“Honey,” I called out from the kitchen where I’d just found an opened box of biscuits in the pantry. An important box of biscuits I’d bought for a very specific purpose. “Did you eat the Savoy? I was saving them for scientific study!”
From where she was languishing on our bed farming, my wife assured me she hadn’t touched them. It must be said, she didn’t sound as concerned as me.
So okay, if it wasn’t her…I decided to try again.
Despite my shout out to Tracey being loud enough for the entire household to hear my question, naturally no one volunteered any information because, unless you specifically use their names or it can get a sibling in the shit, no one hears anything.
Yelling my children’s names out in descending order, I threw my question in on the end and waited. Moments later a small head popped into the kitchen. Just a head. She mustn’t have been expecting to stay long because she left the rest of her body as close to the lounge room as possible.
“I opened them,” Miss8 confessed before ducking away. I thought maybe she sensed how much trouble she was in. Then she added through a wall, “But Mummy said I could!”
Tracey assured me, from the other room, she’d said nothing of the sort.
“Yes, you did!” said Miss8, yelling from somewhere in front of the telly. “I said I was hungry and you said I could grab whatever I want out of the pantry!”
“I believe that’s checkmate,” I chuckled, although no one heard because I was the only person in the kitchen.
Still, I had a full box of Jatz and most of the Savoy, so it was time to conduct my little experiment.
Although the packaging is identical – save for the words Jatz and Savoy – according to the ingredients the big difference is Savoy has golden syrup. When I posted the above photo on Instagram and Facebook there were a lot of opinions. People were saying Jatz are stale (surely that’s Clix) and Savoy are tasteless (that’d be those things they used to give us in church). It all reminded me of people mouthing off opposing football State of Origin teams.
There were even stories of relatives being used as biscuit mules, bringing suitcases full of contraband crackers over boarders.
It’s serious stuff. Worthy, I thought, of further attention by Team Devereaux.
Although initially not everyone on Team Devereaux saw the merit of giving up their screen times.
“Can it wait until I get to a save point?” asked Master10.
Much to my kids’ disgust, I prised them away from the telly, iPads, iPods, Gameboys and laptops, and forced them to gather on the balcony. I explained their sacrifice would be helping advance the pool of human knowledge – which didn’t go down half as well as when I explained they could have one biscuit from each box so long as they told me which one they preferred.
While they munched I did the same.
Now I confess I wasn’t expecting much from the Savoy box. I’ve grown up with Jatz. I like Jatz for the same reason I like the original Premium – because they’re hard, crunchy and salty. So you might imagine my surprise when I discovered Savoy are harder, crunchier and much saltier than Jatz.
“What do you think?” I asked the kids.
“I think,” said Master10, “that I’ll need a couple more biscuits to confirm my findings.”
The other four kids quickly agreed he was right.
After a series of taste tests, I finally insisted on some results from around the table. Four liked Jatz best and only one was won over to Savoy – Miss8, who’d been crunching on them earlier.
Even Tracey came out at one point and gave them both a try. Her take on things?
“I prefer the Jatz,” she said. “They’re sweeter.”
So case closed, yes? That’s the end of it. Four out of five kids, plus their mother, prefer Jatz over Savoy.
Only here’s the thing – what the kids said and what I saw as they continued to burrow towards the bottom of the boxes were totally at odds. Not only were more hands diving into the Savoy box now the test was over, Miss3 actually stole the Savoy biscuits and raced off.
Despite my kids assurances they preferred the sweeter Jatz over the saltier Savoy, I put to you they only prefer to say they like what they’re familiar with but once their tastebuds took over they went intuitively for what they actually preferred.
So at the conclusion of my very scientific and grant worthy study I have to say, I can totally understand why someone coming north from Victoria would lament over a Savoy while biting into a Jatz. But sadly, I don’t think I’d feel as nostalgic the other way around.
And, on the bright side, I think I’ve interested at least one of my kids in the sciences.
“Can we compare some more food tomorrow?” Master10 asked me as he ran off with his head buried in his Gameboy thingame again. “I like experiments. They’re tasty.”
Any other taste comparisons you think we should conduct, let me and Master10 know.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”
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