Jacobs Fig Rolls – Faker Baker 80’s

How do they get the figs into the Fig Rolls? This iconic advertising catchphrase has long shrouded the fig roll production process in intrigue, yet in reality, crafting these biscuits is rather straightforward.

The pastry shell of fig rolls is concocted from simple ingredients such as wheat flour, glucose syrup, and sugar, devoid of hydrogenated fat or artificial colors. The fig filling within harks back to ancient Egypt, where figs were mashed and enveloped in pastry.

In modern times, fig rolls undergo an industrial baking procedure. Initially, the pastry and fig mixtures are blended separately, then the pastry is extruded into lengthy, unfilled rolls, later to be filled with the fig crème.

Following closure, the rolls are baked in lengthy ovens. Some brands opt to slice the rolls post-baking, while Jacobs fig rolls are pre-cut before entering the oven.

Jacob’s Fig Rolls have a storied history, originating in Dublin under the Quaker firm Jacob’s, founded in Waterford in 1851. The company’s relocation to Bishop Street, Dublin in 1883 saw its peak, employing predominantly female staff. The factory played a pivotal role in the 1916 Easter Rising. Production later shifted to Tallaght in 1984, and eventually, under Valeo Foods ownership, moved beyond Ireland.

In the 1960s, Gordon Lambert spearheaded innovative marketing strategies at Jacob’s Biscuits, including the inception of the Jacob’s radio and television awards. Collaborating with Irish International, led by the dynamic Mack Kile, campaigns like the enigmatic “How do they get the figs into Fig Rolls?” captivated the public, remaining iconic even today. Lambert’s legacy endured until his retirement in 1986 and passing in 2005.

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