Honey Jumbles

January 14, 2011 at 20:24 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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Honey Jumbles come in a rather unprepossessing pack. They are decked out in the blue packaging that Arnott’s use for ‘novelty’ biscuits, and the lurid pink icing tends to reinforce this notion. The cartoon bees also don’t do much to promote these as a grown-up biscuit worthy of serious consideration.

The biscuits themselves are quite thick (a full 12mm at the thickest point), and are variously topped with white or pink icing that is splodged on fairly roughly. There are twelve biscuits in a pack, and in the review pack there were only three white ones. The other nine were pink.

So what do you expect when you eat a Honey Jumble? I for one was expecting a very sweet biscuit, probably crunchy perhaps with honeycomb or hokey pokey pieces ‘jumbled’ inside.

If you’ve never tried a Honey Jumble, perhaps you should stop reading now, as eating your first Honey Jumble is an interesting experience if you come at it from that perspective. I took a bite, and the first thing I thought was ‘it’s soft‘. They are very soft – more cake-like than biscuit. All very strange. And then the flavour. It’s not honey, no no, something else. Ginger. Yes, definitely ginger. Actually quite strong; goodness these are really quite hot and gingery!

Then it suddenly hits you. They are gingerbread. Actually rather nice gingerbread; soft texture, light and open, with a good ginger kick. It just takes rather a long time to get to that realisation, because you expect something so different. It’s a bit like eating a piece of parsnip that you mistake for potato when you put it on your fork. It just tastes wrong for a few seconds until you work out what it really is.

Why on earth Arnott’s call these things ‘Honey Jumbles’ I have no idea. They certainly have honey in them, but it’s far from the dominant flavour. And the whole ‘jumble’ thing is just a bit odd. They should call them ‘Ginger fancies’, or perhaps even more to the point, ‘Gingerbread fingers’. Ditch the pink icing (which tastes the same as the white, by the way), put them in more sophisticated packaging and present them as upmarket continental treats, and I’m sure they would sell better. They could even go the whole hog and call them ‘Pain d’épices‘ (although this might cause confusion, looking to Australians more like some sort of orthopaedic complaint than a sweatmeat).

I rather like Honey Jumbles. They are a sophisticated treat. Don’t be put off by the packaging and the name; when you fancy some gingerbread they are just the ticket. I’m going to give these eight out of ten, but deduct a mark for having a silly name.

 

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