I hate to admit this, but Australia’s beloved Tim Tams were inspired by UK chocolate biscuits called Penguins.
Arnott’s long term Director of Food Technology was Mr Ian Norris. In 1958, while touring the world on the hunt for new ideas, he came across Penguin biscuits in the UK. He was impressed, but thought he could create something even better. It took six years of development, but finally Tim Tams hit the shops in 1964. But how did that name come about?
Well, co-incidentally, Ross Arnott had attended the 1958 Kentucky Derby. He was struck by the name of the winning horse; Tim Tam, and stowed it in his memory as a good name for a biscuit. Appropriately, the stallion was chocolate brown.
Following the Derby Tim Tam was on course to win the coveted title of the country’s best thoroughbred for 1958. To achieve this he lined up in the prestigious Belmont Stakes in New York State. Unfortunately he came in second. It was later revealed that close to the finish line he had broken a bone in his leg, but had bravely kept running. He was immediately retired and became a successful stud horse. In 1985 he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.
That’s a great legacy, and one the horse’s namesake biscuit has certainly lived up to. Australians now eat their way through some 45 million packets of Tim Tams every year. They are posted in ‘comfort parcels’ to expats, although they are now sold around the world.
THE TIM TAM DRINKING STRAW
The biscuits have inspired a unique party trick known as The Tim Tam Slam. You need to nibble each end off (or a corner from each end) before drawing up the hot tea or coffee then popping the whole thing in your mouth for an explosion of flavour. 😍 I wonder if this works with Penguins?
I experimented with a mug of hot milk and Baileys. OMG!
In 2012 a lover of Tim Tams expressed the wish that they grew on trees. Arnotts made that dream come true with a Tim Tam ‘orchard’ in Sydney’s Martin Place. I’m not sure how I missed this.
What is as wickedly delicious as a Tim Tam? Ice cream made with condensed milk . 💛 Combine the two and you have a real winner.
Oh my word, just look at that! It may well be my 2024 Christmas Pud. 🎅
Meanwhile, here is my partner Rob boosting his energy levels with Tim Tams and a mug of tea.
FOR MORE ON THE HISTORY OF TIM TAMS, CLICK HERE.
AND FOR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DO THE TIM TAM SLAM. CLICK HERE.
NOTE – IN THE INTERESTS OF FAIRNESS I MUST POINT OUT THAT PENGUIN BISCUITS HAVE A JOKE PRINTED ON EACH WRAPPER. HERE IS AN EXAMPLE;
DOES THAT GIVE THEM THE EDGE OVER TIM TAMS? I DON’T THINK SO. 😎