Shocking, but true – there’s a national schism in Australia when it comes to the simple pleasure of dunking a ginger nut biscuit.
I know I’ve been quite slack about posting on my blog for the last few weeks, but I’m under the pump a little with some other (paid) work, so correspondence may continue to be a little sporadic for a while yet. However, a news article caught my eye last week.
I remember the days when a trip interstate meant exposure to entirely different culinary cultures. The familiar brands of milk, bread, ice cream, biscuits and even potato chips that I knew and loved were unavailable just over the border. Each state had their own specific brands, none of which was exactly the same as the next. Those days are long gone, as small companies have been subsumed by larger ones, and the variety of independent brands has vanished.
But, just when you think that all individuality in this world is lost, something will pop up to remind us of what a diverse lot we really are.
I’m talking, of course, of the great ginger nut biscuit conflict.
Some readers may be blissfully unaware of this long-standing debate, but the facts are this – the Arnott’s biscuit company, purveyors of sweetened carb comfort food to Australia for generations, actually makes four different versions of one of their long-standing favourites, the ginger nut biscuit.
The biscuits were originally made by four different companies, independently, in each state. When they were all absorbed under the one brand, Arnott’s decided to dispense with the diversity and marketed just the one ginger nut biscuit, the New South Wales recipe, nationally. But not for long.
Cries went up, kettles were boiled and teaspoons were rattled in a threatening manner in cups throughout the rest of the land – and Arnott’s, shocked to the very core of their being, responded.
So, today, they actually bake four individual ginger nut recipes, tailored to the preferences of Victoria, Queensland, South Australia/Western Australia/ Northern Territory and New South Wales/ACT respectively, bless them.
And there’s another thing about ginger nuts – ginger is a flavour more popular with adults, so they’re not the kind of biscuit that kids are overly fond of. This means that the chances of my biscuit tin having been pillaged by ravenous offspring is much reduced if all they can find in it are ginger nuts instead of Tim Tams and mint slices.
That makes me happy, for there is a simple joy to be found in the dunking in a hot cup of tea of a nice, hard ginger nut biscuit.
And that’s exactly what I’m off to do right now!