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Selling like hot cakes
Topic Started: Apr 6 2012, 11:19 PM (324 Views)
rumbaba
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Why 'hot'? They were sold to me today as 'hot cross buns' but they were cold.
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David Crosbie
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That was to avoid paying VAT.
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Caro

But perhaps they would have sold faster if they had been hot, rumbaba. {What are the rules on hot and cold for VAT? Our GST (Goods and Services Tax) applies to everything, makes things much simpler.)

Anyway you don't need to buy hot cross buns, cold or hot. I made mine yesterday and very nice they are too.
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Douglas
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rumbaba
Apr 6 2012, 11:19 PM
Why 'hot'? They were sold to me today as 'hot cross buns' but they were cold.
It was the spices that made them 'hot'.
Many now seem to be short of spice and rather bland.
Edited by Douglas, Apr 7 2012, 10:21 AM.
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David Crosbie
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Caro
Apr 7 2012, 02:16 AM
What are the rules on hot and cold for VAT?
Caro, the principle here is that we don't pay tax on food. Over the years, Purchase Tax changed to VAT, and the government extended tax to restaurant/café food, and then to take-away food. We've grown accustomed to paying VAT on fish and chips or hamburgers -- but not on bread and other things you buy from a baker's shop. That meant that if you bought a pie or a sausage roll hot from the oven, it wasn't taxed. Much more than millionaire politicians realised, workers on low wages and people in general who watch their pennies have come to rely on hot pasties, hot pies, hot sausage rolls and the like for a cheap hot lunch. So our Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne from a wealth wallpaper-making family didn't foresee the political flack when he planned to tax 'hot snacks'. There's been a huge outcry over the 'pasty tax' -- even in the right wing press. For example Who VAT all the pies?, and, funniest of all George Osborne as Marie Antoinette saying saying 'Let them eat cold pasty'.

David Cameron tried to show he was just like us with a story of how he'd recently bought a pasty and how much he'd enjoyed it. He spoilt it by supplying too much detail: it was from the West Cornwall Pasty shop on Leeds station. The trouble is that that particular shop closed down several years ago. He changed the venue from Leeds to Liverpol, which coincidentally is the one you get when you google. Labour leaders Ed Miliband and Ed Balls tried to capitalise by stooping off at a branch of Greggs (a big chain of bakers' shops) and buying a load of hot sausage roll in front of dozens of reporters and cameramen. Silly? Yes. Cynical? Maybe. But really funny and probably appreciated by all but their political opponents.

What nobody has yet explained is how they're going to calculate the time or temperature at which a taxable hot pasty becomes a tax-exempt cold pasty.

This hoo-hah explains an odd news item last year which seemed totally ridiculous at the time. Somebody wrote to the Co-op (chain of shops and supermarkets with a non-commercial origin) asking why they called an item an ambient sausage roll. The recipient of the letter couldn't explain, and asked the stores to change the label to sausage roll. It seems more than likely that the accountants had insisted that if any sausage rolls were heated in-store , they should be taken from the oven and left at ambient temperature to make absolutely sure that the VAT man wouldn't clobber them.
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Douglas
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David Crosbie
Apr 7 2012, 11:40 AM
Caro
Apr 7 2012, 02:16 AM
What are the rules on hot and cold for VAT?
I expect this change also applies to rotisserie chicken.
Passing a supermarket rotisserie just before the change took effect, I thought that they should have had a sign
Beat the VAT!
Buy now!
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chris crossing
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I'm sure it was a mere typo when David wrote 'the political flack', but I do see this word incorrectly spelt quite frequently these days.

It's 'flak' and is a German wartime acronym for 'Fliegerabwehrkanone' (aircraft defence cannon).

The British equivalent 'ack-ack' was derived from the signaller's code for 'AA'.

(The great American singer Roberta Flack is unrelated.)



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jean

Douglas
Apr 7 2012, 10:20 AM
It was the spices that made them 'hot'.
Are you sure, Douglas? Was the word hot commonly used to mean spiced when the buns were named?

