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Tomorrow I have four gentlemen from the plumbing, heating and electrical professions arriving to replace my boiler, radiators and pipework. I already plan to leave out supplies of robustly flavoured teabags, coffee and white sugar but what is an appropriate biscuit to leave out for them? I do not wish to appear extravagant and therefore an easy touch, but I also do not want to appear cheap. Pink wafers, I'm sure we all agree, would be highly inappropriate but what would be the right thing? Your archives suggest the plain HobNob is a good choice for builders. Does this also apply to plumbing and heating engineers?
When they visited last week to assess the job, they sounded distinctly like Yorkshiremen which adds another angle to the question as I'm in London so I guess they're down here on contract or something.
Best Wishes to you and the YMOS
|Nicey replies: Nick,
Good to hear from you again. Important to get your boiler sorted quickly and efficiently in the middle of February so I think you are right to go with the HobNob. It strikes that happy middle ground very well, but possibly a Fruit Shortcake would perform much the same. If the job looks like taking a day or two and you develop a convivial rapport then may be you could finish up with a few Penguins on the side as 'bonus'.
Of course if you are out at work whilst the tradesmen are at work then your choice of biscuit will be even more important as it is essentially part of the dialogue between you and them. A quick glance around your home will in their minds already pre-dispose you to leaving out a certain type of biscuit and you don't want to come in below or above that mark for the reasons you have outlined.
I'm sure it will be fine.
Custard Cream Review
Can you help out where McVities/United Biscuits have failed us so miserably (see below)?
We think that due to the baroque design and the required manufacturing capabilities it must be somewhere round the turn of the centaury in Northern England. Both wikipedia and Google have let us down as well you are our last hope!
Thank you for your enquiry and apologies for the delay in our reply. We have received some information from our Press Office and Brand Teams at HO, as follows; Crawford's made shortbread from the early 1900's, but unfortunately no date remains for Custard Creams.
Sorry we have been able to assist with your enquiry on this occasion.
|Nicey replies: Well we are not entirely sure, but I did take part in a TV program for ITV about the custard cream and learned a few new interesting facts.
The baroque markings are in-fact Victorian fern fronds which were in vogue in the latter half of the 19th century. The Victorians were also very keen on puddings and the new eggless Birds Custard powder introduced in the mid 19th Century was being referenced in the Custard Cream.
We believe that the Custard Cream was probably more likely Huntley & Palmers (Reading) rather than Peek Frean (Bermondsey South London) as Peek Frean claim that their first cream sandwich biscuit was the Bourbon, which seems to date more recently than the Custard Cream. Another company who dates from the same period and with a long association with the Custard Cream is Crawfords, now part of United Biscuits. Its entirely possible that it was indeed Crawfords who produced the Custard Cream, they were based in Edinburgh but opened a new factory in Liverpool in 1897. This is about the time the Bourbon was introduced (1910) which indicates that the mechanisation required to produce a sandwich cream on an industrial scale was in existence.
So none the wiser really. As you can tell from your reply from United Biscuits this stuff is not easy to discern.
Iced Gems Review
I've been a long and avid fan of the site (good work my friends!) however, for the very first time I've been compelled to write. I've just come across the 'Superstions' section and am somewhat bemused by the history surrounding bubbles in tea. There seems to be lots of stories related to a possible income of cash when bubbles appear in tea. Not here in Oxford, I'm afraid. My Mum, and Nans (on both sides) all announced when making a fine cup of tea, should a bubble appear it was a 'kiss'. I have carried on this tradition and on my regular tea runs at work if a bubble or a two appears I always place it in front of the recipient and announce 'Your tea has kisses, as it was made with love'. I like to think of this as a less greedy and more caring suggestion to the bubbles mythology.
