Tunnock's Teacakes

28 – Invention of the Tunnock’s Teacake

June 23, 1959

AMERICA has the hamburger, Italy has the pizza, Spain has paella, and Scotland has . . . the Tunnock’s Teacake!

As far as iconic foodstuffs go the chocolate-covered domes of delight – created by Boyd Tunnock after a suggestion by a sales rep – are right up there with the best of them.

At least they are if you’re Scottish – it’s quite likely foreign visitors are as baffled by our love affair with the sticky mallow treat as they are with the existence of the deep fried Mars Bar (see No. 58).

It’s not just how it tastes that we adore. The distinctive red and silver foil is legendary in design terms.

For Scots far from home, the mere sight of it is enough to cure homesickness.

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The confection even had a part to play in the Cold War. Retired RAF bomber pilot Tony Cunnane told of how Tunnock’s Teacakes became a favourite snack of the V bomber nuclear deterrent flight crews based at RAF Gaydon, especially after discovering that they expanded at high altitude.

This practice ended after one was left unwrapped and exploded on the instrument panel.
More recently the moreish snack got a mighty boost in sales off the back of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, which featured dancers dressed as oversized Teacakes whirling around the stadium.

For most sweet-toothed Scots the thought of four-foot-wide Tunnock’s Teacakes was the stuff of dreams.

We live in hope that they may become a reality at some point.

Until then, Teacakes – we salute you.