Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to eat a Jaffa Cake (Official Regulations)

As laid down by international law, eating a Jaffa Cake can be a highly contentious issue.  There are three recognised methods of consumption and while each has its own merits (and pitfalls), it's down to the consumer to choose which one they prefer.

1. The Chomp

This is the earliest known consumption method, as originally devised by the inventor of the Jaffa Cake, Mr Morton Price of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1927.  Now considered to be quite brutish, the chomp is nonetheless still an effective method for devouring that delicious orange, chocolate and sponge combination.

  • Place the Jaffa Cake firmly in gob.
  • Bite down with teeth and make a chewing motion.
  • Don't forget to swallow.

Good Points: It satisfies the immediate craving.
Bad Points: No finesse and exquisiteness is not savoured.

2. The Suck

This is a relatively new method, first seen in the 1962 Jaffa Cake World Cup held in Mexico City.  A certain Mrs Fanny Longstocking came up with 'The Suck' and several of the elderly female judges fainted.  The event went down in Jaffa Cake folklore and is now known as 'The '62 Incident'.  It's a shame as Mrs Longstocking was permanently banned and died only a few short years later, never to see the International Rules' Committee finally relent and allow 'The Suck' to be used in competition. 

  • Place the Jaffa Cake firmly in gob.
  • Suck.  Hard.
  • Keep sucking.
  • Savour the flavours of first chocolate, then orange and finally the sponge, as it breaks up into a lovely gooey mess.
  • Rules state the mouth must be clean.  Open wide and say 'Ahhhh'.

Good Points: A rich amalgamation of flavours.  Longevity.
Bad Points: Gets a bit messy.  Overtly sexual and can attract unwanted attention.

3. The Deconstruction

The Deconstruction was inaugurated into the Championships in 1932, partially as a response to a legal challenge made by a rival cake maker.  Since then, it has gone on to become the most skilled, dramatic and popular of all the events in the Jaffa Cake Consumption Calendar.  Who can forget the classic final of 1985 when over 150 billion people worldwide watched Tony 'Tiger' Titheed triumph over Timothy 'Terrible' Taylor in the strangely alliterative but thrilling final.  It went down to the last chomp, the closest in history.

A word of warning, no implements are allowed in 'The Deconstruction'.  The method must only be achieved through body parts only.  The 1986 Championships were marred by widespread cheating and the winner, Ms Jem Bohmson was stripped of her title afer a spoon was discovered up her sleeve.  Laughing Larry Arsebiscuit, in second place, was promoted to first only for HIM to have his title stripped after he was found in a janitor's cleaning cupboard, naked and surrounded by the crumbly remains of a packet of Chocolate Digestives.  Finally, after months of deliberation and several high-profile court cases, Herbert Stoolwater was declared the winner.  Which was a surprise to him as he hadn't officially entered the competition, wasn't at the venue, nor had he even heard of it.  You can't make this stuff up.

  • Remove the sponge, either with teeth, fingers or toes.  Place to one side.
  • Carefully peel away the orange segment and place next to chocolate.
  • The chocolate layer on top has to be complete or as near as possible.

Points are deducted for incomplete or broken components and the maximum is 100.  This is commonly thought to be impossible and the highest ratified total ever awarded in an official competition was an 89, as collected by Francis Von Shlurpyshlurpysheepsheep of Belgium in the Monaco Invitational Event of 1971. 

There's also a health warning attached to 'The Deconstruction' method as Ukranian entrant, Ivor Bollokov, found out to his cost in Madrid, 1983.  During the semi-finals and after a strong showing in the heats, Mr Bollokov was leading by a wide margin ahead of his main rival, Dr Peter Ness, when a freak shard of chocolate lodged in his eye.  For several minutes he was incapacitated and despite the best intentions of the paramedics on the scene, Bollokov had to retire.  He would return in '84 to claim back the crown from Dr Ness albeit wearing a pair of blue swimming goggles.  These are now mandatory in all events.

Good Points: Allows the cake to be enjoyed as nature intended.
Bad Points: Highly skillful, dangerous if incorrectly performed, time-consuming.


There has been controversy by the International Rules Committee who have consistently disallowed the 'Double-Chomp'.  Some say that it is the only true method of eating Jaffa Cakes and while there is some merit in that argument, at this time, the IRC are steadfastly sticking to their guns.

However, for completeness, here are the rules for the 'Double-Chomp' as provided by a spokesperson for radical splinter group 'Double-Chomp Rules'.

  • Take 1 bite, leaving as close to 50% of the ORANGE segment only.
  • Chomp the remaining half.

Good Points: Technical chomping, good spread of cakeage.Bad Points: Not officially recognised due to inconsistency of orange segment to be centralized.

More Information

The Jaffa Cake World Championships are held every 2 years at different cities around the globe.  The 2011 champion is Dirk 'Diggling' Dangleberry, 42 of Surrey and has held the title for 3 years now, a record.  In between the championships are many other competitions, ranging from 1 star (beginners) to 5 star (professionals).  The World Championships is the only 6-star event.  Anyone can compete, providing they like Jaffa Cakes of course and there are numerous training centres around the country (known as 'Shops'). 

Go along, buy some Jaffa Cakes and enter.  You never know, one day you could be crowned Supreme Champion like Dirk Dangleberry or Sue Perdooper, the very first champion in 1928.  Go on, give it a go, you know you want to.

1 comment:

  1. Might I suggest using cold milk in the deconstruction method?

    * dip jaffa cake in milk absorbing into the sponge, keeping chocolate intact for phase 2. Remove sponge easily with teeth.
    * snap chocolate disc in half (should be crisp from the cold milk) and peel off. Consume. Peel off other half in same way.
    * you should be left with the glorious Jaffa jelly to enjoy however you like.