Us Aussies are pretty good at making biscuits, and that’s why Tim Tams have appeared as the only Australian product on the shelves of the supermarket chain Carrefour in Annecy.
These biscuits, similar to the UK’s Penguin biscuit (but nicer — I might be biased of course), are hauled all over the world by travelling Aussies and after years of only being available in shops selling Australian goodies (mostly to Australians desperate for a fix of something from home), Tim Tams made it onto the shelves of Tesco supermarkets in the UK about five years ago. I took them for granted: they were always available and I bought them only when I had a real hankering.
That all changed when I moved to France. The “foreign foods” aisle of the supermarket has various things from the UK — Heinz Baked Beans, treacle, tomato soup(!), and this really posh (ie, tiny cardboard container and very costly) oatmeal stuff that I never actually saw on the shelves anywhere in the UK — but there’s never anything from Australia — until now, that is. Wedged between random honey from the Middle East and biscuits from Italy (oh come on: Italy is only an hour away!) lies the Tim Tams in all their glory. Just to reiterate, I have never seen any Australian product on the shelves of a French supermarket. I heard rumours that vegemite is available closer to big cities, but I’ve never seen that. The Tim Tam presence is a total win in my books.
Upon arrival in the aisle containing these treats, I embarrassed my shopping partner by letting out a shriek, followed by “TIM TAMS” in an overly loud voice. The five shoppers in the aisle all turned and stared at me, my shopping partner disowned me, and I ran to the Tim Tams and picked up two packets for the trolley, hugging them on the way. The five shoppers shrugged at the weird English girl rejoicing about her English biscuits and moved on.
Since that day, I’ve been checking that the Tim Tams are still there (and they are). Just in case, I’ve been buying a few packets every few weeks — obviously to keep the Australian export market bolstered rather than for any personal enjoyment. Obviously.