James Ford and Son Bakery, Berwick-upon-Tweed


You find me sat in the Youth Hostel on a Saturday evening surrounded by a collection of people from various walks of life. I push aside everything on my table and pull out a caramel slice that’s been squashed in my camera bag all afternoon (I apologise for not having a fresh photo). I then take three photos of this slice as if what I was doing is a done thing (mind you with Instagram and Twitter, people often do photograph their food). I glance left and right to see a few eyes spying upon the peculiarity, but I ignore them.

I’m back in Berwick a week after my previous post was written, which was on a slice from a market stall in the town, you can read that here. This time, I found a local bakery, infact I mentioned it before, but it was closed when I first found it. But on saturday it was open and went in and bought a caramel slice.

(Was it Saturday? I feel it might have been Friday when I went in…hmm.)

So I was in Berwick volunteering for the Film, Media and Arts Festival. Which was an epic three day weekend for myself, where I met some great people, both volunteers. organisers, film makers, knitters and the general public. I had a fantastic time in the beautiful town and the film installations were extraordinarily good.

I bought the slice, most likely, in one rushed break between shifts, probably around the time I was knitting for the festival. That was real fun. First time knitting.

Sorry, I’m really not talking about caramel slices am I?

Okay, so the slice was 7.7 x 4.3 x 3.0 cm thick and like I said, it did at one point look very tasty, as caramel slices often do.

The chocolate layer looks promising, as does the caramel. Plus the slices smells great, and I would nod my head in appreciation (I did that often with pork pies).

The first bite

The caramel flavour is dominant here but chocolate flares with cheap or cooking chocolate, which is always deeply disappointing. Consistency with the caramel is gooey and somewhat wet which has a different flavour to harder caramels and is usually richer and more vibrant. Here the flavour is relaxed though strong.

The base is crumbly and tastes of hay. …That can’t be right. Sorry, it actually says in my scribbly hand writing, ‘okay’. It’s okay, it’s okay. Okay? Okay.

On the second bite I notice how easily my teeth cut through the chocolate, owing to a soft chocolate top. The crumbly dry base mixes with the wet caramel to create a tasty paste which unfortunately sits in the back of the throat and takes some violent gulping to get it down.

Base is diabolically crumbly. That was a bullet point in itself. (I’m reading from my notes).

This reminded me of a cafe I saw in Berwick, who’s tagline was something like: ‘So good, there’s only crumbs left.’ How on earth is that a good thing?

What I noticed more towards the end of the slice, was that the base had a somewhat under-cooked flavour, though I can’t imagine that would make it crumbly, but more the opposite. Hmm.

The after taste is good, but I still have crumbs wedged to the back of my throat.

I’m going to be honest, I can’t remember how much I paid for it, So I can’t add that to the equation that is the score. 

So all things considered: funky wibbly top, with a cheap flavour, wet caramel, dry base, massive landslide, overall good flavour.

5.5 out of 10


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