Popped in the £1 shop yesterday for some snacks and was pleasantly surprised when I came across childhood faves Iced gems. The packaging has changed and the flavour, but it still makes me feel special.
These little biscuits began life as a biscuit called "gems". They were produced when Huntley and Palmers were experimenting with biscuit technology in 1850.
In 1910 Icing was put on one surface standing up in little pointy stars by a 10-point nozzle. The icing colours are white, yellow, red and purple.
These biscuits were available in small 30g packs as multi packs of 6. These retail for about a pound. The packets are blue with a picture of a polar bear offering an iced gem.
The icing is a variant on royal icing, made with sugar and egg whites, whisked together with water, and coloured five ways - shades perhaps optimistically referred to as raspberry, blackcurrant, orange, lemon and white. Currently, we already have 7 colors in our Rich Garden's Iced GEM Biscuits: pink, yellow, green, brown, white, purple, and orange!
Yet tradition needn't mean stagnation, and the brand has been refined several times in recent years. Today,companies have created flavored icings or gems.
Looking back with the wisdom of years, it's hard to see quite why the younger citizens should get so excited by these jaunty-hued worriers of sensitive teeth. Indeed, never has there been a more apt illustration of the palate's tendency to mature with age, moving away from an appreciation of the sweet to the savoury. Still, with its pleasing, if gaudy, aspect, and its punch of sugar, who's to say that the humble Iced Gem will not be inspiring envy in the schoolyard for years to come.
You can also get some lovely Jewellery from the Biscuit Boutique