Nicola Sturgeon has reignited an age-old debate after claiming Jaffa Cakes are “definitely a biscuit” during her daily briefing.
The question over whether the popular snack should be categorised as a cake or a biscuit has divided the nation like perhaps no other.
The issue was even taken to court after manufacturer McVities was forced to defend its categorisation of the treat in a Value Added Tax (VAT) tribunal.
The court ruled in favour of McVities and since 1991 the company has not had to pay the additional VAT required for chocolate-covered biscuits because Jaffa Cakes are legally considered a type of cake.
But during her daily briefing on Friday, almost 30 years since the issue was settled in the eyes of the law, the first minister risked tumbling the baked goods industry into disarray by offering a dissenting view.
Ms Sturgeon was asked whether she could recall the tax case and and if confusion over the classification of cafes in new Scottish Government legislation published on Friday could be considered similar.
In my humble opinion, a Jaffa cake is definitely a biscuit.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
STV journalist Gordon Chree asked: “You might remember some years ago there was a famous court case about whether a Jaffa Cake was a biscuit.
“Do you fear we might be going down a similar legal path now because there are a lot of people in the hospitality industry who say defining what is a cafe and what is a restaurant is very difficult.”
Ms Sturgeon said: “In my humble opinion, a Jaffa cake is definitely a biscuit.
“But there you go… that’s probably one of the most controversial things I’ve said, and a brief attempt at humour in an otherwise difficult time.”
A key part of the tax case rested on the fact that biscuits soften and they go stale over time, whereas cakes tend to harden.
Ms Sturgeon’s comment drew a strong response online, with many social media users pointing out the issue had already been settled many years ago.
Colum Eastwood, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said on Twitter: “Can’t remember the last time I disagreed with something Nicola Sturgeon said. This though, this is just wrong.”