It says here:

"The practice of eating special small cakes at the time of the Spring festival seems to date back at least to the ancient Greeks, but the English custom of eating spiced buns on Good Friday was perhaps institutionalized in Tudor times, when a London bylaw was introduced forbidding the sale of such buns except on Good Friday, at Christmas, and at burials. The first intimation we have of a cross appearing on the bun, in remembrance of Christ's cross, comes in Poor Robin's Amanack (1733): Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs, with one or two a penny hot cross buns' (a version of the once familiar street-dry "One-a-penny, two-a penny, hot cross buns'). At this stage the cross was presumably simply incised with a knife, rather than piped on in pastry, as is the modern commercial practice. As yet, too, the name' of such buns was just cross buns: James Boswell recorded in his Life of Johnson (1791): 9 Apr. An. 1773 Being Good Friday I breakfasted with him and cross-buns.' The fact that they were generally sold hot, however, seems to have led by the early nineteenth century to the incorporation of hot into their name."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 164)
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David Crosbie
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chris crossing
Apr 7 2012, 05:14 PM
I'm sure it was a mere typo when David wrote 'the political flack',
You're too generous, Chris!
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Caro

Sometimes my country gets it right and they did with GST. Tax the whole bloody lot and there's no problems with what is hot or cold, or what constitutes fresh fruit, etc. Before our last election there was a call to take GST off fresh fruit and vegetables and the Labour Party put this in its policy. However under a new leader and without the desperation to try and garner some votes, they have changed that policy, I think. It's just a nightmare making exceptions - we all know what a fresh apple is, but what about when it's in a pie or apple strudel? Are chips fresh? (The whole point of taking it off fruit and veges was to encourage people to eat more healthily and try to stop obesity.) It seems to me the bureaucracy and legal challenges about this would more than offset the savings.

So thankfully, that seems to be off the agenda for a while. I speak, of course, as someone who doesn't have to think before I buy a broccoli or half a dozen peaches. (Though I do hesitate before paying $2.50 for a mango. And we grow nearly all our own vegetables.) This may change if my husband loses his job next year. I think this is a reason for me to buy what I want NOW, he thinks it means we should be on a frugality drive.

Cheers, Caro.
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Douglas
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jean
Apr 7 2012, 05:29 PM
Are you sure, Douglas? Was the word hot commonly used to mean spiced when the buns were named?

You could be right, Jean.
I was going by what I was told as a boy but that may have been an excuse for serving them cold.
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Norm Deplume
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My buns were neither hot nor cross.
I think I'll report my baker to the Advertising Standards Authority
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Hugh Mosby-Joaquin
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Quote:
 
Sometimes my country gets it right and they did with GST. Tax the whole bloody lot and there's no problems....(Caro)

I'd have thought it was right first time in Britain, when it was first introduced. That is, it was a tax on certain items, and exemptions were clearly stated. Thus children's clothes were VAT free, and thus very tiny adults might have exploited this; but I think a 4' tall adult deserves a few loopholes to exploit. I believe books are still VAT-free (for how long?) Similarly safety gear in most cases is VAT-free.
However, it's par for the course that Mr Meanie-millionaire Osbourne would attempt to nibble away at the VAT exemptions, and I suppose the scope is endless when you do not have an egalitarian approach to financial politics. Hence the nit-pickery about pasties, buns and suchlike. Possibly in the near future safety equipment like steel-toed boots will only be VAT-free if the purchaser can show proof of industrial labour or similar. You will not be able to buy them merely because you like them..(or that they might be useful in a political demo).
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rumbaba
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Do people still get luncheon vouchers and are they still tax exempt up to 15p (three shillings) a day?
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May-Cee

In "Gregory's Girl", when a character becames a baker, there's the inevitable gag about "the hot cakes selling like hot cakes".

It was the first time I learnt that Scots talk about "gravy rings" as well; the Englanders don't.
(Ditto "Paris buns".)
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rumbaba
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I'm Scottish May-Cee and I've never heard of 'gravy rings'. I can't say I remember it from Gregory's Girl either. I do recall there was a lot of baking in the film though and he does say 'I'll throw you in two ring doughnuts' at one point. We used to call them 'dough rings', when I was a wean in Scotland.
Edited by rumbaba, Apr 19 2012, 01:43 PM.
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Douglas
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rumbaba
Apr 19 2012, 12:42 PM
I'm Scottish May-Cee and I've never heard of 'gravy rings'. I can't say I remember it from Gregory's Girl either. I do recall there was a lot of baking in the film though and he does say 'I'll throw you in two ring doughnuts' at one point. We used to call them 'dough rings', when I was a wean in Scotland.
I've never heard of gravy rings either.
We never felt the need to describe our doughnuts as ring doughnuts.
They were all that shape unless they were jam-doughnuts .
It has just struck me that doughnut might be a corruption of dough-nought.
Can anyone substantiate this ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4a_1UhwgFU

Couldn't resist the pun.
I'll throw this in for good measure

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZil728hUy0&feature=related
Edited by Douglas, Apr 19 2012, 02:11 PM.
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rumbaba
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Youtube is blocked at work Douglas. I'm guessing 'Doughnut forsake me oh my darling'?
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Douglas
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rumbaba
Apr 19 2012, 02:02 PM
Youtube is blocked at work Douglas. I'm guessing 'Doughnut forsake me oh my darling'?
Spot on.
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Hugh Mosby-Joaquin
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Quote:
 
Do people still get luncheon vouchers and are they still tax exempt up to 15p (three shillings) a day?

