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Wagon Wheel Review
|Please help, I am deeply concerned.|
As a life long devotee of the Burtons wagon wheel ( shameful and unsophisticated, I know- but we develop obsessions in life about which we have no choice), I have endured gradual and some times sudden alterations in packaging. I started with the predominantly yellow wax paper. Sold singly in, sweet-shops.
I have accepted the changes in size (maybe I imagined those, I'm a lot bigger than I was, and every-things relative).
The very quality of the biscuit-base has changed- the original was thicker, crumblier, and had a definite salty tang, which worked as a counterpoint to the overall sickly sweetness of the other ingredients.
Actually the original biscuit was way too crumbly to be sensibly portable, whether in a packed lunch or thrust into a blazer pocket to nestle against one's conkers; often upon opening one would find a handful of mixed crumbs, with only the marshmallow layer left intact.
The basic design however, has remained as constant as Blue Peter, the boat race, and dishonesty in public life.
Two discs of biscuit. Chocolate flavour candy approximation on the outside. Inside, a layer of slightly chewy marshmallow polymer, and a dob ( I believe that's the word) of red jam/jelly.
So, how does it come to pass that the 'new improved' Wagon Wheel comes with a squirt of chocolate sauce where the jam should be?
I had hoped that this was simply an alternative product, an offshoot, a homage. Such things are not unknown in the history of this confection
But no, I have searched my local supermarkets and can find only these impostors.
It's an affront to all that's decent and reliable in the World.
I'm all for peaceful coexistence. Some people might even like these pretentious Johnny-come-latelies with their fancy continental ways, and that's ok by me. But you simply can't replace the original with these things. This is not a wagon Wheel. A Wagon Wheel has jam in. This is a sneaky low-budget usurper!
Perhaps I over-estimate the power of your connections in the biscuit world, but then perhaps not. Whatever influence you may have, I implore you to bring it to bear; help me in my crusade for proper Wagon Wheels.
I'm all overcome with emotion now; I'll have to have a nice cup of tea. But what will I do for a biscuit?
|Nicey replies: Well I actually like the old and the new. Mind you I was a little concerned at the sweeping aside of the old, and its been a year now since the new ones have been with us, so it looks like the old ones have been retired for good. Wagon wheels have been taking a bit of a bashing in our biscuit vote which we kicked off yesterday, probably with most people who have voted them as yucky recalling the old classic one (I'll just add again that I thought the old ones were splendid). Therefore it was probably time for Burton's to act in order to protect the biscuit and stave off its decline. No doubt if enough new Wagon wheels are sold they'll find it in their power to build a few jammy ones, albeit using modern components.
I would urge anybody who's not tried the new Wagon Wheel to give it a go, you'll be very surprised by the new taste.
Wagon Wheel Review
I actually do remember wagon wheels being alot bigger...! This is my absolute, most favourite chocolate by far since I've lived and wouldn't think to buy any other chocolate than the luscious wagon wheel! This may sound tacky but wagon wheel makes me feel so happy and keeps the one thing worth while looking forward to with that glass of milk..
Though to my dismay in the recent three months, the makers have concocted a 'new more chocolate ' idea and has stayed dissatisfactory to many original wagon wheel lovers. It does not taste to the usual delicious standard whatsoever. Infact the 'new more found chocolate' on the wheel makes it taste like a 5p chocolate you can only afford and the taste is appalling and this makes it highly inadequate. I can hardly taste the marshmallow in the ingredient. Please please alert me when the makers switch back to the original taste of the Wagon Wheel. I have been checking every supermarket and waiting for a little while for them to stop the new more chocolate idea so I can enjoy the original taste again.. Please please let me know when they switch back!
|Nicey replies: As we have said we are keen on the new ones although like you I do miss the old ones. Mind you can't really seriously compare the 'chocolate flavour coating' of the old with the Chocolate on the new and say that the new tastes cheaper, it's the other way round surely. Not that this is a concern, it's the effect of everything working in concert that defines the Wagon Wheel.|
|Lee Van Jackson
Wagon Wheel Review
I see many mentions of the great 'Wagon wheels have gotten smaller' debate, but no actual statistics of their size over time.
I am sitting here with a gentleman who remembers eating them back in the 1950's as an engineering student. He reckons they were about 90mm diameter and 20mm thick, with serated edges, jam and mallow.
Lee Van Jackson
|Nicey replies: I think you'll find if you look at our **Australian Westons Wagon Wheel** review that statistics abound. The Ozzy one is a living fossil, harking back to the 1950s, and we measured it at 88mm by 11mm. 20mm depth would frankly be gargantuan. Since our review the Wagon Wheel in Oz has been taken over by Arnotts, and we are yet to find out how its faired.
Wagon Wheel Review
My Mother-in-law was born and bred near the Burton’s factory in South Wales. She tells of the time that she took a holiday job in the factory working on the Wagon Wheels production line. A huge Italian man was responsible for topping-up the container of the gooey middle bit, once he had poured out as much as he could he would wipe around the inside of his bowl with his very hairy arms and flick the extra into the container supplying the production line. My Mother-in-law has never eaten a Wagon Wheel since. I wonder how many biscuits contained a black hair?
|Nicey replies: All part of their unique charm. I'm still rating the new ones highly though.|
Wagon Wheel Review
|Keith Andrews remembered:|
"Wagon Wheels, they're a treat for me [wagon wheels!]
They're the biggest biscuit, you ever did see! [wagon wheels!]
... .... ..... .... ... ... .... .... .
The biscuit thrill to beat the band!"
The line that Keith is missing from the Wagon Wheels theme is "Marshmallow filled, they taste so grand"... which is something of a scurrilous claim nowadays because they taste pretty iffy compared to their former glory. They have a stale and artificial flavour and there is no way on Earth that they are the same size as they used to be. And Jammie Dodgers are stale-tasting parodies of their former selves, too. How I wish I'd had the foresight, as a Wagon Wheel munching ten-year-old, to start a small biscuit museum so I could shame the manufacturers of today into admitting their corner-cutting by showing them tangible proof. Come to think of it, after thirty years they would probably taste much like their current incarnation. Now, here's a sort-of-related question; anyone remember Rondellos? They were big biscuits too, perhaps not quite as big as a Wagon Wheel, probably only four or six in a package...
|Nicey replies: Actually I don't think the taste of Wagonwheels has really changed at all, I think your own personal tastes have evolved / matured. I do think Jammy Dodgers have changed quite a bit with today's biscuit being a much softer bake. We have an entry for Rondellos in our missing in action section, which is looking a tad empty so I'll add in your comments.|