English school (briefly) bans triangular desserts, citing food-fight shuriken risks

Castle View School in Canvey Island, Essex, England, briefly banned triangular flapjacks (not pancakes; the English call granola-bar-like food "flapjacks") after a student sustained an injury when another student threw a cornersome flapjack at him. The school authorities required that all flapjacks must be served in rectangular portions, to increase the safety of food-fights.

The ban did not stand very long. Public mockery seems to have killed it.

According to one report, in 2011 British MP and Education Secretary Michael Gove was prevented from taking flapjacks into a cabinet meeting, after officials cited similar safety concerns. That is the only report of that alleged incident, however—although Gove was (and is) the Education Secretary, there does not appear to be any other evidence that he was ever frisked for flapjacks or that even the British government has actually classified them as a security risk.

Triangular Treats Banned Due to Risk of Sharp Corners

(Image: Flapjacks..., a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from ajy's photostream)


  1. “henceforth, all meals shall be served in liquid form…”   and every student since, has been heard pleading “please, sir, i want some more…”

  2. Because four corners are better than three? 

    Or, more philosophically, would it still be a flapjack if it were round?

    1. Three corners are pointier than four, unless you snap your rectangular flapjack diagonally in two giving four nice pointy corners.

    2. If a square is safe, an octagon is really safe.

      A perfectly spherical food, preferably with crumple zones, is the ultimate in snack safety. Sno-Balls basically add statistical years to your life every time you eat one

  3. It’s interesting that the *shape* of the projectile was perceived to be the problem. I would have thought it would be enough to ban the throwing of food.

     I guess it’s not enough to be doing one’s job, one has to be seen doing it.

  4. This rather supports the stereotype that English cuisine is better used as a weapon than sustenance. (Actually the stereotype is that English cuisine is awful, but I’m trying to find the silver lining.)

    1. That’s a rather old stereotype, we have more michelin starred restaurants than the US and are a fifth of the size

          1. I’ll buy you a gift certificate. I hate organ meats.

            (EDIT: Anyone wanting to get snarky, that’s meant to be about me, not universal truth or some shit like that.)

          2. I’ve been there (Spitalfields). Terrible place for a veggie. My meal consisted of a boiled potato and a spring onion. My fault really.

          3. Well, yeah, if it’s corn-fed, drug-laced grocery store meat. Eating a modest amount of game with every meal probably wouldn’t hurt you.

          4. Used to be one of the few places in London you could get a drink early in the morning after the clubs were closing.

      1. That’s a rather old stereotype, we have more michelin starred restaurants than the US and are a fifth of the size

        And yet, the entire population seems to live on frozen lasagne. Discovering that was the really surprising part of the horse meat scandal.

  5. Don’t they teach food to weapon modification in English schools anymore?  (if for no other reason as a practical application of basic geometry?)

  6. “…to increase the safety in food fights.”  Now that’s funny.
    I guess these need to eaten with a “stiff upper lip”

  7. nachoproblem: Where has that label come from? I’m not saying ‘English cuisine’ is anything spectacular and being veggie myself I’ve never experienced what is considered traditionally English but how has Germany got away with it for so long!? 
    Their food is abysmal!

    1. That’s true, except that maybe they represent themselves to the world better. I mean, every German or Austrian restaurant I’ve eaten at in the US has been wonderful. Whereas, the home cooking at the German House when I was in college, which I suppose would be more authentic to “German cuisine”… oh dear, oh dear…

      1. Maybe in Germany they are more inclined to work with what they have available. The thing that annoys me is there seems to be no attempt break from tradition. Kartoffel und quark!
        *excuse the generalisations.

      2. Stay with a family in India and discover what real Indian food is like. Completely unrecognizable.

    2. A beer and a brat w/ kraut is one of the greatest meals on earth, so I’m going to have to dispute that.

      1. I feel the same way, but as I mentioned there may be a restaurant vs. home cooking issue there.

      2. I have these friends who always serve sauerkraut on holidays when they serve turkey/ stuffing/ etc. It has a remarkably lightening effect on what would otherwise seem like a meal full of moistened particle board.

  8. In addendum to my other comments: Of course, when decent Americans want to enjoy themselves either at home or in restaurants, they usually have Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, French, Thai, etc. …  And I hate to think what “American Cuisine” may be represented as in the rest of the world. Have Paula Deen’s donut cheeseburgers made it over there yet? *shudder*

    1. Our view of American cuisine is somewhat schizophrenic, undecided between traditional home cooking, home made jam, ice-cream, bread, etc. and fast food by the bucket.

      1. In all fairness the US hasn’t been around long enough to have its own cuisine.

        Even Apple Pie, one of the most quintessentially American foodstuffs, is something I considered very British until American Media taught me otherwise.

        1. Yeah. The word cuisine suggests, perhaps, uniqueness and originality resulting from long development and did seem out of place. I was humouring our transatlantic cousins who used it first.

          1. I was trying to avoid being too dogmatic. A particular cuisine can also  be codified by one or two individuals within a generation or so. It is not that easy to define. 
            Personally I see nothing wrong with the word food. It is what I eat all the time. I was caught between changing cuisine to food or going with cuisine. I could also claim not to have changed cuisine to food in deference to our American cousins. And both things could be true.

          1. Cooking and eating it, that’s ours too. The Europeans would have used it for a building material or something. (I dare you to tell me I’m wrong.)

        2. Americans have been around and making food for 15,000+ years though…

          Just teasin’ ya.

          US “cuisine” is a hybrid or blending of the kinds of foods that various ethnicities brought here and adapted over time.  Also worth noting that a number of European staple dishes wouldn’t exist without foods that originated in The Americas.

          1. Of course, as I mentioned somewhere else around here though, indigenous food a cuisine does not make.

            You don’t get more British than tea, but it’s not like we grow it in our back gardens :)

          2. Yeah, it’s definitely a Chinese beverage even if lots of British people took to it.

            Lots of dishes were made here with not just native food items, but the lessons on what to do with them, so they are part of our cuisine.

        3. In all fairness the US hasn’t been around long enough to have its own cuisine.

          Oh, please. Where do you think tomatoes and potatoes come from?

          1. We’ve done the whole ‘ingredients aren’t cuisine’ bit already.

            Coming from a Brit, that’s a joke.

      2. That’s pretty accurate. I’ve always though that Americans only care to do their own cuisine right about twice a year — Thanksgiving and July 4th. The rest of the time, you tend to be at the mercy of corporations.

    2. Paula Deen has the cold, dead eyes of a killer.

      Lived in Savannah for 2 years, never went to her nasty restaurant. All the locals shun it, strictly a tourist trap.

    3. American cuisine?  Corn (maize).  Tomatoes.  Potatoes.  Peppers.  Polenta with marinara sauce is made entirely with New World ingredients.  But if you want something more obvious, try Indian Pudding.  Or succotash.  New Englanders, at least, tend to be American locavores in their traditional cooking.

  9. You mock flapjacks at your peril
    Till you meet my aunty Beryl
    She’ll spank you red upon her knee
    Listen to no word of plea
    She makes the best flapjacks in town
    Trussed up inside her wedding gown
    If you carry on, young man
    I’ll introduce my hairy gran
    She sailed upon the seven seas
    Baking huge naval pastries
    Don’t like flapjacks in your book
    She’ll give you a mighty left hook
    Heed these words, beware young man
    Of my aunty Beryl and my fearsome gran.

    1. Background checks for all pizza purchases, plus a limit on how many pepperonis can be put on any one pizza.

  10. Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the baked goods!


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