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Penguin Splatz

Sunday 8 Jun 2003

Not so long ago we reviewed the Crawfords Chocolate Ring. This was a way of bringing some of the output of United Biscuits empire from Spanish bakeries to the UK market. This week we will look at the same experiment conducted on their French BN products.

Now BN who have a a history dating back to 1897 have long been known for their expertise in the sandwich biscuit arena, with the Happy Face being the best known example. Unfortunately the Happy Face has never really caught the UK biscuit eating publics attention. Then again maybe it did but we all avoided it due to the scary clown face, I know I did.

Enter the McVitie's Penguin Splatz, part of the vanguard of new Penguin products that have been coming our way this year. We made straight for the Vanilla ones because they looked nice, but there are also Chocolate and Mini Splatz to keep them company. Straight away the Splatz gives away its BN construction. The curvy star shape, the sandwich construction and the little flipper shaped holes with cream filling squidging through them are classic BN touches. A nice touch is that the number of holes varies between one and three.

The biscuit is of course chocolate flavoured and there definitely is a family resonance in the flavour of the biscuit, and yet something unfamiliar. Maybe its the addition of rye, a grain rarely encountered in biscuits. The biscuit is a very crumbly beast indeed, light and fragile with a shiny hard outer shell. You'll be very lucky indeed if your pack of 16 Splatz turns up intact despite its careful packing of corrugated cardboard. Still we liked the recyclable packaging of the Splatz which is in stark contrast to its Chucka stable mate.

If you're not familiar with the BN range then chances are you'll have never had anything like the Penguin Splatz, and that's probably a very good reason why you should give them a go.

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Lu Mikado

Tuesday 3 Jun 2003

Well, well, well. What a hectic week its been so much so that our biscuit of the week is long over due. Which is very naughty when you consider that the Wife and I trekked all the way to France in a covert mission to obtain them. They are none other than the fabled and much sort after 'sticky', as in 'like a stick' not 'adhesive', Mikado. See they do exist and there is the picture to prove it! As it turned out it was leading French biscuit outfit Lu, who were making them all along. We picked up a packet of the Dark Chocolate and the 'Nouveau' Milk Chocolate.

Looking like nano-bread sticks that have been dipped in chocolate, or over dressed sparklers, the Mikado is an extremely dainty little biscuit. I suspect that it is actually a fairly near relative to the Pretzel, given its diameter. In fact if you unrolled a Pretzel knocked off those big salt grains and dipped it in chocolate you would get something almost identical. You would, of course, also have amazing powers of biscuit straightening, which I hope you would use to fight crime and injustice in the world, although the opportunity would probably never arise. Also I do know you can get chocolate covered Pretzels.

So what to do with the Mikado. Well being so closely aligned with the Pretzel you aren't going to able to substitute them for a meal, no matter how easily they are consumed. Given its appearance and mass its probably not going to be the sort of thing to give to your builder with his mug of tea (3 sugars please). I would consider building large load bearing structures from them based around tetrahedra by fusing the chocolate ends together, I expect. Or maybe you could poke them into ice-cream, I don't know thats just a guess.

As for the obvious question I know you're all wondering, 'Who would win in a fight between a Jacobs Mikado and a Lu Mikado?'. Well my money would be on the Jacobs, although the Lu could probably inflict grievous stick shaped holes in the jam and marshmallow of the Jacobs.

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Foxs Chocolate Viennese

Sunday 18 May 2003

Well we've returned to good old blighty this week for our biscuit of the week. Inspired by last weeks Romany Creams our packet of Foxs Chocolate Viennese found itself leap frogging up the queue of review biscuits, to find itself on Sunday afternoon tea and a sit down duty.

Anyone who was lucky enough to have a biscuit selection tin from Marks & Spencer this Christmas will have been treated to a few of these biscuits as Foxs make a large part of the M&S range. So as you might expect these biscuits fall firmly into the the little treat niche.

Described on the pack as 'Buttery biscuits sandwiched with real Milk Chocolate', Foxs have done a fairly able job of summing up these little treats. The biscuits have a lovely buttery crumble to them and the chocolate provides not only a rich milk chocolate flavour but real structural integrity as it completely adheres the two biscuits to one another. It actually appears that the chocolate may have soaked a little way into the biscuits. About the only point I would make against these is that they can be quite cloying on the throat, however a nice cup of tea will instantly sort this minor issue.

There are certain biscuit packs that you know are going down in one sitting. This is such a pack. With a mere ten biscuits, each of which is utterly incapable of putting up a real resistance to a biscuit eating onslaught, there can only be one outcome. Total biscuit consumption.

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