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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.
||Dear Mr Nicey|
I do enjoy your site. I'm sitting here with a nice cup of green Lapsan Souchon from a specialist tea supplier on the New South Wales central coast (Cesar's) and a dark chocolate Tim Tam. (My daughter has eaten all the Tia Maria Tim Tams which I was planning to suck with a fresh brew of Cesar's Cuban Supreme coffee, but that's life as mother of a teenager.)
I am wondering whether you can help me. I spent two wonderful years on a working holiday in London back in the early '70s. During that time I became very fond of McVitie's ginger cake. I have never been able to find a suitable substitute here in Australia and despite many years of experimenting with various recipes I have never succeeded in recreating that wonderful combination of light texture, slight stickyness and rich, dark colour. If you consider it appropriate, I would be eternally in your debt if my plea for a recipe that simulates the McVitie creation could be posted on your site.
With best wishes
|Nicey replies: Jenni,
I can understand your plight, being stuck in a sub-tropical paradise, wanting nothing more than a slice of ginger cake from Halifax. Also as for a slight stickyness, perhaps its a fond 30 years of memory playing tricks, but the outside is the cake is like a blend of syrup and carpet tile adhesive, and will only usually be parted from its paper case if threatened with some sort of knife. All part of its unique charm of course.
As for a recipe, I don't hold out much hope. These things usually can only be made given the correct industrial cake plant. Maybe somebody will bring you one, but it might not take well to confinement in a suitcase.
||I liked your site which someone in the office suggested viewing while I held forth on the unmatched superiority of the choclate hobnob.|
I don't know if you know but a Twix is offically (in the eyes of the Inland Revenue) a biscuit and as such does not incur VAT in the way say a Mars or Snickers would. Dull, pedantic and ultimately pointless information I'll grant you but if you didn't know - you do now.
|Nicey replies: You may well be right, as a chocolate covered biscuit it would definately inccur VAT. The rates may be different between chocolate biscuits and chocolate bars, I don't know, VAT gets very odd on these sort issues.|
What a fantastic video that was, contributed by you readers Nick and Tom, I think the Top Trumps are an excellent idea long overdue, and the mix of psychedelic visuals and the cheery, funky tune will keep us smiling for days to come. However I was distressed to note one dangerously disturbing part of the video seemed to be encouraging the practice of allowing the teabag and milk to cohabit within the same cup at the same time. At best this sort of display should be accompanied by a strongly worded warning and at worst it should be outlawed, punishable by enforced arrowroot biscuits for week.
Whilst a largely liberal person, I think we can all agree that there is a limit, and when that limit is crossed we must all don our grumpy hats, and write grumbly letters to the relevant powers-that-be, be they MP's, Terry-Wogan, or in the case of biscuits, your good selves.
|Nicey replies: Very quietly
Yes the Wife does that from time to time, and its all a bit wrong. It also makes a really repulsive sort protoplasm slime at the bottom of our teabag-bin.