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I only recently became aware of NCOTAASD, was immediately engrossed in the world of tea and biscuits, then on reflection felt a guilty pang. Please can you tell me, am I normal or a heathen? Whenever I have the tea and biscuits to hand there comes an overwhelming desire to dunk. Be it chocolate digestive, Jacobs Crackers or Bourbon they each receive a dunk of apprpriate length before consumption. I give my name but hope you will not be too harsh in condemnation. Thanks for the excellent website and for listening. Eric.
|Nicey replies: That's perfectly normal urge in somebody your age, and nothing to be ashamed of. It might help you to get over your embarrassment if you were to meet other people with an interest in dunking, perhaps a visit to a local cafe or tea bar.|
Hope you can help! From being a small child I have practically lived on Burtons Fig Roll biscuits. As I'm sure you are aware Burtons have ceased trading, however I managed to find Fig Rolls made to the exact same recipe being sold in Marks & Spencer. Much to my horror they too have now stopped selling them and although I asked them for the manufacturer who made them on their behalf , they did not tell me. I have sampled many Fig Roll biscuits and can not find one that comes anywhere near the standard of this recipe and someone is obviously producing them as M&S were getting supplies after Burtons ceased trading. Please can you help me locate a supplier of these biscuits or the manufacturer so I can try and acquire some. I saw you on Good Food Live who gave me your website address. You are my only hope as I'm having withdrawal symptoms already!
|Nicey replies: Linda,
Settle down! Burtons have most definitely not ceased trading, they merged with Horizon biscuits a while back who make all the Maryland cookies, they also make Cadbury's biscuits under licence as well as all their old favorites like Wagon Wheels, Jammie Dogers and Toffy pops. They still make their fig rolls but sell them under the Lyons brand. They also make them for Spar, Asda, Sainsburys, Co-op and Morrisons. The percentage fig can vary from 20 - 30% depending on what sort of price point the supermarkets are hoping to hit.
See the 21st Century fig fest for more info.
||Dear Nicey and the wife,|
I read with interest Jenny Hall's letter expressing her confusion over the two types of snowball.
As a young child, I spent time in both Ireland and England and was introduced to both types of snowball. The Irish version was like the Scottish snowball described by Jenny, consisting of two hemispheres of a dry, crumbly cake sandwiched together with jam and covered with coconut. These were extremely difficult to eat, being too big to fit into a child-sized mouth and too crumbly to attempt without the aid of a plate. This was very definitely a cake.
The English version, as I recall, consisted of a mound of soft, slightly chewy mallow, coated in milk chocolate and covered with the obligatory coconut. This version contained no biscuit and therefore falls outside the biscuit category. I would also hesitate to call it a cake since it contained no cake-like substance.
There was a third type of snowball which I encountered later in life and this may be the one which you described. It consisted of a soft biscuit base topped with a mound of mallow which, if memory serves, was half pink and half white. The mallow was topped with coconut and the biscuit base coated in chocolate.
As for determining the difference between a cake and a biscuit, my local supermarket has separate isles for cakes and biscuits. Anything which can be found in the biscuit isle (including Tunnocks tea cakes) is a biscuit.
|Nicey replies: Morning Kieth,
Good pragmatic approach there. Of course when they rearrange the aisles ones entire belief system can come crashing down around ones ears.
||Hello again, |
when I worked in catering, one of my regulars, a young but old-money tweedy kind of gent, asked me for his toast to be done on one side, 'because that was the proper way to do it'. Little did he know, the toast-making machine did one side at a time, so I could present him with said toast with an air of smug satisfaction. He was a pleasant fellow, not for him the toast made from bread aged in a cupboard, that would explode into a million pieces at the first application of a butter-knife!
Mark 'nothing too much trouble' Gott.
|Nicey replies: He didn't have a faintly Geordie accent did he?|
||Dear Nicey and co|
I was in a bit of a panic having read the article about the silver balls, but having rushed to my cooking cupboard, am relieved to find that I have been using "Rainbow Pearls" (pink, green, blue and silver balls) from Fiddes Panne Cake Decorations, and they contain "sugar, wheat starch, arabic gum, colours (E100, E124, E133, E174)", so I think that's OK. Was a bit worried about all the children I might have accidentally poisoned, especially since The Husband is a Solicitor.
Keep up the good investigative journalism!
Best wishes to all
|Nicey replies: Yes that is reassuring except that E174 is Silver, the rest are all fairly standard.
Naturally occurring orange/yellow colour, extracted from the spice turmeric
A synthetic coal tar dye, red in colour
A synthetic coal tar dye, blue in colour. Often mixed with E102 to make green.