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My working week is shared between the delighful town of Reading, and Moorgate in the City. A little too much Reading if you ask me, but that’s another story.
Anyways, having seen Chris Hollis’ post about the stash of Plain Chocolate Hob Nobs in EC2 and being fortunate enough that today was one of my Moorgate days, I raced down to find the aforementioned sweetshop. Sitting proud upon the shelf were eight tubes of Plain Chocolate Hob Nobs (best before 28/04/07). I bagged two of them at £1.40 a pop – the temptation to snaffle the lot did pass my mind but I felt I should leave a few for other fellow PCHN (I agree – the correct acronym) hunters.
£1.40 might seem a lot, but it’s cheaper than getting your friends in Melbourne to pick them up for you which is something I was seriously contemplating.
Another invaluable service has been provided by your excellent website.
I thank you.
I’ve just enjoyed a splendid biscuit, so, when I returned to my desk, I typed “Best Biscuit” into Google, as you do, and arrived at your most interesting site.
Like your recent correspondent (Julie Marlow), I am an expat living in Melbourne, and the biscuit that transported me today was an Arnott’s Chocolate Shortbread. Confusing I know, since it’s neither short, nor bread, but as we know nomenclature in the biscuit world is inconsistent at best (i.e. Jaffa Cakes). We really need an international naming convention to sort it out once and for all. Conforming biscuits could advertise the fact on their (cardboard) packets as in: HobNobs (Approved – Societe Internationale de Biscuit Nomenclature, Geneva). Anyway, I digress. The ACS is redolent of Dundee biscuits that I used to enjoy in the schoolyards of my youth, in darkest Sheffield. Extremely moreish, with a pleasingly doughy texture , and lots of clag. You’re picking clumps out of your molars for hours.
|Nicey replies: Good plan in the biscuit naming body, but I can't see its decisions being adhered to if its based in Geneva, as Swiss biscuits are mostly utterly woeful. Most of them would carve out a more useful living for themselves as packing material, given that they tend to be puffed up with air in some fashion, rather than being full of biscuity usefulness. I think I would be tempted to site it on the Isle of Man, which would make it handy for the British and Irish to thrash out the various issues we have in biscuit nomenclature. Actually there aren't too many but it would make a lovely long weekend for everybody and I haven't actually been there, only over it.
As for Dundee biscuits the unrest continues here as the authenticity of the ones produced by Cottage biscuits (see our missing in action section) was questioned by one meticulous correspondent. Never having had one I'm unable to comment.
Iced VoVo Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
You've cleared up a mystery with your report of the sad demise of the Plain Hobnob. They're all over here. There's dumping going on, and whilst I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, how typical is that, the Poms dumping their unwanted on the colonials? I've been here 20 years and still mourn McVitie's of all kinds, but particularly Hobnobs and Rich Tea. Up until now, they've only been available (at a price, I might add) at specialist Brit supply stores. Therefore, my cup ranneth over one day recently in Coles (like Tesco), when to my great joy there on the biscuit shelf were packets galore of McVitie's Plain Hobnobs. And, Ginger Nuts. Never before seen in this particular supermarket chain. Don't get me wrong, Aussie biscuits are up there with the best - Mint Slices, Tim Tams and Iced Vo-Vos would give any British biscuit a major run for their money, but I have to say a Plain Hobnob is my all time fave. So, I had to buy a few packets. I was so thrilled I forgot to check the sell-by date, and whilst not expired, all the packets were perilously close, i.e. Jan 2007. What does this mean? Is there mass export of Plain Hobnobs to Australia to delude the British biscuit buying public that there's no call for them any more? Or, is it all a ploy to get us lot hooked only to withdraw supply and then try to foist all these new fangled flavours onto us? Either way, it's rum.
|Nicey replies: Very interesting, and also quite revealing. Perhaps UB (McVities) failed to predict that a regular customer (a large British Supermarket??) would not be re-ordering HobNobs and were left with a small mountain that they have managed to send to you guys in a deal. Nice as it is for you to get your mits on some dark choc HobNobs its not an ideal scenario food miles wise. Tim Tams being shipped to Tesco's in the UK all the way from Australia whilst the HobNobs we should see on their shelves are being sent to Australia.
Also I'm not sure about the Iced Vo-vo giving anything a run for their money, all the ones we have tried always seemed a bit like something dug out out of a collapsed building. Maybe they don't travel well.
||Dear Nicey et al,|
After many years, my kettle has died. Well it isn't really mine, a friend gave it to me after they got a new kettle. It many ways it was a brilliant kettle, after my previous one. This one had an on/off switch, a removable lid and removable cord. All very useful things in a kettle. Though removing the lid meant you could see how filthy it was inside. Due to the chlorine in the water, it has gone a lovely blue/green inside. Anyway, this afternoon after making one last cup of tea (Queen Mary), it started making loud popping noises and emitting black smoke. Now I am sure that this is not a design feature so is best to say good bye and go bye a new kettle.
|Nicey replies: Luke,
Very sorry to hear about the loss of your kettle. It makes me want to rush downstairs and make a big fuss of ours.
|Dr Alice Gorman
Thanks for putting the space biscuit story up on the site. I liked your take on it, and it has made me feel happy for days to be ANCOTAASD's favourite space archaeologist.
Nicey, are you an undercover archaeologist, or a secret space industry person? How was it that you already knew about space archaeology when I first emailed you?
|Nicey replies: Hello Dr Alice Gorman Space Archaeologist,
Wifey actually spotted something about your work on the BBC site before you contacted us. We all like that type of thing. The younger members of staff are usually constructing some form of rocket out of lego or their bedroom furniture at least 3 or 4 times a week. We also like archaeology. We live only about a mile from a roman road and again the YMOS have dug a big hole behind my shed from which they regularly haul out fabulous artefacts. So far we have an impressive collection of roman stones, bits of old roman plant pots, a small piece of roman roof tile and a very well preserved bit of roman wooden fence panel.
Wifey still warmly remembers the Christmas I bought her every girls dream, a 4 inch Newtonian reflector telescope. We went all "Galileo Galileo" after pointing it at the brightest thing in the sky which turned out to be Jupiter with Io, Europa, Ganymede and Calisto all visible too. Saturn was right alongside so after that we had a good look at it, and were able to make out the Cassini divide. She let me off after that and reassigned it as a whole NCOTAASD team present.