President Biden's 'tea and Krimpets' slip brings taste of Philly to celebration of queen

The history of the Krimpet dates back to almost the beginning of Tastykake.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Monday, September 19, 2022
Biden reflects on tea with the queen
President Biden gives brief remarks on the queen and shares a memory of her.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Did the queen and the president dine over Tastykakes when the Bidens visited England last year?

If you were listening to President Joe Biden's remarks on Sunday, you may have thought just that.

The president and first lady helped honor Queen Elizabeth II by sharing memories of their tea time last year when she invited them to join her at Windsor Castle, near London.

But it was his choice of pastries that piqued the interest of Philadelphians.

"When the Queen had us to the castle for tea and - we were joking - Krimpets - she kept offering me more; I kept eating everything she put in front of me - but she was the same in person as she - as her image: decent, honorable, and all about service," Biden said.

Did the president say Krimpet?

The Krimpet is known throughout the Delaware Valley as the famous treat made by the Philadelphia-based Tastykake company, found at your neighborhood Wawa and other area markets. It's a finger-shaped cake with a thick layer of icing and comes in a variety of flavors: Butterscotch, Creme-filled and Jelly.

The history of the Krimpet dates back to almost the beginning of Tastykake itself. Philip Baur and Herbert Morris started the company that would be called TastyKake in 1914.

In the 1920s, they came up with the Junior cakes.

Their next creation? The Krimpet.

However, Krimpets were not a sweet success at first for Baur and Morris.

"Unfortunately, it was so moist and delicate that it fell apart when removing them from the cake pans," Tastykake explains on its website.

They were looking for a solution when someone recommended to "crimp" the cake to give it a more stable shape. It worked and the Krimpets were here to stay!

But tea and Krimpets?

Now that does sound like a delicacy you might indulge in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where the president was born, or in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware - but London?

It was assumed the president meant to say tea and crumpets, the griddled cake often associated with English elegance.

But to be sure, we checked the White House's official transcript of President Biden's remarks.

It read: "When the Queen had us to the castle for tea and - we were joking - crumpets - she kept offering me more."

Sure enough, the president meant to say crumpets, not Krimpets.

The queen enjoying a Tastykake was a heartwarming thought - even for a moment.

However, in his small gaffe, Biden inadvertently added a piece of Philadelphia to the celebrations honoring the life of Queen Elizabeth.

The queen, who was Britain's longest-serving monarch, died earlier this month after a 70-year reign. Biden was among hundreds of heads of state and other dignitaries who were in London to attend her state funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

The Bidens paid their respects to the queen on Sunday by traveling to Westminster Hall, where she had been lying in state, to stand before the monarch's coffin in the presence of thousands of mourners who had spent hours upon hours waiting to file past.

They then signed condolence books at Lancaster House before going to Buckingham Palace for a reception hosted by King Charles III and other royal family members for the world leaders who flew in for the funeral.

After signing the book, Biden said his heart goes out to the royal family because the queen's death has left it with a "giant hole."

"Sometimes you think you'll never, you'll never overcome it," said Biden, who often speaks in very personal terms about loss following the death of his first wife and infant daughter, and later an adult son. "But as I've told the king, she's going to be with him every step of the way - every minute, every moment. And that's a reassuring notion."

"So, to all the people of England, all the people of the United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you. And you were fortunate to have had her for 70 years. We all were. The world is better for her," Biden said.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.