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My Canadian (and now ex) girlfriend accused tea drinkers of being rather camp. Of course – I took offence to this. It seems our overseas cousins do not realise that the Great British empire was built by a nation of tea drinkers! So many places wouldn’t know where they were without the English national bevvy! (q.v. “Asterix In Britain”)
|Nicey replies: I'm sure she was only trying to get her own back for the Lumberjack song.|
Just wondering if anyone knows why those crazy Americans use the word "graham" when referring to digestive biscuits.
|Nicey replies: Graham crackers, precede the Digestive by some 100 years and were invented by Sylvester Graham a Presbyterian minister in 1829. He was an early advocate of health food and invented his own coarsely ground wheat flour for its high fiber content. The flour nicknamed "graham flour" after Minister Graham, is main ingredient in Graham Crackers.|
Just reading about my favourite biscuit, the biscuit brown.
A funny little fella, I remember they came in packets of 4. They could be easily placed in a smock chest pocket and munched on during those lonely night vigils. They were also very versatile!! Not quite in the biscuit ethos, but for a filling and nutritious hot beverage, crush 4 biscuit browns (don’t open the packet), then pour into a mug,add the oxtail soup powder from the ration pack and then top up with hot water.
It was like the haagen das of the 48hr exercise, most of the biscuit would form a gruel with the soup, but sometimes you would hit a piece not quite dissolved, lovely… The next cup of coffee from that mug was interesting to say the least, a voyage into texture and taste.
I also remember a variant on the biscuit browns, they were ‘Biscuits, Fruit’, like a garibaldi but it came from the rough side of the tracks. Very tough to eat and reminded me of eating cinnamon slippers. Attempts were made to actually find fruit in these biscuits, but after 3 years of intensive research they concluded that the ‘biscuits, brown’ had been waved near a banana and so became ‘Biscuits, Fruit’
If I remember correctly, the green foil packet for biscuits brown had ‘AB’ stamped on them. We always thought that meant ‘Anal Blockage’, since 4 BB’s were the equivalent of eating a couple of metric tonnes of hay. Don’t eat too many!
I’ve tried the US ration biscuits too (crackers???!??, ‘ave a word with yerself!, BISCUITS not CRACKERS ), but they are flakey and have not got the fortitude of the British biscuit, at least on this front we are more technologically advanced on the battlefield.
Try them with your tea or coffee though, they make an excellent talking point and I believe they can absorb 10x that of the ordinary Rich Tea biccy, without collapsing.
||The biscuits your military correspondents are talking about may be the MOD iron ration biscuit, officially designated “Biscuits Brown For The Use Of”. I can’t imagine anyone having fond memories of them though, as they are designed to have an extra long shelf-life and provide the user with various vitamins, so they’re not exactly melt-in-the-mouth treats! The MOD put the contract out to tender every year, so production is switched to whichever biscuit manufacturer comes up trumps. Apparantly there are large stockpiles of them in bunkers awaiting deployment to wherever they’re needed. Our boys might not have the latest kit and weapons, but at least they’ll never run short of biscuits….|
||I was an Army brat and my dad would bring home golden cans with compo ration No. 2. The oatmeal biscuit was a fantastic original biccie worthy of a greater audience. My brother who is still in the Forces says they are still made for the MoD. I would love, love, love to eat an oatmeal block, just one more time. My brother says there are recipes for the block including mixing it down into a sweet porridge but it remains the best known gnawing biccie I've ever known. Wonderful. Why can civvies buy some?|
|Nicey replies: Yes those oatmeal blocks keep getting mentioned from time to time, but I think they seem to be strictly a military biccy.|