Friday, October 15, 2010

Jaffa Cakes

One of my favourite snacks from the trip was the ever popular Jaffa Cake. Upon trying to discover more about them, I chanced upon this fabulous wikipedia article about the history of the cake:

Under UK law, no Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged on plain biscuits and cakes —
they are "zero rated". Chocolate covered biscuits, however, are subject to
VAT. In Ireland, plain biscuits and cakes attract the "reduced" rate.
Chocolate cakes and biscuits attract the "standard" rate. McVities classed
its Jaffa Cakes as cakes, but in 1991, this was challenged by Her Majesty's
Customs and Excise and the case ended up before the courts.[8] This may have
been because Jaffa Cakes are about the same size and shape as some types of
biscuit, and particularly because they are commonly eaten alongside, or
instead of, traditional biscuits. The court asked "What criteria should be
used to class something as a cake?" McVities defended its classification of
Jaffa Cakes as cakes, producing a 12" (30 cm) Jaffa Cake to illustrate
that its Jaffa Cakes were simply miniature cakes.[9] McVities argued
that a distinction between cakes and biscuits is, among other things, that
biscuits would normally be expected to go soft when stale, whereas cakes
would normally be expected to go hard. It was demonstrated to the Tribunal
that Jaffa Cakes become hard when stale. Other factors taken into account by
the Chairman, Potter QC, included the name, ingredients, texture, size,
packaging, marketing, presentation, appeal to children, and manufacturing
process. Potter ruled that the Jaffa Cake is a cake. McVities therefore won
the case and VAT is not paid on Jaffa Cakes.[10]

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