They still exist but are being phased out in a year or so. If you have any, look out for the 'LV' logo in the restaurant window and spend 'em quick. They are still worth only three bob (15p) a day, so somebody decided that they might as well be abolished. Companies provide canteens to subsidise their worker's nosh.
I'm surprised there is not a scam to be engineered by the odious Osborne to make it possible for his millionaire chums to get them, tax-free at £100 per day, and only issued at poncey Toffs' caffs in Westminster.

Supplimentary question:
Will it be the death-knell for the term 'luncheon' I wonder? Apart from the 'meat' of that persuation, I'm not aware the term is used for anything else. Even my (1960s) school called them 'dinner tickets', although the midday break was called 'lunch time'. Dinner was what your mum stuck in front of your gaping maw in the early evening.
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chris crossing
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The boss at the first office job I did used to refer to them as Luncheon Vultures, and they were considered a very worthwhile perk. We used to save them up for a decent pie, mash and gravy lunch at the end of the week. They also came in handy as stake money for small bets on the minutiae of daily office life (think Chester Perry).
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rumbaba
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Hugh Mosby-Joaquin
Apr 19 2012, 02:16 PM
Will it be the death-knell for the term 'luncheon' I wonder? Apart from the 'meat' of that persuation, I'm not aware the term is used for anything else. Even my (1960s) school called them 'dinner tickets', although the midday break was called 'lunch time'. Dinner was what your mum stuck in front of your gaping maw in the early evening.
It's a useful word for limericks, rhyming with 'truncheon' .


A young lady once went out to luncheon
with a policeman who showed her his truncheon
he thought that she should,
while they waited for food,
have something substantial to munch on
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May-Cee

My mistake!
I coulda sworn there was a reference to gravy rings!

(Surely I'm right about Paris buns though...)
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rumbaba
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Yes, Paris buns, for sure <ok>
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Hugh Mosby-Joaquin
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Quote:
 
It's a useful word for limericks, rhyming with 'truncheon' .

But it seemed like you'd exhausted the possibility....

Not quite....


The flowers, he bought a bunch on
the friday, 'cos he had a hunch on
the saturday he'd meet
with Suzie (so sweet!)
and give them to her during luncheon.

............................................................... <doff>

And at the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I'd say that ain't bad for spontaneity.....



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Hugh Mosby-Joaquin
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Nigella declaims from on high...."For those who don't know what a Paris bun is, it is a soft cake with a hint of sweetness". There's got to be more to them than that, Nigella!
But I found another recipe from a Parisian travel website, which suggests a more scone-like confection. Mind you, that's like looking for a recipe for swiss roll in a brochure from the Zurich Tourist Board.
I thought Paris Buns had nothing to do with patisseries in Le Pigalle, and were little more than a variant on the ' Hot Cross' variety, but with pink icing on top.
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chris crossing
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A constable, clutching his truncheon,
Nabbed a criminal straight after luncheon
A boxer it was
Who stole things because
He'd a penchant for pinchin' and punchin'

(More spontaneity, sadly - I blame it on an excessive cycle ride this afternoon)
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chris crossing
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Do Paris buns have to contain currants?
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Douglas
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Last week I went to a function
Which included a bit of a luncheon.
The food was so soggy
I felt rather groggy
For lack of something to crunch on.


PS We should export these to the Limerick thread on the Poetry site.
Edited by Douglas, Apr 19 2012, 05:58 PM.
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waiting4atickle
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A German I met at a luncheon,
Who had drunk a skinful of puncheon,
Vowed that he'd never roam
Any more, but go home -
I hope he's glad back in Munchen.

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Douglas
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waiting4atickle
Apr 19 2012, 06:39 PM

I hope he's glad back in Munchen.

Surely not Mûnchen-Gladbach, as was ?

I can remember hearing that Bomber Command had visited it.

I see it is now Mönchengladbach.
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waiting4atickle
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Pardon my German, Douglas: it was Borussia Mönchengladbach I had in mind, but I couldn't work Borussia in - and I suppose I should have written München.
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