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Vimto and Vanilla Thriller Jammie Dodgers Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey|
I was relaxing at home with my wife last night when she suddenly remembered a rather exciting biscuit purchase she'd made before. She'd been looking for plain chocolate digestives in Asda, she said, when she found some limited edition jammy dodgers which purported to include not only the standard jam but also custard. Intrigued, I went into the kitchen and retrieved the biscuits.
Unfortunately, the experience was far from magical. I wasn't expecting anything remotely resembling real custard, but hoped for at least a rhubarb-and-custard style dichotomy between the biscuit layers. It wasn't to be, though - the custard was stretchy and sticky like the jam, and tasted the same as well, leading me to believe that these weren't in fact jammy dodgers containing custard, merely jammy dodgers in which half of the jam had been artificially manipulated to look like custard.
Aside from this, the usual jammy dodger setbacks remained. The horizontal packaging style always leaves the jam/custard from the biscuits in the top layer stuck to the wrapper and unsalvageable. Why do they do this? I suspect it's to make the packet of biscuits seem larger - if they were stacked vertically in the normal fashion they'd never get away with only giving you twelve in the packet. Also the extreme stickiness of the filling prevented any meaningful enjoyment being extracted from separating the biscuits - they simply crumbled in my hands.
I know this isn't really feedback of the variety people normally send into you, I just thought it was important that you were made aware of this gimmicky, facile biscuit. I was going to send some in to you so you could test out their custard-ness for yourselves, but unfortunately I'd eaten all of them by the time I'd made up my mind. My wife wasn't too happy about that either.
|Nicey replies: Yes they sound almost identical to the Vanilla Thriller Jammie Dodgers we reviewed a while back. Definitely one of those occasions when something sounds much better on paper. I think Jammie Dodgers are only ever going to be two biscuits connected with a squirt of jammie glue. Much as we can imagine them morphing into a new higher form that has a layer of something else in there its never going to happen.
I'm glad you raised the rhubarb and custard point. Nanny Nicey has always said there should be a Rhubarb and Custard cream biscuit. Indeed a couple of years ago I was invited into the Sainsbury's mothership to talk about ideas for new biscuits and suggested this. It was very well received and they even got Fox's involved who did some brainstorming around the idea, with various classic British Puddings interpreted through the medium of biscuits being suggested, but it never proceeded further. It would be a terrific biscuit though.
Jam Sandwich Creams Review
|Without wanting to re-ignite the Jaffa Cake/Buscuit debate, I was grazing through my confection cupboard the other day and randomly selected three items to nibble on with a nice cup of tea.|
I switched on the telly, had a quick slurp of tea and proceeded to pick up one of my nibbles.
It was with much amusement that I realised that all three items I had selected, whilst being entirely different products, were all based on the same basic fillings, to wit, raspberry jam and butter cream.
The items i had chosen were (in no particular order),
Fox's Jammy Dodger
Mr Kiplings Viennese Whirl
Morrisons Brand Butterfly Cake
This set me thinking. The Jammy Dodger is definately a buscuit and the Butterfly Cake is certainly a cake, but there seems to be a grey area, a sort of transition zone, in which the Viennese Whirl sits, being a sort of hybrid Buscuit come Cake.
After a period of reflection I related this to my wife, Tracy, who informed me that the Viennese Whirl was neither cake nor buscuit but a pastry and that I was stupid.
Does anyone have any comments on the above?
|Nicey replies: Right a great deal to get through here. First off that's a Jam Cream Sandwich which Fox's are building there, a Jammie Dodger is not only different not having cream, but is a built solely by Burtons. Its a bit like calling your Dyson Vacuum cleaner a Hoover. Sorry for the pedantic bit there but I would be remiss if I didn't wade in.
Any how the Mr Kipling Viennese whirl is avery undervalued thing, and in a great many European countries would get away with calling itself what ever it fancied. Cake or biscuit they wouldn't really care. However in the UK it would have to be a cake, and not just beacuse as we all know, Mr Kipling makes exceedingly good ones, and he made these, but also because I don't think it can be classed as a pastry as it has raising in it. If it was a pastry I would probably just join a circle straight to cakes in the mighty NCOTAASD Venn Diagram of such things which is always open for a bit of a fiddling with.
Jammie Dodger Review
|Having recently purchased a packet of the aforementioned biscuits, work colleagues discovered that the base level of the 'sandwich' had its patterned surface 'jam side'. Why hide this detail? Does this increase the adhesive capacity of the jam filling, offer a safer more stable 'plate status' (by using the plain side to increase the contact surface area) or, is it a mechanical error? Has anyone else noiticed this and is it replicated in the new orange dodgers? Yours, Pat|
|Nicey replies: That's a profound point you've brought up there. I've always thought the reason was two fold. First the inner pattern plays an important role in retaining the jam as it is applied in liquid form. I would like to think that Burton's have spent considerable R&D money on refining this and getting it just right, and not simply made a bit of a pattern and stuck with it unchanged for years.
Secondly the baked under surface of the biscuit is the natural surface for the final fully assembled Jammie Dodger to rest upon. This gives its most stable base and allows them to be stacked in nice little piles on plates for parties, to heights in excess of three biscuits.
According to a report on the radio just now, the Pope is well on the way to recovery from his latest operation, having eaten breakfast this morning. He apparently had a latte (which I know is anathema to fans of your website) and some biscuits. But the reporter didn't say what kind. What kind of biscuits would the Pope eat? The obvious answer seems to be some kind of biscotti, since he's in Italy. But is there a biscuit that's known to be a bit more holy, or pure? Would he eat Rich Tea because their simplicity and unpretentiousness matches the values his faith professes? Or is he more likely to be a Jammy Dodger man, because the reward for the hard slog of eating your way through the outer biscuit is the jam in the middle (metaphor for struggling through life before reaching heaven)? Might he favour a Penguin, as an ironic reference to nuns?
I'd be interested to hear what the biscuit experts think.
|Nicey replies: Well as the supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church, and given the amount of suffering he has already endured, I hope at the very least they offered him some decent biscuits. Being an old Polish fella who had a tube inserted in his neck last night, then I'm thinking he would probably give the biscotti a miss and go for something a bit easier on the throat. I would have thought something light, devoid of tricky to swallow bits an bobs and not too sweet, I think a nice shortbread finger or two.
Maybe in a day or two if his physicians think he's up for it, he might want to see off a whole pack of Jaffa Cakes, which are a popular tea sort of thing in Poland.
||Just looking at your Jammie Dodgers poll, the “bring back the old ones” is winning hands down. But which ‘old ones’? The product has gone through several Doctor Who-style regenerations, of which the most radical was turning the bottom biscuit up-side down (or right-way up depending how you look at it). Up until the early 1980’s, the base biscuit was presented with the flat ‘underside’ facing up, so that the overall profile was a pleasing oval nature. A bit like the classic flying saucer shape. Then the jam was changed from a hard viscous dollop to a softer, more user-friendly variety. However, this made them much more difficult to make as the softer jam didn’t set so quickly and tended to run off the flat surface of the biscuit in a messy non-user-friendly way. The solution was to flip the base biscuit over and mould the top surface so that it had a shallow bowl, guarded by a ring of decorative but unseen embossings. This meant that the pleasing oval profile was no longer achievable, but at least the consumer got a nice soft jam that didn’t leave a sticky trail between teeth and biscuit. The designs on the top biscuit (a variety of cut-out shapes including a celtic cross) were also dropped in favour of a having a heart-shaped hole on every biscuit.|