|I have 3 points to add to Ian Ashcroft's email concerning the link between the G biscuit and the 19th century Italian Patriot of the same name.|
1) This year 2007 is the bicentenary of the birth of Guiseppe Garibaldi. Not quite sure what to do about it.
2) I once heard that the first Garibaldi 'biscuit' was in fact bread soaked in horse blood (Garibaldi constantly ran out of food on his campaigns and occasionally had to bleed his horses to nourish his men) mixed with berries. Given their fondness for all things nasty, it seems highly likely that troops of flies volunteered themselves as ingredients as well.
3) 'Garibaldi' should be pronounced to rhyme with 'Renaldo' and not with loss of hair.
|Nicey replies: 1) Well the descendants of Garibaldi got in touch a while back to tell us about their project to create a website celebrating the bicentennary of Garibaldi's birth. It's very Italian but that's to be expected.
2) Ahh the joys of camping.
3) But it doesn't rhyme with Renaldo
|In the discussion on Garibaldi biscuits, I notice that Eccles cakes have been mentioned, but a much closer relative (and maybe the original) would seem to be the thinner, drier, less sweet Chorley cake. Chorleys, Eccles and Garibaldis are all mentioned in virtually the same breath.|
Answers.com says the Garibaldi "was first manufactured by the Bermondsey biscuit company Peek Freans in 1861 following the recruitment of one of the great biscuit makers of Scotland, John Carr." (Did they get that from you?) I wonder if Carr stopped off in Lancashire on his way south.
Your web site, which I have only just found, is splendid. I shall visit regularly if I may with more biscuity comments.
|Nicey replies: Not sure if we contributed to that in but in the great tradition of synchonicity that we enjoy on our site from time to time, John Carr's great great Grandson just emailed us before you! Hoorah for the internet and all who sail on her!|
|I stumbled across your web site whilst ‘Googling’ Peek Freans.|
It was started by my Great Great Grandfather John Carr with John Peek and Mr Frean and the Carr family ran it right through until the 1970s. I worked there for 10 years but left before the various take overs.
Yes, the Canadian Factory was set up by my Uncle Rupert and there are also factories in India called Britannia Biscuits and a factory in Australia, which my father Richard pioneered.
I still miss the smell of Ginger Nuts as I go passed the factory on the way to London Bridge station….happy memories.
|Nicey replies: Chris,
Thanks very much for getting in touch, you and your family are of course biscuit royalty.
|Far back in the dim and distant past (the late sixties and early seventies) I was in love with the most wonderful biscuit on Earth - the plain chocolate garibaldi. Now of course, the milk chocolate garibaldi was good, but the bitterness of the dark chocolate combined with the sweetness of the fruit made this, for me, the ultimate in 'sitting with my grandfather watching television' treats.|
Sadly, I have not seen such delights for many years, although a friend of mine once presented me with a Christmas gift of several packets worth of garibaldi over which he had carefully spread melted chocolate.
Ah... those lost biscuits of the past...
|Nicey replies: Nick,
Yes our best information on the Chocolate Gariballdi is that it was probably made by the now defunct south London biscuit manufacturer Chiltonian biscuits. Not only were they able to cover some in chocolate but theirs were much more moist than today's Gariballdis. When ever I'm in the presence of one of the powerful people in the biscuit world I habitually put in a plea to bring back the Chocolate Gariballdi. So far there is no sign of this happening.
I found your site whilst looking for information on the Chiltonian Biscuit Factory in Hither Green, London. I worked there in the mid 1970's and I can assure (your correspondent) Kevin Sowerby, that I packed many, many garibaldi biscuits while I worked there.
They were just delicious and I have never tasted a garabaldi biscuit as good as them since those days...
We packed biscuits for Sainsburys, Peak Frean and many others at Chiltonian - there was also a broken biscuit shop where customers and staff could buy a huge bag of broken biscuits for 10p!...
I am sad to learn that the Chiltonian factory is to be converted into housing development.....
God bless all,
|Nicey replies: That's great to have the location of Sainsbury's wonderful 1970s Garibaldis tracked down. Presumably the much missed Chocolate version was made there too. I certainly remember a time when Garibaldis were a softer and the raisins a bit plumper, perhaps they were Chiltonian ones. Still it would be good to see if they could whack a bit of chocolate on a modern Gariabldi just to see what they came out like.|