In addition the lady I sit next to at work causes an abomination every day by loudly 'crunching' her packets of Iced Gems. It hurts my very soul to even type their name, surely they are the ultimate so-called biscuit of evil.
keep up the tremendous work
kind regards and dunkages of joy
|Nicey replies: I wonder if the size of the bubbles has any bearing on the amount of money or the degree to which you are going to get kissed. Occasionally you get a really big one with lots of tiny ones round the edge you see.|
||Hello, Nicey,wifey and YMOS.|
I have known that some NCOTAASD.com fans were missing the "Play Box" biscuit. I love its lovely biscuit tin thatＩwas able to see in your Paleolithic Biscuits section. I wish I could see the biscuits themselves hidden in the tin...... The lovely tin shipped square biscuits ,didn't it ?
Well,recently, I found an uncommon type of square shaped biscuit at my local shop in Seoul Korea.
It is a "Hoo-gam" biscuit, which was released into the Korean market by CROWN on October yesteryear.
(It is manufactured by Dong Guan Kam Tai in China)
We can see a description of "Potato Biscuit" on the outer box. So, here, 7 % of potato are used as one of ingredients. This potato biscuit comes in a purple box with a drawer. On sliding over the drawer, inside are six individual portion packs including five square biscuits. The biscuit is super-slim at 1.3mm thick.
Its thinness and smell look like a popular potato crisp that comes in a tublar can. It tastes slightly sweet and slightly salty with an aftertaste like that of the potato crisps I have had.
Unlike usual potato crisps who have curved oval faces, this "Hoo-gam" biscuits have flat square faces.
Anyway, this potato biscuit is really unique with the subtle taste, textute and looks for a biscuit.
So, I feellike doubting if we may call it a biscuit. However, it will be a biscuit as CROWN says so. I believe that CROWN must be a reliable confectionery. Actually, the "Hoo-gam" biscuit is not as crisp as common potato crisps.
I guess that those individual packages are done so that even once you open you CAN stop! And I'm not sure what caused the baker to pop such an idea of the potato crisp-like biscuit. But I imagine that a fluffy thin-sliced potato may have suggested to the manufacturer that he cook the 1.3mm-thick-potato into a potato biscuit instead of a potato snack. So, an another description on the outer box says like this; "A slender potato proposes."
By the way, I hear that the U.K. has a great number of potato lovers as well as biscuits lovers.
Has your country had a potato biscuit, yet?
Thank you for reading.
Hiromi Miura (Seoul Korea)
|Nicey replies: Hello Hiromi,
Yes Playbox biscuits were square and very much missed by many NCOTAASD readers as are Iced biscuits in general.
Your Potato biscuits sound like they would make better companions to cold glasses of beer than hot cups of tea. Certainly the only products that I know of in the UK that are comparable in recipe would be savoury snacks rather sweet or even savoury biscuits. With Wifey being Irish we do have extensive potato experience in the NCOTAASD ranks. Indeed Granda Wifey is basically powered by potatoes, boiled floury ones. These are required with virtually every meal, (it used to be every meal but he has become slightly more liberal in past years).
Another Irish staple is potato bread which includes some mashed potato in it. Looking more like a thick heavy square pancake rather than a loaf, they are usually fried with bacon or sausages and eaten for breakfast.
We also hear that the Japanese version of our book is at long last to be released in Japan this month, and we hope to have our copy soon.
||Dear nicey and wifey,|
I have recently tried out Yorkshire Gold tea. It's quite strong isn't it? And I wasn't even sampling the hard water version. Is it true that northerners drink stronger tea than southerners?
|Nicey replies: Well Yorkshire tea is a very acceptable brew, and they don't cut any corners as far as we are concerned. Mind you I think you'll find most brands produce quite a powerful cuppa when they produce a Premium blend. This was certainly the case when PG Tips produced a special blend for their 75th anniversary, its teh only logical place to go really.
We haven't had a good North South battle royal since the last one, (the interpretation of the term bun I think..) so lets have at it. You might want to leave the Welsh / Irish and Scots out of this one though and draw the battle lines between the Wirral and the Wash.