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The Great Debate: Penguins vs Tim Tams.

September 9, 2009

I’ve come to the conclusion that there really isn’t that much difference. This statement may result in Australians gasping in horror at my lack of national pride. But really, it’s not like comparing apples and oranges, is it? It’s more along the line of comparing apples and apples (eg granny smith vs royal gala vs pink lady).

Having said all this I don’t want you to think I don’t like Tim Tams or that I don’t know much about them. I do. Anyone in my family can vouch that I am extremely acquainted with the iconic treat. In fact I have mastered the art of doing a Tim Tam Slam without any spillage into my hot beverage. Hot Tip: bite the corners off diagonally. Although in the end it’s all about the timing. Check out Natalie Imbruglia showing Graham Norton how to slam a Tim Tam:

I have tried a myriad of Tim Tam flavours (even the breast cancer charity one – and yes Arnotts – we all know you made the plastic separators bigger in the packet leaving us with fewer biscuits). Cheeky cheeky. So, even though I’ve said there isn’t that much difference between the two,  there are a few nuances which I’ll list below.

The Packaging
Penguin packaging kicks arse over tim tams. It’s not just the cute little penguins with different colours and poses, but the portion control. Each biscuit is individually wrapped. So purchasing a penguin means you (and by ‘you’, I mean ‘I’) will be less likely to suffer from over-indulgence. With Penguins, it’s as though I’ve magically become self disciplined. Usually I can resist anything but temptation and there is not a chance in hell that I aint going to devour the whole pack of Tim Tams once it’s open. (Well, with Pete anyway). Every time the two of us sit down to watch TV or a film we plan to open a pack and just have one or two and then without quite knowing what has happened (as though we’d been sucked into a time warp) the entire lot is gone. You can try and do the old, put the pack in the kitchen, take out one or two, and eat it on the couch. But let’s be honest here, this little buffer just results in five trips to the kitchen until the pack is empty. All attempts of Tim Tam moderation are futile. The only way I can portion control Tim Tams is to restrain from buying regular packs at all and stick with the Tim Tam Finger.

Tim Tams taste better. They’re rich, decadent and smooth.  Penguins are the no frills of Tim Tams (in taste and price). The chocolate tastes lower in quality, it’s flakier and they fall apart easier. Penguins are sickly sweet which makes them less moreish and more kiddie-ish. Tim Tams feel a bit more forbidden and adult opposed to a Penguin which you can imagine seeing in a six-year-old’s lunchbox. And you can’t do a Tim Tam Slam with a Penguin. Which in the end, is probably Penguin’s biggest downfall.

For more articles on Tim Tams and Penguins.

A controversial piece which shows that Tim Tams are a rip off of Penguin.
An oldie but a goodie. One Brit who does really care about his biscuit.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Donal permalink
    September 9, 2009 10:46 pm

    Penguins HANDS DOWN!

  2. Terriss permalink
    September 9, 2009 10:50 pm

    Yeah penguins all the way!!!

  3. Sarah permalink
    September 9, 2009 10:51 pm

    TIM TAMS… there is no question

  4. Lyn permalink
    September 9, 2009 11:22 pm

    Penguins? Tim Tams laugh in their general direction! Less taste, less chocolate, less life

  5. Teegs permalink
    September 20, 2009 3:09 pm

    As a direct result of this blog entry I have just eaten an entire packet of double coat Tim Tams for dinner just like I used to when I lived with you Em. I feel sick 😦

    • September 25, 2009 7:56 am

      hehe – sorry to make you sick Teegs. I guess I should put a disclaimer on the post.

      I take no responsibility for people gorging after reading this post 😀

      But how good is chocolate for dinner?

  6. Shaz permalink
    September 22, 2009 2:32 pm

    I had a whole pack of Tim Tams in bed the other day, and found a stray one a couple of days later under the doona. It was deeelicious. Doubt a Penguin would ever taste that good. Will have to try the Tim Tam Slam sometime soon though!

    • September 25, 2009 7:57 am

      Oh My God Shaz – you haven’t had a Tim Tam Slam. Well, you are in luck my friend cos I am a good mentor when it comes to perfecting the art of it.

      Will do it in on my return in December – wooooooo!

  7. Anonymous permalink
    October 31, 2011 5:33 am

    I love Penguins!! I have yet to try tim tams!

  8. November 29, 2011 5:30 am

    I love the way they melt in my mouth -smooth silky goodness – seriously addictive

  9. steve permalink
    April 17, 2014 7:22 pm

    I don’t think usatralia has ever invented anything. Tim tams are clearly a cheap imitation of the real thing, much like vegemate is of marmite.

  10. arch permalink
    April 19, 2014 4:15 am

    Tim tams are a copy of the PENGUIN, the original PENGUIN was made in Airdrie, Scotland by a company called TAYLORS bakeries, it was taken over by a larger company called Beatties!
    My sister worked at TAYLORS in the 1950,s making penguins, It is well documented that old Mr Arnott visited Taylors and he went back to Melbourne and he made a copy of the PENGUIN
    It was later that Beattes took over Taylors and moved production to england.
    I grew up about a mile away from the Taylors bakeries

    Like Me, TIM TAMS migrated to Melbourne……

  11. May 16, 2015 9:59 am

    Hey I thought Tim tams tasted like a stale penguin, I really wanted to like them. They are well in date. The peanut butter ones were better.

  12. Anonymous permalink
    May 18, 2017 11:55 pm

    I’ve just had a Penguin S
    lam. It worked fine 😊

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