Garibaldi biscuits used to be available chocolate coated. Why no more? They are really delicious with the chocolate. Any chance?
When I was younger I used to wonder who Gary was and why he was bald and what on earth this had to do with biscuits. In actual fact the phenomenon that is 'squashed fly' biscuits (it took me several years before I found out they were not actual flies) is actually thanks to Giuseppe Garibaldi who was an Italian General who fought to unify Italy. He apparently visited the town of Tynemouth in 1854 and because he proved so popular the 'Garibaldi' biscuit was named in his honour. Although there are now several brands of these biscuits (every supermarket seems to have their own) my favourite is Crawford's Garibaldi Biscuits, which I always buy from my village shop.
There is nothing fancy about these biscuits, their simplicity is one of the things I like most though. They are not afraid to stand their own in the big wide world that has become obsessed with 'luxury biscuits'. They are not fully enrobed twice in chocolate or even once for that matter, they do not have a 'triple chunk' thing going on. No, instead they are simply a thin rectangular biscuit that has currants squashed into the middle of it. Hence the name 'squashed fly' because this is what the currants resemble.
They come in a traditional looking 100g purple coloured packet which has a big Crawford's logo on it. As I open the packet I'm met not by individual biscuits but by three strips which each have lots of biscuits all joined together (or as I like to call it one big biscuit). If you're not greedy like me, fret not they can easily be parted from one and other thanks to an indented line that you simply break to release each biscuit.
Each sweet pastry like biscuit has a deep golden brown colour with an appealing glazed exterior. There is a generous spread of currants running throughout the middle of the biscuit, some currants have the appearance of bursting out the top and bottom of the biscuit which I find adds to the 'squashed fly' look. As I take a bite there is a lovely crunch from the biscuit itself which has a subtle butter like taste to it. The glaze provides a good level of sweetness. The currents give the biscuit a slightly chewy texture and as I start to the chew, the full flavour of the fruity currants override and provides some needed moisture to the crisp biscuit.
I'm not entirely sure about the availability of these biscuits in supemarkets as own brand versions seem to have taken over. Though I have bought them in Morrisons before but I normally buy mine from my village shop where they sell for 85p. I have seen them in other small shops too.
Great with tea, delicious with coffee, or just plain perfect on their own. As for calories and fat, well the news is fairly good on this front. At 19 calories per biscuit and 1.0 g of fat it could be worse. So go on treat yourself!
I was always puzzled by these as a youngster, the name sounded slightly sinister. I had visions of 'Gary Baldy' making these in his run down kitchen. Thankfully, that is far from the truth:
A unique taste, they are a slim looking biscuit with a crunch to them. The biscuit tastes sugary and I believe is dusted with a faint layer of sugar. Squished into the biscuit are tiny pieces of currant. It looks rather odd, not unlike small traces of mould. There is a delicious fruity aftertaste to them though.
You will gain pleasure bending them, chewing on the currants and munching through a pack. The are an ideal biscuit to have with a hot drink as they don't go that soggy. I think the fruit keeps the biscuit in tact. I do feel they are rather thin though and I often crave a thick garibaldi.
Available from: All leading supermarkets
A good buy if you want a different kind of biscuit. They are good to serve for coffee mornings and at under a pound a pack should last a week or so.
Crawford's biscuits are now a part of the multi national food manufacturer United Biscuits, a company which was formed in 1948.
Guiseppe Garibaldi paid a visit to Tynemouth in 1894 and due to his popularity the biscuit was named after him.
A 200g packet of Garibaldi biscuits will cost you about 80p, they contain wheat gluten and sulphites ( A preservative ) and anyone who suffers from sesame, nut or soya allergy is advised not to eat these biscuits. A single Garibaldi biscuit contains 19 calories.
Right, on to the packaging. Fifteen fruit filled Garibaldi biscuits are lined up and slid into a plastic wrapper.
The wrapper is traditional, maybe seeing as the biscuit is steeped in History United Biscuits have decided not to modernise the design.
The background of the wrapper is purple, the name Crawfords take pride of place in the centre and either side of the makers name are two Garibaldi biscuits flaunting themselves and the Generals name is there in striking white lettering just so that you don't forget who they were named after.
Open the packet and what do you see?
A row of biscuits perfectly aligned as if they were on a parade ground. In fact there are three rows, each piled on top of each other. The Garibaldi`s must be feeling slightly insecure as they remain firmly stuck together.
It appears that the biscuits have recently holidayed in The Mediterranean, their sun tan is second to none.
On the surface the pastry come biscuit is bulging with currants all making a bid for freedom.
So the general idea is that you break a biscuit away from the row, as you make that momentous step the biscuit resists and for a split second you wonder if you are doing the right thing!
Now at last you have the small but perfectly formed curranty slice within your grasp, it is as light as a feather and can by no means be described as the Tom Cruse`s among biscuits.
The tough biscuit come pastry exterior needs a firm bite, as you progress to the currant laden centre the going gets a little easier. A bed of dried fruit runs all the way through the biscuit, so you aren't being short changed when it comes to content.
As you masticate the currants cling to your teeth, ( The insecurity thing again) as you repeatedly fight the good fight to remove them from your bottom denture you note that the taste of the copious currants dominate the scene.
The crisp buttery pastry come biscuit outer layer soon takes a back seat.
The entire Garibaldi experience is blissful. This in depth study of the Garibaldi biscuit took place last night whilst I was glued to Road Wars on Freeview Television. After six slim biscuits I had only completed a half of my thesis, so I ran to the kitchen during the commercial break to grab another six.
Twelve Garibaldi biscuits later I felt I had gained enough insight into the product to be able to write about it with confidence.
Now...I have to choose another biscuit for my next assignment
Baked in Leith, Edinburgh since 1813. Crawfords Garibaldi Biscuits. The Garibaldi biscuit consists of currants in a plain biscuit, best enjoyed with tea or coffee. They are also called dead fly biscuits, because the currants resemble dead flies. This biscuit is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general and leader in the fight to unify Italy. It was first manufactured by Peak Freans in 1861 after Garibaldi visited England.