A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.
Paper Monitor has spent its lunch hour pondering this question - what is a Jaffa Cake's finest attribute - the layer of orange-flavoured jelly or the chocolate topping? And what sparked this off? A story in today's Telegraph confirming that McVitie's is experimenting with the possibility of launching a milk-chocolate version of mini cake.
For the best part of 85 years, the sponge-based treat has been crowned with dark chocolate but, according to the company's brand manager, "the UK thinks of itself as a milk-chocolate loving nation". The story quotes a report from market research firm Mintel, which states that last year some 83 per cent of the population said they ate milk chocolate, while only 21 per cent enjoyed dark chocolate.
However, for those excited by a the prospect of a new Jaffa dawn, the company won't be be ushering it in any time soon. As manufacturing manager Brian Small points out: "You need extra kit. You can't just put milk chocolate in a dark chocolate tank." Paper Monitor would like to point out that, personally, it doesn't have any issue with mixing the two. It isn't fussy.
On another cocoa-related theme, the Daily Express reports that the Cadbury's heiress who tried to stop the takeover of the company by the American food giant Kraft two years ago has sold her £30m mansion in order to launch a new brand of chocolate.
The paper's leader column praises Felicity Loudon on her proposed initiative, under the headline: "Not such a soft-centred heiress." She is, the paper says:
Displaying the can-do attitude that her ancestors used to establish the most famous name in chocolate - an attitude that was once the backbone of British industry and enterprise.
Apparently Loudon has promised to create a "quirky" brand in memory of her great-grandfather George. But she insists the new product won't to be high-end but something a "child would buy". Now Paper Monitor recalls the quirkiest chocolate it ever bought as a child - Fry's Five Centres. It was a bit like a Fry's Chocolate Cream but with different flavoured fillings - raspberry, lime, strawberry, pineapple and orange. It was consigned to the big stockroom in the sky in the early 1990s. No prize for guessing why.
Here is a novel suggestion - chocolate with pepper filling anyone? According to a report in a number of papers today, scientists believe they have unlocked the secrets of the beneficial fat-fighting effects of black pepper. Apparently, the substance piperine that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, also can block the formation of new fat cells.