Did you know…?

Morning coffee

‘Morning Coffee’ biscuits are still stamped with an original design by Victorian art-critic and philosopher John Ruskin. The lamb-chop sideboard-wearing Ruskin, author of The Stones of Venice and a keen exponent of baking, etched out the design during a visit to the biscuit factory in 1875.

This sugary baton of artistic heritage was picked up by quirky Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, famous for his paintings of oddly shaped women, in 1913, when he too created a design for the legendary teatime treat. However, the Picasso biscuit has never gone on general sale and its distribution is limited to directors of the company, making it the world’s most highly prized item of confectionary; even surpassing the richly desirable, special edition Matisse ‘Wagon Wheels’. The biscuit is only baked in small numbers once per year, each one numbered, for consumption at the firm’s Annual General Meeting at their Manchester headquarters. Legend has it that one Picasso ‘Morning Coffee’ was sneaked out of the boardroom in 1963 and is now in the hands of a private art collector in New York, albeit somewhat crumbly at the edges. It is not thought to be edible.

‘Morning Coffee’ are still the biscuit of choice for artists, and it’s believed that Yorkshire-born avante garde charlatan, Damien Hirst, gets through three packets a day, usually dunked in milky cocoa.



  1. deleted user · November 7, 2009

    biscits yum


  2. technomist · November 13, 2009

    Salvador Dali was quite partial to digestives, and indeed, many critics have claimed to see the influence that dunking them in his coffee had on his art.


    • guinnessorig · November 13, 2009

      Dali’s move away from Dadaism towards surrealism was caused after a huge row with Tristan Tzara over the issue of whether a ‘Blue Ribbon’ was a biscuit or a bar. Dali insisted it was a biscuit while Tzara was adamant it was a squirrel.


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