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Custard Cream Review
|Love your site, it makes me laugh no end.|
One thingthat I think should be mentioned whilst talking about the legendary Custard Cream, in my opinion the "Holy Grail" of the biscuit world is that rather than simply taking them apart, as you discuss, you can take two apart, dunk the sides that managed to separate themselves from the cream and then stick the two creamy halves together to produce a kind of double cream custard cream as a sort of "pudding biscuit" for the post-dunk comedown
|Nicey replies: Nice plan Tom. I imagine this could be extended with out too much trouble to encompass other sandwich biscuits such as Bourbons and Orange creams.|
||Dear Nicey, |
John Doyle mentioned the 'snap tin' - snap is a local word for packed lunch, or packing-up as certain people in Kent call it. I think 'snap' for packed lunch is more widespread than just Yorkshire, where interestingly a 'pot' of tea can be both a pot in the conventional sense (spout and handle) as well as meaning a big mug.
||Re John Doyle's email, the tin in question - and a host of others - is on display at the Huntley and Palmers exhibition in Reading Museum. All his Peek Frean questions will be answered there too - well worth a day trip.|
||Now then, nicey you've started something here haven't you? I'm hoping to obtain information through your quite nice web site about a particular biscuit tin which I encountered some years ago when I was a bit younger and working for a firm in Doncaster, (nice sort of place for a brief sit down). One of the old codgers in the workshop used to bring butties and sometimes biscuits to work in this special biscuit tin. For some obscure Yorkshire reason he called it his "snap tin." If I describe it, you may already be familiar with it or one of its cousins, if not, it could be a good idea for a feature. I must apologise in advance because some of the details to follow aren't exactly nice and if you're easily offended you might like to look away now.|
The subject of my enquiry is a round tin originally containing biscuits by Peek Freans, remember them? Well apparently so the story goes, the marketing department commissioned an artist to create a scene to be displayed on the lid and around the perimeter depicting a mixed family group enjoying a sunshiney, blue skyey picnic in the countryside amid meadow flowers and in the dappled shade of a blossom tree. What a lovely way to earn a living. painting pictures of people enjoying a nice cup of tea with some Peek Freans biscuits and sitting down in a meadow. It seems our artist chappy yearned for other challenges and wishing to dissuade Peek Freans from offering further commissions decided to add a few details to the scenes to indicate his lack of enthusiasm for this type of work and duly sent it off.
What should have happened didn't and the tin went not only into production but was filled with biscuits and sold in shops to people wanting a nice gift for their aunty. How many of these tins went into general circulation, I've no idea but I continue to scour charity shops and junk stores to try and discover and buy one for myself.
The details I'm afraid are a bit smutty and not really suitable for a nice web site. Suffice to say there must have been more than a few broken biscuits when aunty spied the man having wee, the two dogs making puppies and the bare bum rising between the thighs of an unseen accomplice.
Did I imagine it? Was it a dream? I don't think so. Have you heard of this tin? The public have a right to know. Do Peek Freans still make biscuits or did this tin sound the death nell for one of the finest bakers of lemon puffs in the world.
P.S. You'll never believe this but I'll tell you anyway, My wife's maiden name? Tea no kidding.
|Nicey replies: No that is of course a famous tin in the biscuit world. Biscuit Man! knows all about it and might even be able to get us a picture, I'll give him a shout.|
Jammie Dodger Review
|Dear Nicey -|
Thank you for your lovely website. I have been very much enjoying it on a semi-regular basis.
I wonder if you have been doing any research into the 'raspberry-flavoured plum jam' problem which currently afflicts Jammie Dodgers and other biscuit/jam compounds.
Raspberry jam is certainly a top jam, so I don't understand why Jammie Dodger manufacturers have to resort to this silly simulacrum. Maybe they are worried about the presence of those little raspberry bits - like minature embryonic raspberrys. If you reduce raspberries to a puree then these bits are certainly distracting, but in the context of jam, they present no difficulties. Equally, I am worried at the thought that raspberry flavoured plum jam might retain some taint of former pluminess. For indisputably, plum jam does not belong in the folio of classic jams. But by what method is the plum flavour eradicated? What would happen if this process was to backfire?
Or maybe it is only a question of simple economics. In which case, my response would be to wait a moment, and then to breathe softly: 'oh dear'. I have seen Jurassic Park (one and two) and I know you cannot toy with nature for mere financial gain.
I hope you can shed some light on this for me, and many of my concerned friends.
|Nicey replies: Tom,
I covered this one in the review. Its to do with the amount of pectin which is the complex polysaccharide in plant cell walls that sets the jam. Plums and Apples are very rich in it soft fruits such as raspberries don't have so much and strawberries are notoriously low in it. Hence to get really stiff jam capable of holding the two sides of the jamie dodger together Burton's have gone for a plum based jam. However the flavours that people respond to are those of the of soft fruit jams, hence subterfuge.