In defence of the custard cream – updated

This post is totally inspired by the sermon I heard last week at church, but it’s actually not God-related in the slightest (except that if we’re being theological about it, God is in everything, but we’re not…). It’s taken so long to get it written, because being the methodical researcher that I am, I wanted to check what I remembered against the talk once it was available online. However, for some reason it’s not gone online, so I can’t. As it’s now been a week I’m liable to forget what I wanted to say if I wait much longer, so here goes.

In 2007, the humble custard cream was voted Britain’s favourite biscuit. Last week’s talk was making the point that this illustrated just how fond of moderation the British are. The speaker said the following:

“The custard cream is the most mediocre of all foodstuffs…it has a very bland filling, whose flavour is almost impossible to describe and it’s held between two biscuits of equally tasteless character which nonetheless manage to usurp the blandness of the filling by being less interestingly creamy and more uninterestingly biscuity than the filling itself. The custard cream is so unoffensive that I thoroughly despise it.”

I was a little upset by this, as I’m rather fond of custard creams myself and don’t really want to think of myself as being mediocre! On the way home from church, I sought reassurance from a friend that this wasn’t the case, and yet was told that in their opinion the biscuit was truly indicative of mediocrity.

I’d hoped that the fact that I preferred dunking my custard creams into Early Grey (no milk) as opposed to ordinary tea would elevate me above mediocrity, but apparantly this isn’t the case. Incidentally, this friend also claimed that there should be no justification for buying ‘generic’ custard creams, which puzzled me as I can’t recall there being a particular ‘brand’ custard cream. In fact, over the last week I’ve checked in both Asda & Tesco and couldn’t find anything other than supermarket own brand.

Anyway, I’d like to reclaim the custard cream from its mediocre label. Surely if it provides any level of enjoyment it can’t really be considered mediocre?

And, just in case you’re interested in how on earth this topic found a place in a sermon, it went something along the line of this:

By persuing mediocrity we are denying ourselves what we truly deserve & what God actually wants for us. There is something much greater out there for us, so we shouldn’t settle for mediocrity. We also shouldn’t be looking for mediocre things in our relationship with God – if we ask for great things, there’s a chance we might get them. I guess essentially the argument would be: “why choose a custard cream when you could have a Green & Blacks dipped plain chocolate ginger biscuit instead?”.

If this is the kind of logic that you’re interested in & you’re in the London area, why not check this out – there’s probably custard creams on offer too.

Update 6/10: As sod’s law would dictate, the talk in question was uploaded this morning. I’ve therefore verified the precise custard cream quote (it was much better than I’d remembered). You can listen to the talk yourself here, just click on the 7.30pm service on September 28th.


  1. Surreal

  2. I would chose a custard cream over a Green and Blacks chocolate-dipped thingy for two reasons:
    1) custard creams are alltogethre more comforting and homely
    2) because we’re not all rich enough to fill the biscuit tin with posh biscuits.

    Referring to point one, I guess it depends on what you want your biscuit for. Occassion? Guests? Comfort? Do you need to consume a whoel apcket at once (time of the month maybe, or boy troubles)?

    Biscuits serve so many purposes that you couldn’t possibly judge them in this way.

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