Thursday, November 09, 2006

Jaffa Cake Lore


"The Jaffa Cake has long been a disputed member of the biscuit Order (Pootle, 2004). In his report “Jaffa Cakes are Cakes - Proof from the Courtroom”, Archibald (2004) describes a courtroom battle and the various evidences, leading to the decision of the British Government to classify the Jaffa Cakes as a cake, immunising Jaffa Cakes from VAT. Nicey and Wifey (2004b) leave no doubt that the Jaffa is clearly a cake. The following response is given on their website (Nicey and Wifey 2004a), to the frequently asked question: “Are Jaffa Cakes biscuits?”

“No, no they're not. Apart from being called cakes they obviously have a sponge base. Granted they appear to be some kind of luxury biscuit being chocolate covered and shipping in a box.” [italics added].

The argument that the word ‘cake’ appears in the name is a simple issue of semantics. Using this logic one may argue that shortcake is a cake. Objects are classified based on their appearance. According to the current analysis using parsimony, if the Jaffa Cake IS indeed a cake, then so are Fig Rolls and Jammie Dodgers (an unarguable situation). This is because these two biscuits show closer affinities with the Jaffa Cake than with any other biscuits. So according to this classification, the Jaffa cake IS a biscuit after all. It therefore seems there is no simple dichotomy between cakes and biscuits. However, it is possible to make a compromise between a biscuit and cake affinity for Jaffa cakes, by allocating this group a new name. I propose the name Pseudobiscuits for this clade of three genera, on account of their close kinship with both cakes and biscuits. All other biscuits, can be referred to as ‘true biscuits’."

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