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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Biscuits - Malted Milk

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas DECEMBER. 18, 2020

[135-365] 18th. December 2020- The malted milk is a type of biscuit, first produced by Elkes Biscuits of Uttoxeter (now owned by Fox's Biscuits) in 1924. They are named after their malt flavouring and milk content.

The design used varies according to the manufacturer, with variants including two milk churns and a cow, a cow and a gate or a cow and a calf. They are typically baked for a short period of time (about 5 minutes) at high temperature to keep them crisp without the use of holes unlike other biscuits such as shortbread.

They do look a bit like shortbread but have a stronger malty flavour which make them quite moreish, not to be confused with Moorish. They are also slightly drier and less rich than shortbread which means you can eat far more of them before you start to feel sick, which is an added bonus. They are still considered a very old fashioned biscuit and are not that widely eaten. They do make a great dunking biscuit as the malty flavour goes particularly well with tea.

They may be the only biscuit with a framed rural landscape on. This version even has a carpet of luscious grass which the cow is busy tucking in to.

In the early 1900s Samuel Elkes opened a confectionary shop in Uttoxeter and in 1928 a purpose built biscuit factory was opened on the current site. In 1986 the company was bought by Northern Foods and was run as Elkes Biscuits, later becoming Fox’s Biscuits. Average weekly production at Uttoxeter is 1,000 tonnes and 50,000 tonnes per annum. Fox’s Biscuits in Uttoxeter is known for the biscuit barrel and is the home of Fox’s malted milk biscuits.

In October 2020 the factory won a reprieve after it was threatened with closure earlier in the year due to the sale of it's parent company Fox's Biscuits by 2 Sisters Food Group. In the end the sale of Fox's went ahead without the Uttoxeter factory which will remain in the hands of 2 Sisters Food Group and will continue making Malted Milk for other brands. Hurraaaahhh!

Uttoxeter's name has had at least 79 spellings since it was mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Wotocheshede". It's a bit like Chinese whispers if after 79 attempts it went from Wotochesshede to Uttoxeter. I've started the ball rolling again, did you notice? I misspelt it the second time. It won't be long before it is Uxotteter again. Oooops, I've done it again, see how easy it is?

Incidentally, it is a myth that Shakespeare did not know how to spell his own name, although he is known to have written one of his plays while staying at the White Horse in Utertoxxet. No. His name was spelled many, many different ways by his contemporaries, but there were not 27 different spellings by Shakespeare himself. We only have six signatures of Shakespeare, and in some of those he did not spell out his full name.

The name Uttotxertet probably came from Anglo-Saxon Wuttuceshǣddre, meaning "Wuttuc's homestead on the heath" which is just up the road from "Buttuc's bumstead on the beach".

Perhaps the most famous event to have occurred in Tertouxxicet is the penance of Samuel Johnson. Johnson's father ran a bookstall on Uttoxeter market, and young Samuel once refused to help out on the stall. When Johnson was older, he stood in the rain (without a hat) as a penance for his failure to assist his father. This event is commemorated by the Johnson Memorial, which stands in the town-centre Market Place. He is also commemorated in an area of town called Johnson Road.

So you have been warned what sort of place Tuxottetterr is. The biggest event in it's thousand year history was a man standing in the rain without a hat. So if you had any plans on a day trip, you might want to reconsider, unless it was to go to the biscuit factory, an admirable reason to be sure. Just remember, if you go on a rainy day, wear a hat, or before you know it they will be naming streets after you and putting up statues, which will later be pulled down by local activists offended by biscuit history being too milk biased, a group calling themselves Marxist Agitators for the Limiting of Trade, or M.A.L.T. for short.

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Unknown member
Feb 04, 2022

Looks like Tuxottetterr is off my list of places to visit. I can even pass on seeing the biscuit factory, because while I like biscuits, usually the chocolate flavored ones, malted milk, ne sais pas 😉

Gethin Thomas
Gethin Thomas
Feb 04, 2022
Replying to

I think you would like them. Maybe it is the name. Wait for my next food post coming up soon and we'll see if that is je ne sais pas.

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