Garibaldi Biscuits: This Flies’ Graveyard is a Tasty Snack

Garibaldi Biscuits from M&S
Look at that fly pie!

Biscuits! They make the UK tick. Without them, society would collapse in days.

But some biscuits are mightier than others. Whether it’s the digestive biscuit of chocolate hobnob, these are worshipped on the altar of excellence.

Garibaldi biscuits are lesser known. But that doesn’t mean they’re less important! Oh no. As today’s history lesson proves.

What are Garibaldi Biscuits?

It’s a foodstuff with currants squashed within it, with the product baked between two oblong pieces of dough.

In some respects, you could say it’s a type of sandwich. And they’re quite similar to Chorley cakes, just crispier and flatter.

Garibaldis are another example of a popular tea dunking biscuits, offering a sturdy base from which Brits can dip their snack into their sugary, milky brew.

But despite their robust nature, the biscuits aren’t the most iconic in the nation.

And we’d argue they’re much lesser known, with younger generations likely to be a bit uncertain about what they are.

There are also those who suggest the foodstuff looks like it has squashed flies amongst the dough. To which we say, “Harumph!”

All this negativity to such a tasty biscuit must… end… NOW!

What’s the History of Garibaldi Biscuits?

Apparently, British food inventor Jonathan Carr created the foodstuff around 150 years ago for the (now defunct) company Peek Frearns.

They began production in 1861, gaining the name after Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), an Italian war hero who battled to unify the Kingdom of Italy.

The thing also goes by different names into regions of the world its spread to (like a currant-based plague).

In the US, Sunshine Biscuit Company made a version with raisins. It went by the name of Golden Fruit.

In Australia, it goes by the name of Full O’Fruit. Whilst in New Zealand the good people there call it Fruitli Golden Fruit.

All very nice, but give the Brits a chance to be fussy about food and we’ll leap on it like we will a chance to riot about football drunkenly. Thus…

Garibaldi Biscuits are the Flies’ Graveyard

We mentioned above the biscuits have a reputation for looking like squashed fly biscuits, which actually has a term here in the UK.

That’s flies’ graveyard, referring to any sweet pastries featuring excessive currants and raisins.

Others call it fly pie or fly cemetery. For which we can refer you to The Secret Life of Flies for further insights into those disgusting little gits, biscuits, and baking.

Up in bonny Scotland, locals also call them fly cakes or fly pie. The welsh just call it Cacen Pwdin. Whatever that means.

Out of all the available biscuits with raisins, the Garibaldi is the worst offender and most commonly goes by the name of flies’ graveyard.

Lovely imagery, eh? So, now we’ve got your hunger up you should stick on The Fly (the Jeff Golblum one) as it’s time to learn…

How to Make Garibaldi Biscuits

No Jamie Oliver this time, but we do have a bit of vegan love above with directions on how to make squashed fly biscuits.

The ingredients you’ll need are:

110 grams of self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
25 grams of butter
25 grams of golden caster sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
50 grams of currants
Egg white, lightly beaten
Granulated sugar

If you don’t have the currants, you can swap them out with squashed blue bottle flies. If you do so, do note this means the biscuit will no longer be vegan.

Either way, it’ll probably still be tasty. Feel free to give it a whirl.


  1. The NZ variety have a sugar glaze and very soft texture guaranteed to dissolve in any hot liquid in about 2 milliseconds. They also come with a subtitle ‘packed full of fruity goodness’, whatever the word ‘goodness’ means in this context. There are laws here about advertising which to me says they should be saying ‘biscuits named after some guy nobody remembers these days, so don’t forget that jerseys named after him were worn by the 1860s NZ militia, not that anybody remembers them either’. Difficulty fitting this on the packaging could be solved by selling the biscuits in jumbo-sized lots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything is packed full of fruit goodness, these days! Red Bull? Packed full of fruity goodness! Outright sugar, basically.

      If that law wasn’t there, who would the biscuit be named after?

      And I’m still convinced it is actually flies they put in these biscuits, instead of raisins. Saves on money, you know?


  2. EW! I think ate some of these when I was a kid. Sometimes I feel like there’s butterflies in my stomach. Now I realize, it’s just plain flies.
    OMG I hope it’s not those blue bottle ones.
    Think I’ll go throw up!

    Liked by 1 person

Dispense with some gibberish!

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