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Bahlsen Hit

Sunday 15 Jun 2003

Its not very often that the weather influences our choice of review biscuits. Biscuit photography is best done in the open air, and given that the sun is beating down on us in the south of England chocolate biscuits are liable to melt into an unrecognisable mass in a matter of seconds. So once again the noble Choco Liebniz has had its review shelved whilst its stable mate the 'Hit' biscuit has kindly stepped in at the last minute.

John Murray amongst others emailed us to see if we knew where Lu Prince biscuits might be obtained in the UK. As we couldn't think of anybody who carries Lu biscuits we suggested the Bahlsen Hit as comparable alternative. The Hit is described in German as 'Keks mit Kakaocreme-Füllung' or even more alluringly in English as 'Biscuits with a delightful chocolate flavoured filling'.

Baked in Poland by Bahlsen in one of its very many Euro-bakeries, the Hit is a classic continental chocolate creme sandwich biscuit. Given my non exisistant grasp of either the German language or psyche, the reasons for the biscuits violent sounding 'Hit' name are but a mystery. Perhaps they passed over 'Slap', 'Thump' and 'Smack' before settling on 'Hit'.

Like most of Bahlsens range coffee springs to mind as the intended fluid for imbibing with said biscuit. However, as is our way we tried it out with tea. The raising agents are higher up on the ingredients than the skimmed milk which explains the very light and crispy nature of the two biscuit halves. With out a drink the flavour of the dark chocolate creme is lost as the biscuit claims all the moisture in your mouth. However, a slurp of tea and the chocolate flavour emerges with that distinctive bitter continental edge.

I especially enjoyed the sheet of white corrugated paper around the edge of the pack which didn't quite meet giving a strange gully down one side. It also ensured that all our Hits were intact despite having some very rough treatment in the shopping trolly from one of our younger members of staff.

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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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