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|Agness Shigeko Kaku
Abbey Crunch Review
|How could this be happening?|
I thought my local market had stopped stocking Abbey Crunch, and had asked the assistant manager to resume carrying them. I mean, what other explanation was there? I never imagined that any biscuit company would be insane enough to kill off the Best Biscuit Ever Invented. I love that slightly caramelized, oaty taste, the beautiful compact size, the surprising resilience (when was the last time you opened up a pack of Abbey Crunch and found half the biscuits shattered? Never, that's when.). Where am I going to get my fix? I remember once having a Fortnum & Mason's biscuit with a similar flavor when I was very young, but I can't recall its name. No doubt that's long gone too. Perhaps McVities can publish the Abbey Crunch recipe into the public domain if there's no hope of seeing it return to the shelves.
A. S. Kaku
McVities Taxi Review
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Taxis were originally blue. I remember the New York taxi-style chequered bit but they certainly weren't orange. Can anyone else remember?
|Nicey replies: I know what your saying, I thought it might be latent Bandit memories though.
||Thought you would like to hear some view on this from our man in Boston, in the good ol' US of A, and perhaps share them with the entire biscuit community:|
Well, wafers are the workhorses of the biscuit world and do not get anywhere near the recognition they deserve as they are so frequently hidden by chocolate, Kit Kat being a prime example. Enjoyment of wafer based snacks should not preclude one from other more solid snacks such as digestives or ginger snaps, although the pink wafer has done the community no good in the long run, still being the image most have of the wafer in general. There have been concerted efforts over the years by the progressive, modernist wafer movement to have the inclusion of pink wafers in biscuit selections limited (a total ban was seen as impractical). These have had limited success, the biggest coup to date being the removal of all pink wafers from Asda's family Deluxe assortment in the late 90's.
Live and let live, really. Let us not be filled with hatred for these wafers....let us not use them as scapegoats for all that is wrong with the world, let us embrace them......and dunk them carefully for they are fragile when soggy.
Alex "Garibaldi" Levovich
McVities Taxi Review
|Glad to see your trip to Lidl was profitable and yielded some Taxi wafers, previously thought extinct.The volumes should be good through Lidl, so while they are listed there the brand will be safe. The wafer heyday was late 60's and early 70's, when McVities had another brand called Bandit, which was TV advertised with the catch phrase "You can stand it with Bandit get your chin off the floor!" the pack had a cut-out bandit mask on the back, which made it very popular with younger desperadoes. Burtons also had two wafer countlines "Lush" and "Striker". Like Bandit and Taxi, these were essentially the same product in different wrappers. Strangely enough, the "Lush" brand name never found favour with the British public and was largely an export line. "Striker" was re-launched in the 80's with Roy of the Rovers on the pack, but never took off. Eventually the wafer plant that they were made on wore out, so both brands were discontinued.|
|Nicey replies: A friend of ours claims to have the Bandit advert recorded on cassette tape as he liked the jingle so much. He has yet to produce it though.
Its sad yet somehow poetic to to think that some biscuits met their end because the machines that made them wore out. Sounds almost like the plot for a Disney film, oh no the trailer is forming in my mind.. "This summer, get ready for the heartwarming tale of two biscuits and their journey to save the wafer plant they were fabricated on. 'Wafers'"
|Peter J. Hexter
A nice site, though distressingly bare of Peak Freens. I have only just returned to drinking tea after a 20 year hiatus (my parents were obsessed with tea and I was force fed from an early age), and I am now in search of a dunking biscuit. Growing up in Canada we had a brand called Peak Freens, who produced arguably, the three best and tastiest biscuits ever for dunking:
the Shortcake, the Digestive and the ne plus ultra of dunkers - the Bourbon
Cream. The latter being a thin layer of chocolate cream between two chocolate biscuit wafers and named for the House of Bourbon, rather than the rotgut whiskey.
Since my youth I have travelled the world. I lived in England for many years, and am now settled in Australia (which despite claims to the contrary, is a biscuit wasteland). Alas, I have yet to find the equal of these fine friends.
Now you may scoff and pre-suppose that Canadian biscuits would be of inferior quality but bear with me here. At the time, British Columbia had an enormous population of English ex-pats that demanded only the finest biscuits. Competition was fierce, much blood was shed (metaphorically of course) and PF emerged as the favoured brand.
IMHO its success was based on three things:
Most PF biscuits are made from hard winter wheat that is superior to any other for baking biscuits.
Being a land of farmers we were awash with real butter and much of it found its way into PF biscuits.
PF biscuits seem much lower in sugar than others allowing the true biscuit flavour to come through.
So if any others of you have a thing for PF lets here from you.
Peter J. Hexter
|Nicey replies: Peter,
Peek Frean is of course an old British Brand dating back to 1857, which manufactured biscuits and christmas puddings in Bermondsey in South London. Peek Frean formed associated biscuits in 1921 with Huntley and Palmer, and were joined by Jacobs in 1960. In 1982 Nabisco took over Associated biscuits. I'm not sure on the history of the Peek Frean brand in Canada, but given what I know of their portfolio of products I'm fairly sure that Nabisco's involvement is key. Anyhow, none of this in any way diminishes, your praise for their biscuits.
In the UK the name Peek Frean is vary rarely seen, it used to be trotted out by Jacobs for such things as selection tins, but I haven't seen that in over 20 years.