are:
Original (born 1964)
Classic Dark (1996 - the first of the variations)
Double Coat (milk chocolate - need I say more? 1997)
White (sorry, white chocolate is an abomination to me, will never come at this one. 2000)
Chewy Caramel (hmm, this sounds interesting! 2000)
Crush Mint Crisp (interesting too! 2008)
Crush Honeycomb (now, this one I will try on my next trip to the supermarket! 2008)
Here's the result of the survey - most popular was Crush Honeycomb. Then the order went Classic Dark, Original, Double Coat, Crush Mint Crisp , White and Chewy Caramel. I really MUST try the honeycomb one! Purely for scientific research, you understand.
And to finish on some interesting facts about Tim Tams:
The Times newspaper in the U.K. ran a poll for the best inventions since sliced bread and the Tim Tam rolled in at number four, behind the web, penicillin and the TV remote.
Australians eat over 400 million Tim Tams a year, making it the world's most popular chocolate biscuit per head of population.
One Australian household in two has a packet of Tim Tams in the cupboard.
And now for the MOST interesting fact of all! Just give me a rhyme (two lines are OK although like the Tim Tam itself, you can never have too much!) about Tim Tams. I'll pick my favorite and I'll send you a packet of Tim Tams, your choice of flavor! This is the best offer you'll see all day, believe me!!!! Good luck! And may the best Tim Tam poem take the biscuit!