Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
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||Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
I think you'll be interested in this upcoming bank holiday festival in Donegal, in the North West of Ireland, where large quantities of tae and biscuits are consumed cupoftaefestival .
FYI 'tae' is the Irish and Hiberno-English for that which you refer to as 'tea'.
Love the website,
Diarmaid (Dublin, Ireland)
|Nicey replies: We were inspecting Donegal at a distance only last week in a our mammoth NCOTAASD Easter tour of Northern Ireland.
It's over there some where behind that Giant's Causeway.
Flew back from working in Dublin yesterday. Ryanair served me with the requested cup of tea and my god, it was the second worst cup I'd ever had. Some strange Indian brand I'd never heard of. It had brown bits of crap all over the top of it. Not tea dust and not tea leaves, just some crap. Then the gave me coffee cream to put in it! It tasted as you would imagine.
They should take a tip out of the Easyjet PG Tips tea choice.
|Nicey replies: Whilst I have no desire to bring down the wrath of a budget airline upon us, it does let me use a very succinct set of icons. |
||Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
I saw your book in the library the other day and borrowed it, and now I am going to buy copies for many members of my family who would really enjoy it. Well done, a really good read with lots of truly vital information, as you will be well aware.
But I had to write to ask if anyone knows anything about Milk and Honey Creams. I doubt there was much honey in them, and possibly not any milk, but for me they will always be the quintessence of a jam sandwich cream biscuit. Slightly toffee flavour jam (the so-called "honey") and vanilla "milk". Do you think people were put off by the possible extreme messiness of a Milk and Honey Sandwich? Maybe if it was explained that it was really a toffee and vanilla biscuit then Huntley and Palmers, or whoever they call themselves now, would produce it again, thus taking me back to my childhood and doubtless providing much pleasure to those whose childhoods were bereft of this wonderful biscuit.
I like the website too by the way. I live near Belfast and we recently had a Christmas market featuring stalls from all over Europe, but most of my money went to the Breton cake stall. Apple buns, almond slices, chocolate tart, all wonderful. Sadly the market was only there for 3 weeks so I did not have time to eat every item on sale, so maybe I will have to go on holiday to Brittany like you did.
Keep up the good work!
|Nicey replies: Hello Hilary,
Yes I just about remember Milk and Honey's, amongst my earliest biscuit memories, I must have been about 3 or 4 years old. My Auntie Edna had some and they very different to the Crawfords Custard Creams which would have been my benchmark biscuit at the time. At the time she lived in a large old Essex weatherboard house called Clements Hall. I remember eating Milk and Honey's as we went to watch a bonfire in the very overgrown grounds of the place, all sat in a disused tram car that had been salvaged from Southend Piers's light railway. Apparently it's all gone now, I think it burnt down, and a leisure centre has been built there.
Although it is part of our missing in action section I have heard tale that Milk and Honeys which like many Huntley and Palmer biscuits were produced under licence around the world, are still made in Malaysia.
As for living near Belfast, the same can be said of Wifey's family. In fact Grandma Wifey's unrelenting one woman PR blitz on a poor unsuspecting Northern Ireland after our books publication could well be the reason that your Library has a copy.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
There has been a degree of confusion in our workplace recently over the exact nature and meaning of the word ‘tiffin’.
A number of shops, including Tesco, Waitrose and our own local Bon Viveur sell a small, chocolaty biscuit / tray-bake under the name of ‘tiffin’.
This varies in both content and appearance with some varieties containing cherries, some containing nuts and others topped with a layer of chocolate.
They all contain broken-up biscuits of some description along with raisins, all held together by a sort of cocoa based mortar.
The dictionary definition however states simply that ‘tiffin’ is an Indian word for lunch, possibly with a drink involved.
I had always thought that ‘tiffin’ referred to a sort of afternoon or early evening tea with a little something, possibly cake, to go with it.
I was just wondering whether you had a view on the subject and whether the dictionary should be updated to reflect the modern usage of the word (i.e. the chocolaty cake thing).
|Nicey replies: Morning Keith,
Happy New Year to you.
I have seen both usages of the word Tiffin, although neither really fell within my own vocabulary. The first was by friends in my youth who hailed from Lancashire, and was definitely of the Lunch type. I think they used to call their Lunch box Tiffin or maybe they were referring to the contents I was far too young and care free to enquire further.
The second was in Ireland where I feel sure I have seen bars of Cadbury's Chocolate Tiffin, along side their other sorts of Chocolate bars. Again I never investigated further, my head too giddy with thoughts of Kimberlys no doubt.
I’ve just enjoyed a splendid biscuit, so, when I returned to my desk, I typed “Best Biscuit” into Google, as you do, and arrived at your most interesting site.
Like your recent correspondent (Julie Marlow), I am an expat living in Melbourne, and the biscuit that transported me today was an Arnott’s Chocolate Shortbread. Confusing I know, since it’s neither short, nor bread, but as we know nomenclature in the biscuit world is inconsistent at best (i.e. Jaffa Cakes). We really need an international naming convention to sort it out once and for all. Conforming biscuits could advertise the fact on their (cardboard) packets as in: HobNobs (Approved – Societe Internationale de Biscuit Nomenclature, Geneva). Anyway, I digress. The ACS is redolent of Dundee biscuits that I used to enjoy in the schoolyards of my youth, in darkest Sheffield. Extremely moreish, with a pleasingly doughy texture , and lots of clag. You’re picking clumps out of your molars for hours.
|Nicey replies: Good plan in the biscuit naming body, but I can't see its decisions being adhered to if its based in Geneva, as Swiss biscuits are mostly utterly woeful. Most of them would carve out a more useful living for themselves as packing material, given that they tend to be puffed up with air in some fashion, rather than being full of biscuity usefulness. I think I would be tempted to site it on the Isle of Man, which would make it handy for the British and Irish to thrash out the various issues we have in biscuit nomenclature. Actually there aren't too many but it would make a lovely long weekend for everybody and I haven't actually been there, only over it.
As for Dundee biscuits the unrest continues here as the authenticity of the ones produced by Cottage biscuits (see our missing in action section) was questioned by one meticulous correspondent. Never having had one I'm unable to comment.