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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.
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
On the subject of Tim Tams, I also happened to catch one of Arnott’s pimped-up ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ range of Tim Tams, the Chilli Choc Fling, when travelling last year.
Now I’m all for a bit of glamour in my snack treats, but I don’t like my biscuits being violated by marketing teams and image consultants. I say let the baker’s art shine through and leave the sweet talking to cream centres and chocolate coatings thank you very much. I have to say in this case, they did.
I could tell a tale of sophisticated tastings or I could just say that these bad boys didn’t see much sunlight once the first one was tested. Dark chocolate inside and out with a nice little bite to the filling, oh yes. I have to admit, it’s been nearly a year since I tried em and I can’t recall whether they were partnered with tea, it was all over too quickly. Something tells me they’d make more of a ‘platter treat’ than a dunker, but there’s those who’ll dunk anything, so perhaps it’s a case of “each to their own”.
I had the presence of mind to take a photo with my phone should I meet someone who needed this valuable info, I dug it out of my reference archives for you. If they or other chilli choc hybrids are in the UK let us know.
High tech hybrids seem to be the path our biscuits are taking. Tasty though they are, are you worried we may lose the simple foundation biscuits like the Digestive and the Rich Tea?
All the best
ps Bahlsen rock but they’re Zoo biscuits now have posidrive impressions from the screws that hold the shapes in place. What’s all that about? German engineering where you need it most on a biscuit? I don’t think so.
pps Does the jam in wagon wheels react with the chemicals in the marshmallow to give that “I think I’ve got a wrong un” taste in the roof of your mouth or is it part of the grand design?
|Nicey replies: Good thinking on the photo, if only more people would take snaps of strange foreign biscuits. I'm not worried about sensible biscuits being under threat from exotics, I am however slightly concerned about biscuits with chilli in them. I think that could lead to all sorts of strange biscuits for thrill seekers such as something with Fishermans Friend flavour filling or maybe Victory Vs.
For a real tour de force of Burton's Jam and Mallow technology get some of their teacakes the combination can almost be eye watering at times.
||Evening, Nicey, I seem to be becoming a regular correspondent, which is a refelction on a brilliant website that gets down to life's real issues.|
Don't wish to hog this section, but I had to reply to Alison Debenham to reassure her she is not alone in the marmalade making industry. My wife Sheila and I took over our family marmalade manufacturing concession about ten years ago, when my mother, then aged 80, decided she'd had enough (of slicing up oranges, that is). We are about to go in search of Seville oranges, a quest not so easy in Finchley now as there is only one greengrocer left - last year I ended up paying half as much again for them in Waitrose. We usually make three batches, each using three pounds of fruit - there is always a demand from family & friends as the finished product is so superior to the commercial one. My favourite is Three Fruit, made from a combination of Sevilles, pink grapefruit and lemons, although I can't resist spiking a few jars of Seville with Bell's whiskey (for personal consumption). I have also found a recipe for rum and raisin marmalade, which we may give a try. I think that once you are used to the home made stuff, anything else is just not up to standard. We are also masochistic enough to make our own jams, wine, chutneys, and pickles. So no, Alison, you are not alone, you are not sad, you are helping to preserve a bit of old England, and long may you continue to do so.
Incidentally, a great and simple pudding can be made by making a sandwich of a McVities Jamaica Ginger Cake (that has preferably been left to mature for six months, they improve with age) - filling it with a liberal helping of marmalade of choice, wrap in foil and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Serve with lashings of (Bird's) custard.
And on the subject of custard, Nicey, you are raising an issue which seriously needs addressing. Sales are slumping - the British are not taking their custard seriously enough, and I don't understand why. Do you ever meet anyone who says "I don't like custard"? Proof enough, surely.
||Good morning Nicey and Wifey and YMS|
It's not just red telephone boxes and real bottles of milk that are disappearing. I feel like I'm the only person who still does the old traditional things such as knitting, making my own Christmas cakes, puddings, mincemeat and mince pies, and making my own marmalade - which is what I've spent this morning doing. There's nothing more comforting on a cold winter's morning than filling the kitchen with citrus steam, and the satisfaction when the golden liquid is decanted into jars....and no, I'm not an Old Person, I'm actually well under 50. Am I alone or is there anyone else out there who does these things? Or am I just a sad old woman (apparently I am, according to my two late teenage offspring).
Yours stickily (from the marmalade!)
|Nicey replies: Alison,
An extremely hearty New Year Hoorah for you and your Marmalade construction. One of our younger members of staff loves Marmalade and strangely enough we live very near to a marmalade factory. In fact an old next door neighbour of ours worked there and used to bung us the odd jar now and again, which in a circular way accounts for the former.
As for home made Christmas cake, Wifey built her first one this year, using her mothers recipe. For good measure she made her write it down in long hand rejecting the perfectly good photocopy. This was part of a larger set of aims here at NCOTAASD HQ to bake more cakes.
After 2005 being year of Jam at NCOTAASD I am seriously considering 2006 as being NCOTAASD Year of Custard as there seems to be an alarming decline in proper custard.
The teenage offspring will change their tune in a few years time once you kick them out, and they've had a few years living on beans on toast and takeaways.
Thin Arrowroot Review
|Dear ncotaasd staff and fellow readers,|
I have two things I would like to share with you and visitors to your important and critically acclaimed web site and biscuit information forum.
Firstly I write in support of the oft maligned Arrowroot, unfairly, I feel, dismissed in your review as a "dry tasteless dull excuse for a biscuit". I would suggest that to the contrary the Arrowroot represents an important lifelong companion and comfort food. Introduction to the Arrowroot should be at an early age as they make an excellent teething soother and general comforter for babies - in part because of the structural qualities recognized in your report but also for its unique warming vanilla variant taste. Later in life that taste quickly brings back feelings of security, warmth, homeliness and the protective cocoon that was early childhood. What better way to get over another brutal day in the work world than to come home to a ncotaasd with an Arrowroot on the side. And, if that is not enough, later in life we can look forward to the Arrowroot as a valuable easily digested, nourishing diet for convalescence. The active ingredients are reportedly especially useful in bowel complaints, as they have demulcent properties.
For a special treat I slather the top of an Arrowroot with butter - the real stuff - and a large spoonful of jam. This provides a good segue to my second topic, Jam. While on an all too short visit to Turkey this year I acquired a pot of Penguen brand Gul Receli (the u with an umlaut and the c with a cedilla). This, as many of your fine visitors may know, is rose petal jam. Quite how crafty penguins became a corporate logo for a product made in a country with Mediterranean and desert like climates is a mystery ... but I digress. The delicate and exquisite flavour of this Jam is just like good red Turkish delight. Apart from a few teaspoonfuls gobbed onto Arrowroots we used most of it for jam tarts and this, I believe, is the Jam's forte. The tarts made a good conversation piece, at least until tasted after which household members just focused on grabbing the biggest share and greedily scoffing. A final word of warning, the jam does contains small pieces of rose petal which can stubbornly adhere to teeth, but despite this I heartily recommend rose petal jam as a must try for all. Why not try it first on an Arrowroot !
Regards to all.
|Nicey replies: Well I think Turkey should have that high on their lists of reasons for getting into the EU, "Have Turkish delight flavoured jam, made by Penguins". Good plan with the Jam tarts. Well done for sticking up for the Arrowroot it needs friends because out of nearly 2000 votes in our biscuit poll it's still showing a zero as anybody's favourite, and 00.3% people have them regularly.|