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A friend of mine (Greek, who lived for a while in the UK but is now in the US) and I (from Australia) were trying to explain to a friend of ours online (fully American, from Florida) what Hobnobs are. He simply couldn't grasp the concept. He tried doing an image search and found a photo from your site which helped greatly. After seeing the URL for this image, I thought wow! what a cool website that must be! and I perused nicecupofteaandasitdown.com.
I think you are doing a GREAT service to the world. There are so many people out there who just can't understand what biscuits and tea are all about. Our Floridian friend has made a huge leap in his understanding of the world around him by finding you, and I hope the same will be true for many other ignorant (American) people well into the future!
|Nicey replies: Hoorah for global biscuit understanding and tea harmony. I have broken open a packet of Milk Chocolate HobNobs to celebrate and because its Friday.|
As a biscuit lover I am always interested in stretching the biscuit eating / sitting down envelope along new and exotic axes. To this end, last weekend I went to Morocco with my friend Alastair, and while we were there we climbed Jebel Toubkalin the High Atlas, which is in fact the highest mountain in Northern Africa. Given that no Englishman in his right mind would embark upon a hearty ramble without getting tooled up with some biscuits, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try a sit down and a nibble outside of normal laboratory conditions.
To kick things off we ate some very poor excuses for Twix, Kit Kat and Lion bars (local franchise I expect), the chocolate was just all wrong. So we were quite excited when, as we pushed towards the snowline, the time came to unleash the proper biscuits, a packet of locally produced fare we purchased in the remote village of Imlil, called ?Anita?, which looked like a sort of chocolate/rich tea combo affair. However, gloom soon descended as it became clear that the Moroccans have a bit left to learn in the biscuit formulation department. On reflection I suspect that at the root of the problem is the fact that for many years Morocco was a French protectorate and the colonists have clearly used their biscuit influence for ill. It seems that the Anita recipe formulators decided that instead of using sugar, which may be something of a scarce commodity in the Maghreb, they would substitute a fine wood dust, similar in texture and flavour to that used to manufacture MDF (medium density fibreboard, that is). Hence you are left with a biscuit that is both tremendously fissile and tastes like a sort of dry loam.
Anyway here is a picture of Alastair putting a brave face on things and tucking into said snacks, at least the view was nice. I estimate that the two biscuits we could manage before our mouths dried out were consumed at an altitude of approximately 3,900 metres above sea level. Perhaps this could be the start of a new feature, whereby readers can attempt to have sit downs and eat biscuits in extreme environments, e.g. at the bottom of the Marianis trench in the western pacific, inside an active volcano or perhaps while free falling from a balloon in the ionosphere.
Anyway, keep up the fantastic work.
|Nicey replies: Matthew
That's an inspiring tale of man pitted against adverse biscuit conditions. Personally I've eaten muesli bars at 3,200 meters but I didn't hike up there so it doesn't really count.
Yes it would be great to hear of anybody else's tales of extreme biscuit eating, that is either in extreme environments, or just extremely nasty biscuits or both as in your tale.
|Catherine and Peter
We have just read the email from Peter Davies concerning ginger thins. We have good news.....
THEY ARE ALL IN LIVERPOOL(except the ones in Warrington)
There is a shop on Bold Street in the city centre, Matta' World Food Market, which sells them. As you rightly pointed out, ginger thins are Swedish, hence their presence in a "world food market". They cost about £2 for a box containing 2 columns of thin gingery delight. We hope we have been of assistance. If you would like us to send a box let us know. Oh, and you can get them in the little food bit in Ikea
Thank you for taking the time to read our humble correspondance
|Nicey replies: Thank you for that important Ginger thin news. With Liverpool being the heart land of UK biscuit production, its bizarre to think of biscuits being imported from Sweden.|
Does anyone have news regarding the particularly rare ginger slims biscuit? As the name suggests, these are ginger flavoured biscuits that are very thin. They are also circular. Almost six months ago a friend and fellow biscuit admirer mentioned how they were no longer available in the shops. Since then I have taken up the crusade but to no avail. Ginger slims are no more. A recent internet search revealed the possibility of McVities Go Ahead Ginger crunch biscuits possibly taking up the mantle. But I fear to investigate any biscuit whose claim to fame is a low fat content. I would appreciate any help and advice that you have to offer.
|Nicey replies: Yes they were very crunchy and good. Don't know did them though, but I would have thought it was Jacobs. You can get very similar stuff in Sweden of all places, they eat them before Christmas with mulled wine and almonds which they call 'Glurg'.|
Thought I'd just drop you a note to tell you about a great little bikkie annecdote that I was recently told by a work collegue. We were all sitting down to cups of tea instead of the usual formal team meeting. I had read the Rich Tea review and it got me thinking about how I used to like them when I was a small tacker - the Australian ones have raisins in them - so I'd dashed down to Clancy's and bought a packet. Unfortunately the old nostagia thing caught me out again - they were very dissapointing - my suspicions should have been raised by the $1.62 price tag. I subsequently had the humiliating experience of failing to peddle them around the office for free.
Anyway, though I know that story is riveting enough but it wasn't the one I was going to mention. We didn't end up getting much work done but we were having a broad back-to-basics type discussion about some very in-depth topics including some stuff along the lines of "how much do people really like biscuits and who are they". One of my team mates is from Bangladesh and while she was saying that she can't really get too fired up about any kind of bikkie - even chocolatey ones aparently - she claims that her husband is quite the opposite and will readily eat several packets at a sitting. He likes to recall times in his late teenage years when his passion for Marie biscuits led him to cycle to India once a week (aparently Maries are unavailable in Bangladesh). Even though the border between the countries might have been a matter of only 10 ks or so, I still think the story is a terrific little heart warmer about grass-roots biscuit committment. Although, aparently the said husband doesn't bother much with Maries these days, even though they are available here, the dazzling array of contemporary Australian sit-down fare eclipses those younger days.
PS: Thanks for the recent work, it's all nice.