Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes & Irish Side Effects: My Waistline and Jet Lag

Junk Food Nation, since returning to the US, I’ve noticed some ways Ireland has changed me.  Did I pick up a faint Irish accent? Well, no – I tried to do an Irish accent for the Junk Food Gal, and she was like, “That’s just your regular voice.”

Me: “No no, LISTEN” <in my best Irish accent> “I’m from Ireland heading up to kiss the Blaaaahrney Stone!”

Her: “….yeah…that’s good, honey” <goes back to looking her computer>

No, there are other noticeable side effects. Like how none of my effing pants fit anymore.  I swear I gained like 10 lbs. on the trip since the Irish kept force feeding me goddamn potatoes everywhere I went!  I have to wear a suit or business casual for work, and I swear this morning I tucked my two legs into my pants, looked down at the waist fastener and said out loud, “Ok…..here we go.” And then proceeded to sweat to the oldies for a good five minutes while I crammed my man stomach into these charcoal colored slacks.  MMMMM hot.

I’m also extremely jet lagged.  I was tired last night at 6:00pm, and was borderline sick with fatigue at 9:00pm.  Like, I wasn’t sleepy – I felt that sort of heavy head, delirious-feeling when you’re trying to pull an all nighter. It was 2:00am in Ireland. Finally at 9:30pm I said EFF IT and went to sleep.  Only to dream about waking up refreshed at 6:00am.  Only to ACTUALLY wake up at 2:30am. I hate you, internal clock.  I finally fell back asleep at like 5:00am, and now, at work, I’m a zombie.  FUN.

Today’s junk food are Jaffa Cakes!  My buddy Mike mentioned these to me, so I was on the lookout for them in Ireland.  Originally from England, they are popular in both Ireland AND England. I was worried I wouldn’t find them, until I went to Donne’s Grocery in St. Stephen’s Green mall in Dublin.  And I wasn’t disappointed:

The Original

Jaffa Cakes were introduced by McVitie and Price in 1927 and were named after Jaffa oranges, sweet oranges native to Jaffa. Where’s Jaffa? Who knows? I’m too lazy to Wiki it either.

Grab and go pack!

Jaffa Cakes were also sold in many different package forms, including tubular form.  Once you pop, you can’t stop, I guess.

So what ARE Jaffa Cakes?  Simply put, they are a sponge cake covered in orange jelly and then dunked and covered in chocolate.  Cake, jelly, chocolate.  There you go!

Jacob's Jaffa Cakes: The Money Shot

Even though McVitie’s made the original, I settled on buying these Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes.  Why? Because it had a much funnier box, which is the dumbest reason in the world, I know.  Still, Why not?  Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes have been around for over 60 years too…so they’re at least KINDA legit.  Right?

Wait, what?

This box of Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes was right next to another smaller 1/2 box of Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes…and they were the same price. 100% extra free? I’d never seen that before.  20% more, sure. even 50% more. But 100% more??? Why can’t they do this with products in the US? I’d like 100% more Doritos in every bag.

Say it in an English accent, it's funny

Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes are covered with little phrases like the ones depicted above.  They’re fun to say in a Harry Potter accent.  That squidgy orange bit? Scrummy center?  Where’s Ron Weasley when you need him?

Ingredient 1 is SUGAR! Like it should be

Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes aren’t the healthiest things in the world (Shocker). I like how they write “Golden sponge base with an orange centre (52%), half coated in plain chocolate (15%).  Um…where’s the remaining 33%? And WHAT is the remaining 33%????

Evenly packed rows...

Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes come stacked in rows….

That lump is the jelly

…and are half covered in chocolate, as you can see above.  That lump in the center (centre) is the jelly.

Bite taken out --- grrrr

With a bite taken out, you can see how it works – sponge cake base with a lump of jelly on top that is sealed in by chocolate.  But how do they taste?

That orange squidgy bit

Honestly, I thought these Jacob’s Jaffa Cakes tasted pretty damn good. The sponge cake was dry, but neutral and didn’t crumb everywhere.  Dry, but soft and solid…a good base.  The thin layer of chocolate was also nice and sweet, not overpowering.  Not milk chocolatey sweet, but not dark chocolate either.  Just a good neutral cocoa flavor.

The star of the show was the orange jelly. Sweet, gelatinous, and satisfying, the jelly married the chocolate and the cakes together to form a really interesting flavor combo.  Honestly, to me, they tasted sort of like petit fours. Just a nice cakey jelly bite that was enhanced with chocolate.  I can see why the British/Irish like these.  Sweet, light, and full of fruit/chocolate flavor.  Good stuff, these Jaffa Cakes.

Thoughts? Hit me in the comments below or hit me on Twitter @junkfoodguy or on my Facebook Page.

Sincerely, Junk Food Guy

Discuss - 5 Comments

  1. My attempts to talk with an Irish accent just came out sounding like pirate speak – “I kissed the Blar-ney stone! Argggghhh!”

    These Jaffa cakes were wicked good – sponge cake that was actually spongy – what a concept!

  2. Kavey says:

    I just did a big jaffa cake taste test, comparing 12 brands of jaffa cakes available in major supermarkets in/ around London. I hadn’t heard of Jacob’s, not sure if they’re available here, but was told about them after publishing the results.
    Looks like I need to get my hands on them and see how they compare to those in the test!

  3. Sagar says:

    I feel the orange is going to mute everything out like lime in chips and taste too artificial.

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