Go Back
Print this page

Travel + Culture

Australia’s Tim Tam Slam

Hugh Jackman and Oprah start a craze for “bikkie.”
Tim Tams

Australia is making it big in the States. But not, however, with the Baz Luhrmann movie of the same name. It’s with cookies. Or, as we say Down Under, bikkies.

Meet the Tim Tam. A finger of chocolate biscuit layered with chocolate crème and enrobed in another layer of chocolate—it’s almost like the love child of a cookie and a chocolate bar. It is to regular chocolate cookies what Molotov is to the cocktail. In other words, it makes quite an impression.

Australians have been eating them since the early 1960s (they’re named, curiously enough, for the horse that won the 1958 Kentucky Derby, a race attended by their creator, Australian Ross Arnott), and we continue to eat around 400 million of them a year, which situates them in our national self-image somewhere between beer and kangaroos.

Now that they’re available in the United States at Target stores across the country, you can try them, too. They’ve sold like hot cakes since they arrived in November, so much so that even Arnott’s, their parent company, has been taken aback by the scale of their success. This may or may not have had something to do with Hugh Jackman whipping them out when he appeared on Oprah with Nicole Kidman, while promoting Australia. Just when you thought the J-bomb couldn’t be more appealing to the women of Middle America, he presents every member of the Oprah audience with a package of chocolate cookies.

“You think it's hard getting through customs with nail scissors?” he said on the show. “Try getting through with 300 packages of Tim Tams.”

How are they best enjoyed? The eat-them-all-straight-from-the-pack approach has its fans, but for a true-blue Aussie experience, try a Tim Tam slam. The procedure is simple: Bite the ends off your bikkie, stick it into the hot beverage of your choice—typically coffee, hot chocolate or (sweet, white) tea—and use it to suck up the liquid like a straw. Proceed directly to bliss.