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Now this is doing my head in...
When I was a kid (32 now, so you're looking at a fair while ago) I used to love these things called Dundee biscuits. I've scoured the net but all I seem to find are these little brown things with what look suspiciously like almonds on the top, and these are most definitely not what I'm looking for. The Dundee biscuits I remember were as follows:
1. Sold in stacks of five or six, wrapped as per Eccles cakes (i.e. in clear cellophane);
2. Approx. 3-4 inches across (as a kid this would have been 12-18 inches);
3. Shortbread-type base;
4. Circular, with a slightly crimped edge;
5. Rich chocolatey topping;
6. Chunky grains of sugar stuck to the underside;
7. The word DUNDEE visible on the underside (standing proud rather than embossed), written in a rugby-ball shape, so the initial D and trailing E were smaller than the rest, the central ND the biggest of all letters.
This is now kind of a mission in life for me - to find Dundee biscuits still on sale somewhere. Some of my friends and family remember them well and have joined me on my quest, scouring local supermarkets wherever they go, whilst others think I have lost my mind and am making it all up, but I am not.
So do you know anything of these biscuits? If so, please help!
|Nicey replies: Peter,
I never had a Dundee biscuit but I have received other but much less detailed emails about them. Perhaps I should just make a new Missing In Action entry based on your excellent description.
I have just recently changed jobs and now have my hot drinks provided for by a nescafe machine.
Before my contract ended at my last job (I was a temp previously). Everyone in the building (all 16 of us) would stop twice daily to have the tea made in a great big metal tea pot and which point it was annouced over the tannoy that "tea's ready", and everyone would either sit outside if it was fine, or all squeeze into the kitchen and have a natter.
After sampling the tea from the aforementioned machine, I found it comes with a bag with a little foil strip attached. Aha I thought perhaps maybe they've discovered how to make a decent cuppa! However, not only does it taste foul, but the machine makes a strange buzzing noise whenever you ask it for sugar. For some reason, it doesn't like you adding your sugar after you have made your drink, (like most people do) but you actually have to put it in before any tepid water has been added to the powdery mix of your choice in the bottom of a paper cup.
I've now realised that not only does the machine force you to either go without any decent form of hot drink, (the drinks are never hot), sugar (if you forget it in the first place and at which point have to ask it for another drink just to get your sugar fix) but the water inside has been there for days!! Its only ever topped up when it flashes "fill" but never replaced! (bleeurrghh!).
I have tried hunting down a kettle and a mug in order to make a brew but with no luck, as I didn't fancy drinking the tea and catching cholera or some other water borne disease whilst at work.
Thankfully I'm lucky enough to be able to pop back home at lunchtime for a nice cup of co-op 99 tea (same nice people friendly principles as Fairtrade tea, but about half the price) and a sit down although I've now had to cut my tea drinking down to about 4 cups a day! :(
I wonder how many other evil machines have stale tepid water in them, waiting for some poor unsuspecting sod to keel over before they begin to take over the world and plan to rid us of our kettles forever...
As a devotee of the finest hot beverages, I was wondering what your opinion of cup-a-soup was? Not strictly to do with either tea, or biscuits, but the occasional sit down with a cup-a-soup can make a refreshing and savoury change.
|Nicey replies: Ben,
The Wife has the odd cuppa soup now and again, we probably consume on average 2 to three four packs a year. One a month, which is probably a dangerously high intake.
Thin Arrowroot Review
|I really wanted to ask about beer biscuits. Having extolled the virtues of your website to a number of colleagues, they are desperate for your advice on the best biscuits to eat when the beer munchies strike. Baileys and Jaffa cakes appears to be a strategy adopted on a regular basis. However one person desperate for guidance from the enlightened biscuit eaters has resorted to|
eating animal- shaped biscuits. In a desperate attempt to prevent a downward spiral I would appreciate your guidance on what you would recommend this individual should eat and drink. I understand that biscuits should be savoured and treated with the appropriate respect but there are certain times when the craving strikes.
|Nicey replies: Well of course the original Beer biscuit was the Thin Arrowroot which used to be sold in pubs from large glass jars on the bar. Personally I would have to be fairly lashed up to want to eat Thin Arrowroot biscuits.
Of course there is no right or wrong biscuit to eat when driven to the biscuit tin by beer. In fact the situation can work to ones own advantage as often you are able to see off less appealing biscuits that may normally be overlooked, thus freeing up valuable tin space. I would simply encourage your colleagues to keep a well stocked and diverse tin prepared for all eventualities.
You would of course be foolish not to have a few Digestives handy.
Rich Tea Review
|I am able to support your correspondent's views on the popularity of Rich Tea biscuits on archaeological excavations.|
Perhaps this is because they survive well in the rigours of site life being not as fragile as some other biscuits and also not being effected by the heat and cold one has to be put up with.
I have even seen fierce intellectual discussions take place over the merits of the round and finger versions. I prefer the round ones myself and have eaten them on many digs including Danebury and Crickley Hill...