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|Cesca and Lucy
First of all, congratulations on your informative and compelling web site. Your biscuit tin quiz showed that even in the most dedicated biscuit consumers there's always room for improvement!
We are currently facing a biscuit boffin's worst nightmare and seek your advice to get us through this difficult time. Our much loved and well used biscuit tin has unfortunately of late become a health and safety hazard. It is with much regret that we must part ways, although we do have the best interests of our biscuits at heart. Our current tin is a family treasure, bought in Dubai circa 1980, it features a photo of three kittens frolicking among foliage. (To illustrate our attachment to this tin may I just say that the family suffered much trauma when a recent visitor commented that the three felines had probably died long ago.)
As we've had this tin for over two decades we are not up to speed with recent trends and developments in the biscuit tin world. With the plethora of choice out there, how best to approach the minefield of the biscuit tin? We would hate to insult our biscuits by storing them in a sub-standard vessel. Can you advise as to colour, shape and size? Any tips would be much appreciated.
Cesca and Lucy, big fans of all biscuits great and small.
|Nicey replies: Oh dear, this must be a very difficult time for you. Unfortunately biscuit barrels are a bit hard to come by nowadays. There are really three viable options as I see it.
1) Get a christmas Selection tins and use the left over tin.
2) Get yourselves into your local pound stretcher type shop, you'll almost certainly get some sort of bargain and if you're lucky it might have tacky pictures on it.
3) Go to a proper shop, and pay over the odds for something.
I would stay clear of the cookie jar school of design, as they tend to be too heavy for carrying around.
Iced Gems Review
Very excited to see Earl Grey and Iced Gems making it on to the site in the same week. But you omitted to mention 2 key features of the Iced Gem:
(1) At least half the biscuits lose their icing in transit. The bad news is that every other Gem you pull out of the bag is thereby reduced to an 1850's original and tastes desperate. The good news is that when you get to the bottom of the bag there is a cluster of loose icing 'crowns' to be devoured: a sweet-toothed dream.
(2) I seem to remember that as a kid there was a definite protocol to eating Iced Gems - which basically consisted of biting the icing off the top, and throwing the biscuit away, or putting them back in the bag before offering them to your 'mate' in the playground. See point 1 really - the biscuit part just doesn't taste nice. But they wouldn't be the same if the biscuit suddenly became desirable in its own right - the whole point of it is to provide a platform for the pure sugar of the icing, and to conceal the teeth-rotting truth about Iced Gems from a nation of health-conscious Mums. You might want to check that the junior staff actually ate the biscuits....... a close look might reveal a stash of icing-denuded Gems under the sofa, or in the pot plant....!
PS - saddened by the total lack of festive content on the site. How about reviewing a few seasonal assortment tins?
|Nicey replies: Excellent points on the Ice Gems, you are quite right, I was unconsciously creating a fluffy utopia where the tops and bottoms of iced gems where always attached.
As for Christmas selection tins, I had to look at 5 or 6 the other week. I liked the McVities 'Baked to Perfection' because it has a superb retro oval tin with pictures of old 1930's tins on it. The biscuits are Boasters, Hobnobs and Shortbread. I've also popped up the yuletide Holly up on the site.
||wow i saw u on the news this morning while i was waiting for news on the beagle 2.|
i was just wondering which way do u think is the best way to eat a biscuit?
|Nicey replies: Sitting down with tea.
Hoorah! for Beagle 2, being a British Space craft it should make itself a nice cuppa when it lands and a digestive or two before it starts work.
||Like many of your readers, I have been scouring the supermarket shelves for the long forgotten (but much loved) Royal Scot biscuits of my childhood. Alas, without success. Never to be savoured again, my mother's home made concoction of two Royal Scot biscuits sandwiched together with strawberry jam, white icing on the top and finished with a jelly sweet from some dolly mixtures on the top.|
Or so I thought. On a conference trip a couple of years ago, I was surprised to see some Royal Scot biscuits amongst some custard creams, bourbons (61mm!), etc. being supplied at tea-break. It was obvious that they had formed part of some prepacked selection of biscuits. My unanswered question was - were Royal Scot biscuits still being produced or had some hotelier found a very old pack?
|Nicey replies: Well if you look at our Missing In Action section you'll see that the Royal Scot has indeed been out of action for a long long time. I maybe wrong, but I suspect that you had a Round Shortie which in your excitement mistook for the Royal Scot. Of course the Royal Scot was a a good bit thinner a typical round shortie. United Biscuits who made the Royal Scot do make lots of selections like Rover, which find their way into just this sort of situation. The tracking down of the white cream filled Bourbon from civil service meetings to a Rover selection confirms this.|
I’ve been following with interest the thread of the elusive chocolate garibaldi. I can assure you that the biscuit did exist – in both plain and milk chocolate form! Many years ago in my youth, I had a weekend job at the local Waitrose supermarket, who stocked the cherished biscuit. This was late 70’s/early 80’s. The brand was ‘Chiltonian’, a brand that seems to have gone into obscurity, just like the biscuit. The plain chocolate version was my particular favourite; I always think plain chocolate and dried fruit go together well. The biscuit always worked better if kept in the fridge, just to keep the chocolate on the firm side. It also made separating the next biscuit from the garibaldi strip a little easier and stopped your fingers getting covered in chocolate.
I’m now living in the States, where any good biscuits are hard to come by, although the Yanks do make some acceptable fig rolls (can’t eat a whole packet of those though!). Like my fellow expat in search of the ‘Dundee’, my electric kettle also raises some eyebrows. It was the last one in the store and the shopkeeper still gave me a discount to take it off his hands. It takes ages to boil using this weak American electricity but it still makes nice cup of tea, with a British tea bag of course. They don’t know what they’re missing!
Keep up the good work,