Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
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||Hello, I've just been forwarded your website from a friend in England. (I am American but have some connections to the Empire, having grown up in Jamaica, in the calypso days.) When my friend comes to visit, she must bring me Iced Gems. I rediscovered them when visiting my sister in Brighton in the late 1980's. Her former spouse, a Welshman, said "my God, I didn't know they still made those horrid things!" Many of my coworkers with international backgrounds remember them. I was told that they were used as prizes at school sporting events. I have also seen "fake" ones in Chinese grocery stores. I love the "new" chocolate ones, although I guess they do not ship as well as the traditional variety. Do these qualify as biscuits? |
|Nicey replies: The iced gem is recognised as a small novelty biscuit. Like another small food stuff, the olive, people tend to be fiercely divided about liking them or hating them. As you point out the recent innovation of chocolate iced gems points to continued popularity of these dry spikey little biscuits.
Personally they seem to me much like something you would use when building your driveway underneath the paving.
I have been enjoying the biscuit reviews and letters on your site for a few months now and have noticed many references to Australia, New Zealand, and "America" (the United States, we call it) -- is there no interest in your site from Canada? I, like many other Canadians, love a good cup of tea (or coffee, I admit) and a biscuit. Thus I am pointing you to this untapped biscuit-exploring opportunity. Here are a couple of Canadian biccie facts, based on my experience, of course:
- even though we generally call them cookies, the word 'biscuit' is printed on every package anyway because that is the french word for cookie. Thus, we respond positively to both terms.
- for some reason you can buy Rich Tea biscuits in Canada but not in the States. Sadly, I have heard of Canadian expats stocking up on these (along with particular chocolate bars, etc. that you can't get south of the border) when home for the holidays. argh.
ok, that's all for now, I should get back to work anyway. One last thought: I do enjoy the french "Lu" biscuits -- have you thought of testing Jaffa and Lu's Pims (orange flavour of course) head to head? This would be quite a contest.
|Nicey replies: We are aware of Canada, it is a good source of wheat, a staple ingredient of biscuits.
We are mounting a fact finding mission to France at the end of this month when we hope to secure some of the Lu Jaffa Cake analogues of which you speak.
To follow up James Fussell's comments regarding French biscuits, let me
reveal that I have recently returned from Korea, where tea is green, watery,
un-milked and smells of boiled cabbage. I experienced similar tea in
Russia, which apart from being black is often served with a spoonful of jam
inserted in it. A surprisingly civilized custom.
||I am back in Argentina from Antarctica. We were not allowed to take food ashore to protect the environment but there were plenty of penguins there anyhow. I was pleased to see that the ship stocked a full range of UK biscuits as I gambled in not taking any biscuits as I was struggling with my baggage allowance - 20kg of biscuits goes not go that far. What was noticeable was that there were 2 different tins depending of the sea conditions. A square red tin would be used to house the classic selection of custard creams, bourbons, chocolate digestives etc. This appeared in rough seas only and was complimented by an ample supply of tea. In contrast there was a circular Wallace and Gromit biscuit tin with a plainer selection for the calmer seas. This was in complete contrast to what I had anticipated as I thought that the plainer biscuits would be used in rough seas and the more lavish selection in the calmer conditions. You don´t want to throw up your best biscuits do you? The Russians manning the ship appeared to be using something that resembled ginger biscuits but with a slightly rougher texture when they were on the bridge. These may be they key to navigating between icebergs and may be the fabled ship´s biscuit I was searching for. I did not sample them as they could have thrown me overboard for touching them - I guess the effect would be the same as killing an albatross and could bring bad luck upon the ship. They also had their own chef so I would guess they did not like the UK selection. Will continue the research in Argentina.|
||I am about to undertake a boat trip to the Antarctic from Argentina and would appreciate your advice on the correct biscuit to select for the journey. I am aware that Argentina is not the most renowned biscuit country in the world so am not sure whether to take my stock with me from the UK or not. I would also appreciate any recommendations you have on biscuits suitable for counteracting the effects of seasickness. In the olden days I have heard that sailors could live on salted beef, rum and ship's biscuits but do not know what they were made of. Sometimes they were full of weevils and maybe that was the secret ingredient. I will attempt to undertake some research into this on my journey following the route of the ancient mariners. Also are there any biscuits to counteract the hole in the ozone layer and do I need to take a tin with me as well. Any advice would be appreciated. |
|Nicey replies: Dave,
I'm thinking Digestives could be the boys for the job, and probably some Garibaldis as they pack well. Ships biscuits or hard tack are very nasty indeed and sailors used to actually break their teeth trying to eat them, so you probably want to give that a miss.
Unfortunately we have no data on South American biscuits at all, but if we extrapolate from what we know of the Spanish / Portuguese biscuit world then we would certainly advise taking your own. As for biscuits that counteract sea sickness and ultra violet radiation it looks like you're the man for gathering that data.
It is always wise to have an appropriate biscuit tin.
Mail us when you get back especially if you get a picture of you eating biscuits in an extreme environment. Hoorah!