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Rich Tea

Sunday 1 Sep 2002

Well this week we have finally got round to reviewing that classic biscuit the Rich Tea, and as it's NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown's first birthday we thought we would push the boat out and do Rich Tea fingers whilst we were at it.

The Rich Tea presents us straight away with a paradox. If these are 'Rich' tea, where are 'Poor' tea biscuits and what on earth do they taste like? Well they would have to be fairly ropy old affairs because the Rich tea itself is not exactly a self contained one biscuit flavour festival. What flavour it does manage to achieve comes from the various sugars in recipe, sucrose, maltose and some glucose plus a little bit of salt. The Rich tea finger seems to have the edge over its round sibling possibly due to its smaller build giving it a slightly higher bake.

There are attempts at turning Rich Tea's into something more palatable, covering them in chocolate or sticking some sort of cream up the middle, but its all a bit hopeless really.

So what are they good for? Dunking of course. The Rich tea can drive even the stanchest anti-dunker to dunk. The Rich Tea then comes into its own, convincing you that you have done the right thing by giving the eater the reward of sloppy hot Rich tea, which is actually better than what you started with.

What else are Rich teas for? Humility. Through Rich tea biscuits we learn that not all biscuits have been blessed with a fantastic taste, and that there is space in this world for dry bland biscuits that you can dunk in tea.

 Your feedback 18 messages

Mint Viscount

Sunday 25 Aug 2002

Once again this week we turn to Burtons for our biscuit of the week, and to the classic Viscount. The Viscount has long enjoyed a prestigious place in the biscuit world, often taking center stage after the sandwiches at Sunday tea. Available in both Mint and Orange varieties, the Viscount has never strayed from this conservative two flavours path, shunning all other flavours, for reasons we can only guess at.

The Viscount design consists of a circular crunchy, slightly gritty biscuit base, with a small disc shaped blob of minty cream on top all covered in a fairly useful milk chocolate. Each biscuit is then wrapped in a square of colour coded foil, green for mint and orange for ... orange. Nowadays the foil also has words Viscount on it. The skilled Viscount eater will flatten out the foil and use it to make a small model or trinket.

Viscounts of old were highly regular affairs with their cream filling extending very close to the biscuit edge but today's Viscount seems to a bit chucked together. The review biscuit is by no means atypical with most of the packet looking like they had been in some sort of biscuit construction fight.

 Your feedback 6 messages

McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive

Sunday 18 Aug 2002

This week we are reviewing another classic biscuit. There can be few biscuits which garner such respect as the McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive. Referred to by most, as simply 'Chocolate biscuits', they provide a figurehead for the entire chocolate biscuit world.

Due in no small part to the quality of its chocolate-less brethren the digestive, upon which it is based, McVities simply outclass all other contenders. The distinctive horisontal and vertical patterning in the chocolate also distinguish the McVities from other lesser biscuits. The quantity of chocolate used shows thoughtful restraint, resulting in a harmonious balance of biscuit and chocolate. This is good to see in these times when a an almost vulgar over use of chocolate is the resort of less talented biscuit manufactures.

Once again in the McVities rebranding fiasco they have not escaped entirely unscathed. Gone now is the 'Homewheat' brand, which so evocatively conjured images of nice sit downs, tea and chocolate biccies. I 'm glad to report, however, that the review biscuits came from a conventional packet, a 600g big value pack at that, rather than the canisters that they can also be obtained in.

So if you are ever worried about which biscuits to serve for any particular occasion, simply choose the McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive. You won't go wrong.

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