Monday, October 26, 2009

Tim Tam index.

I've been meaning to post this for awhile and an e-mail I revceived earlier today encouraged me to finally put this up.

The back cover of my travel guide (Let's Go Australia, purchased from Macondo's used books in Guelph, very popular with the Canadian crowd around here) mentions that it includes a Tim Tam index. I didn't think much of it, but one day on a flight or a long bus ride, I decided to look through the guide and find out more about it. It took a bit of flipping, but I eventually found a little sidebar in the Victoria section explaining how this index works.

The basic rule of the index states, "the sharp increase in price is directly proportional to how far one has trekked into the Never Never". Therefore, the Tim Tam becomes a numerical representation of exactly how deep into the middle of nowhere you are; just how far away from civilization you have ventured. Also, your desire to consume Tim Tams seems to increase with their scarcity and price. Even though I could hardly eat anything in the dry heat of the outback, it was where I wanted Tim Tams the most.

The guide states that the average price for Tim Tams is $2.72 AUD. In Perth, a decent sized city where grocery stores with sales are located, I have found the cheapest Tim Tams at $1.98. In the wet tropics of northern Queensland where all chocolate must be refrigerated, I've found Tim Tams for $4.90.

Today, my mother sent me an e-mail saying that she had purchased authentic Australian Tim Tams in Peterborough, Ontatio, Canada for $1.12 CAD (about $1.23 AUD). The lowest priced Tim Tams are officially found on the other side of the world. I have photographic evidence to prove it (thanks Nat!). This really is an interesting situation. So many questions have been running through my head during snack time today. Even though I can't take it too seriously, I can't help but wonder...what does this tell us about the civility of these countries? What does this tell us about international trade and transportation of commodities? Perhaps my next degree will have to focus on the importance of chocolate biscuits in international relations, development, and economics.

Probably not though, I just found a group looking for field assistants in the Yukon next spring to study red squirrel ecology. I'm going to update my resume and send it in. I could do that for a few months and keep looking for a real job in Ontario for the summertime. Wish me luck!


  1. I just woke up from a dream where I was in NewZealand with you and we went to a grocery store and there were soooo many different kinds of vegemite and vegemite style products. But they were all different flavours, like "super sweet" and "extra salty" and "ham flavour". (I think this was related to the fact that I've heard that vegemite in NZ is different from AUS, I don't know if that's true) But Ew. I've never had a vegemite related dream before. I will keep my eye out for the price of tim tams in ottawa though!

  2. I actaully tried the tim tams treat for the first time at your parent house on sunday. thank goodness there is not a extra salty type of tim tams...or is there? I will have to have a look for them when I'm out and about.

  3. There are no extra salty versions of Tim Tams on the market in reality world (as opposed to various flavours of vegemite in dream world). There are about 20 different flavours of Tim Tams, but they are all sweet, and some purists would consider this to be a bit of a controversial marketing scheme. There was only the original for a long time, but then Kraft got involved (maybe not Kraft, but some large corporation) and started making all sorts of different styles and fillings and generally messing with the Tim Tams. I've only had the original and the double coated, which is much like the original. I'll have to try a few others over the next little while though.