Category: Sunday beer

Explaining Custard Creams

At the end of Episode 2 of Season 11 of Doctor Who, the TARDIS rewards the Doctor with a cookie or rather a BISCUIT. Yes, this is somewhat condescending of the TARDIS but all things considered there are few beings who have more right to be condescending to the Doctor.

Viewing on my phone on a bumpy commuter train, I couldn’t quite make out what she ate but on a proper telly it was clearly a custard cream. For non-British viewers this may require a little elaboration. Firstly I didn’t want to write this without first aces retaining whether Custard Creams are a thing in Australia. Australia is sort of a parallel universe of English things due to patterns of colonialism and immigration and not everything carries across (e.g. you can’t get Shredded Wheat here and Weetabix is Weet-Bix).

So firstly here is an Australian Custard Cream:

Now, I haven’t eaten one in awhile but I think the canonical British version are more oblong. However, the other features are correct, including the swirly embossed pattern and a rhombus (again I think less square in the UK).

In construction (but not flavour) not unlike an Oreo. The biscuit has three parts, two quite firm biscuits which form a sandwich with a sweet icing in the centre. For a custard cream that centre is yellow and vanilla flavoured.

Here you can see the Custard Cream in-situ:

(Arnotts are the big biscuit company in Australia – almost monopolistic. They do a lot of classic ‘British’ biscuits but I can’t recommend their Ginger Nuts which are way too brittle rather than crunchy. Luckily you can get McVities chocolate digestives in Australia. )

As a food item they fit a pattern with occasional other Doctor Who food stuffs, specifically:

  • Jelly Babies (Tom Baker)
  • Fish Fingers and Custard (Matt Smith)

The common feature is mass produced, child friendly, nostalgic post-war foods that are sort of a treat but also a bit mundane. The fish fingers for the Matt Smith era also playing on the association of Doctor Who with ‘tea-time’ in the sense of an early-evening meal and al,so the original Saturday evening time slot for Doctor Who. The show was (and to some extent still is) intended to be a transitional program between parts of the BBC’s programming

So several things going on:

  • A call back to Matt Smith and custard,
  • British junk food nostalgia,
  • Tea-time reference,
  • The Doctor has a secret biscuit stash,
  • The TARDIS is the Doctor’s adopted mum.

Also, now I have a secret stash of Custard Creams at work!


Sunday Beer: Super Super Juicy New England IPA

Sorry “Double NEIPA”. New England here refers to the region of New South Wales rather than the region of the US (I assume). From the Hunter Valley which is more famed for its wine than beer. 10% ABV so not to be drunk lightly…