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Your e-Mails

Nick Q

HobNob Review
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.

Paul Masters

Custard Cream Review
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
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.

Hiromi Miura
Japanese Black Thunder
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.

Marmite lover
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.