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I have only just gotten over a life-long aversion to dried, shrivelled fruit. Basically as a child I could not stand raisins, sultanas, prunes, glace cherries or anything remotely similar. Heck I couldn’t even stand bits in yoghurt or in jam. So it should be perfectly clear that a few years ago I would have run in horror from fig rolls. Thankfully with the support of my family and Sun maid I got over my aversion to dried fruit. Who knows I might even like yoghurts with bits in now.
So when I was perusing the supermarket and I saw the packet of Jacob’s Fig Rolls I figured it was now or wait until I go back to university and have to pay for them myself. I picked out a 300gram packet which cost a little over £1. Not the cheapest of biscuits but then they were bought in Sainsbury’s. They are also available in 200gram packs which cost around 80p.
I have to say that the packaging gets full marks. It is an eye catching colour of red with “Fig Rolls” in large white letters. There is also a picture of three of the fig rolls in question. In keeping with the current advertising campaign there is the phrase “How do Jacob’s get the Figs into the Fig Rolls?” which is a reference to the fact that we are all supposed to be pondering how on earth the figs get inside the fig rolls. I have to say that I have never given it much thought. However I am fairly certain that they were not forced there at gunpoint. But I do think there is a high chance that there is some sort of magic involved because figs do not just appear inside biscuits by chance.
Anyway I digress. The packet describes the fig rolls as “sun-drenched figs baked in golden pastry”. When I turn the packet over I am pleased to see that Jacobs are trying to pass these off as a healthy biscuit. Apparently they have more fibre in them and because they have a high fruit content. Due to this Jacobs claims that healthy people like athletes eat them. Ergo if we eat them we will be healthy too. Hurrah!
The packet also warns that they contain wheat and were made in a factory that also makes products containing Soya and milk. But the fig rolls are suitable for vegetarians unlike sausage rolls.
The packet is easy to open. There is none of that pfaffing about with “tear here” signs that do not work (I am not point fingers at anyone here, McVities). Clearly Jacobs feel that we have enough intelligence to work out how to open a packet of biscuits. Inside there are three separate plastic cartons which hold the fig rolls. Each carton is spilt into two and each half holds three fig rolls. That makes for a total of eighteen fig rolls.
The smell is not over-powering or overly distinctive. There is a sort of sweet, buttery pastry type of smell with the barest suggestion of a rich fruity sweetness that can only come from the figs.
Each fig roll is roughly an inch wide by two inches long. They are what can only be described as biscuit brown. Basically they are the same colour as sand. The colour is a little uneven with the sides being more yellow than sandy. Of course at each end you can see the reddy-brown fig filling.
The fig rolls are quite dry to the touch. The first bite reveals the taste to be that of the buttery, sweet biscuit. The biscuit itself is quite dry but it is not crisp. It has a sort of dry softness that you would expect from stale cake. It does not taste stale though. Nor does it taste too rich or too sweet. It is plain but in a very pleasant way. The plainness of the biscuit may be due to the richer taste of the fig filling. The fig filling is chewy and has a rich fruity, figgyness to it. I always feel that figs have a sort of very intense flavour that has a very mild undertone of aniseed. It is quite a rich flavour but it is not sickly because it is not overpowering. In fact the figs only make up 23% of the biscuit.
I am not a dunker so I cannot comment on how it holds up to dunking. However the texture of the biscuit is quite dry on the whole. I do think that you would need a drink with them. The biscuit is pleasingly chewy due to the fig filling. The biscuit that surrounds the filling does tend to make a lot of crumbs and it does not seem too keen to stick to the filling.
The fig rolls are not too sweet nor are they too plain. They are perfect for those occasions when you cannot decide if you want something sweet or savoury. I would recommend fig rolls to anyone who likes dried figs. I do not think that many children would like them. This is due to them being quite plain and the ick factor of the figs (you can scare children by waving figs at them and if you really want to horrify them threaten to make them eat prunes).
Like I mentioned earlier I got eighteen biscuits for a little over £1. I think that this provides fairly good value for money. Fig rolls do not strike me as the sort of biscuit that you could eat the entire packet in one sitting. I think that most people could stop at two or at the most four. They are a good general snacking biscuit and make an interesting change from Digestives or Rich Tea.
I would consider buying fig rolls again. Their plain-sweetness is strangely comforting as is their chewy texture. They are the sort of biscuit that you can eat quietly. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by fig rolls. In fact it might even be enough for me to want to try dried figs.
Mind you the thought of yoghurt with bits is a bit too much for me at the moment. It’s the texture. But let’s just take baby steps; I have to finish the packet of fig rolls first.