Jaffa Cakes are a snack in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit is debated. The product was introduced by McVitie and Price in 1927 and were named after Jaffa oranges, sweet oranges native to Jaffa.
Jaffa Cakes are circular, 2½ inches (54 mm) in diameter and have three layers: a sponge base, a layer of orange flavoured jelly and a coating of chocolate. Jaffa Cakes are also available as bars or in small packs, suitable for lunchboxes. The original Jaffa Cakes come in packs of 12, 24 or 36.
Although Jaffa Cakes are usually orange flavour, limited edition flavours have been available, such as lemon-lime, strawberry and blackcurrant.
In the UK, value added tax is payable on chocolate-covered biscuits, but not on chocolate-covered cakes. McVities defended its classification of Jaffa Cakes as cakes in court, producing a 12" (30 cm) Jaffa Cake to illustrate that its Jaffa Cakes were simply miniature cakes. McVities argued that a distinction between cakes and biscuits is, among other things, that biscuits would normally be expected to go soft when stale, whereas cakes would normally be expected to go hard. It was demonstrated to the Tribunal that Jaffa Cakes become hard when stale. Other factors taken into account by the Chairman, Potter QC, included the name, ingredients, texture, size, packaging, marketing, presentation, appeal to children, and manufacturing process. Potter ruled that the Jaffa Cake is a cake. McVities therefore won the case and VAT is not paid on Jaffa Cakes in the UK.
However, in 1999, the Sun newspaper published a poll which suggested that the majority of its readers thought of the Jaffa Cake as a biscuit, not cake.
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Jaffa Cakes, www.wikipedia.org
Jaffa Cake: biscuit or cake?, www.guardian.co.uk
Homemade jaffa cakes, www.bbc.co.uk