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Phallic bread and a comedy number gone wrong made for a controversial episode of the show.

Published on September 13, 2017

Photo: PeopleImages/Getty Images

Ask the average American what a teacake is and you might get any number of answers: Any type of cake you can eat with tea? A Russian cookie dusted with powdered sugar? A scone? The true definition is elusive, as proved by the latest episode of the Great British Bake Off, in which even the English — some of the most tea-devoted people in the world — revealed themselves to be woefully ignorant when it comes to what constitutes a teacake.

Episode 3 of the baking competition was Bread Week, which brought the challenge to bake teacakes. The type of treat referenced on the show is “made from enriched dough that contains extra fats, eggs, sugar, and fruit,” according to the Independent. Sounds straightforward enough, but one of the bakers, Tom, confessed that he wasn’t sure what the judges were looking for, his excuse being that he’s from Scotland. In his home country, a teacake is a chocolate-covered, marshmallow-filled cookie, famously made by the brand Tunnock’s.

Of course, Twitter weighed in after the show, with Scottish viewers expressing dismay that some of the bakers were adding fruit, not marshmallow, to their cakes.

This episode turned out to be a controversial one all around: Audiences did not find host Noel Fielding’s bit hiding inside a fridge amusing, citing concerns that the stunt could be dangerous for people who may later try to re-create his antics. Meanwhile, one of the other bakers, named Julia, created an accidentally risqué loaf of bread meant to resemble a snail. Paul Hollywood favored Julia’s bread, despite its phallic shape, and she ended up winning the challenge.

The incident is a return to the good old days of the Great British Bake Off when a small dose of sexual innuendo was commonplace under the white tent. Looks like fans who worried that the show would lose its panache after Mary Berry left may have had nothing to worry about after all.

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