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||Can you help please?|
A certain person in our office, during a conversation about top 5 biscuits, came up with the following "My favourite biscuit is a Ryvita!"
Please put us out of our misery, this has caused consternation in our office space, with people nearly coming to fisticuffs. Myself and other colleagues are of the opinion that the said item would clearly fall into the category of : cracker/crisp bread. Your expert knowledge, as Professor of Biscuits would be much appreciated.
|Nicey replies: This is just exactly the sort of misinformed, delusional and slack thinking that needs nipping in the bud. It's a crispbread of course. We shall not even grace it with a list of reasons why it very obviously is not a biscuit. |
||I'm writing to you as an American who has recently begun a love affair with tea and biscuits, to inform you that you are much to blame.|
Although I was born and raised in the American Midwest, I've always been a bit of an Anglophile - eschewing action movies and MTV in favor of staying up late watching old BBC shows on public television.
If you have any American readers ask you where they can buy proper biscuits in the states, you should tell them to see if they have a store called "World Market" in their area. It's a chain of about 300 stores, and really the only part of the country they haven't spread to yet is the Northeast. (http://www.worldmarket.com/) They carry furniture and goods from all over the world, plus lots of tasty imported foods. I became a regular at our local World Market a year or so ago, when I discovered that they had an amazing selection of tasty European chocolate bars. I confess to being a complete Ritter Sport addict, especially the "butter cookie" and "milk chocolate hazelnut" varieties.
Then, this summer I moved into an apartment across the street from the store, and I began visiting much more frequently and trying a lot of new things. Well, really I only got as far as the biscuit aisle and have gotten hooked. I started with the Jaffa Cakes and Jammie Dodgers, but was still skeptical of the Digestive. Then I somehow stumbled upon an article about Custard Creams online a few months back, and ended up at your website.
I have always liked tea, although it is a bit sacreligious in the coffee-obsessed Pacific Northwest part of the country, where I live now. I have to confess though, that until recently I mostly drank herbal "tea", not realizing how good proper tea could be. Everyone I had ever known brewed their tea the same way - by plopping a couple tea bags into a pot and just letting it sit there forever, resulting in bitter, stewed tea. I have since learned the error of my ways (thanks to encouragement from your website and book) and now drink loads of proper tea (with milk and one sugar). I have even procured some PG Tips, which certainly is better than any American brands of tea I've tried. I've become such a tea fanatic I've even bought myself an electric kettle (brilliant! why doesn't everyone else have these?) and my friends and family think I'm crazy.
I've learned to love the digestive, of course. It's the perfect companion to tea! The selection at World Market is varied and unpredictable, but they always have plain and milk chocolate McVitie's digestives, as well as Crawford's Bourbons and Custard Creams (yummy), plus usually Penguins and Cadbury Fingers. Occasionally they will have Gingernuts, Fruit Shortcake, Garibaldis, McVitie's Chocolate Caramel, etc. I recently picked up a packet of Plain Chocolate digestives, which only make occasional appearances on the shelves. My favorite biscuit though has to be the Hob Nob. Until recently I had only tried the Milk Chocolate, but I spied the plain ones on the shelf the other day, and my are they delicious. I prefer to eat the less chocolatey-sweet biscuits at work, as too much sugar makes it hard to type straight.
I have to say that as much of a fan of Cadbury's chocolate I am, I don't like their biscuits. Too sugary for me, and not in a good way. Don't get me wrong, I like my sweets, but Cadbury's biscuits make me feel like I'm just eating spoonfuls of sugar.
This is turning into quite a long message, but I just have one more thing to add:
Regarding fruitcake in the States - I saw an expat reader of yours mention that she had noticed a certain negative attitute towards fruitcake over here. That is certainly true. Fruitcake is legendary for being an horrifically dense, overly sweet dessert that little old ladies bake and give away as Christmas gifts. The story goes that when you receive a fruitcake as a gift, you should not eat it, but rather try to pawn it off as a gift to someone else - or failing that, stick it in the back of the cupboard until next year, when you dust it off and try to give it away again. I don't know anyone that actually eats fruitcake, except for possibly some little old ladies. I may have tried some at my grandmother's house as a child, but I don't really remember. However, I did try some at a fancy tea party that I attended at a fancy hotel last Christmas, and found that it had a very strong brandy flavor, which does not appeal to me at all, and decided to avoid it in the future. Your rhapsodizing about the perfect fruitcake might make me reconsider, though, and attempt to bake my own this Christmas. Maybe.
That's all for now. Keep up the good work!
|Nicey replies: You seem to making very good progress towards a completely well balanced tea and biscuits outlook. The fruit cake will come in time. Ours is a very tasty and relatively light recipe not like those dark tarry masses that appear to have given it such a bad reputation in the US. I would have tough the Pacific North West is probably ideal fruit cake territory, providing it doesn't attract bears.
||Dear Nicey Wifey and YMOS,|
Nearly one and a half month have already passed since my husband and I moved into Korea
from Japan. As you guess, in a new life in a new country, I had never been able to settle down from my heart for a while before I successfully met satisfying Korean biscuits. Now, I lead a serene life in Korea as I eventually met a Korean biscuit that made me its fiend,yet. It is a "CROWN-SAND", which has been manufactured by CROWN in Korea since 1961.
CROWN seems to be short for [ Creating Resources for Optimizing Wellness through Nutrition].
I think that CROWN has an even more complicated structure than NCOTAASD for [Nice Cup Of Tea And A Sit Down] and YMOS for [Young Members Of Staff]. The company was founded in the name of "Young-il Dang Confectionery" in 1947 in Korea. And it changed the name into today's CROWN Confectionery in 1956. As you know, CROWN marks the 61st anniversary this year and its" CROWN-SAND" biscuit was born in 1961.
"The 61st and 1961, or DOUBLE 61" I guess that something like a gold medal with the figure 61 printed in the centre of the box may emphasise that such a "DOUBLE 61" is a happy event for CROWN.
My lovely CROWN-SAND is a vanilla cream sandwiched between two biscuits. The biscuit is crisp.
I guess the texture is in condition between a richtea/Marie-typed biscuit and a plain savoury biscuit/cracker. The vanilla cream is sweet and a little sour. In fact, such a sweet and sour filling in the biscuit made me feel odd, first. However, I found myself love it so much. My tastebud may have changed like a roller-coaster to survive in my new biscuit world.
There are eight individual portion packs including two biscuits in the box. Now, the"CROWN-SAND" biscuits are available in three different flavours including strawberry and chocolate as well as vanilla cream.
By the way, you may see a description of "The first biscuit added lactic acid bacterium in Korea" written in Korean Languages at the right upper side on the box. Moreover, you may see another description of CROWN-SAND "is a family love" written in Korean languages at the left bottom side on the box.
More than one hour required for me to decode those descriptions written in Korean languages on the outer box. And around ten minutes required for me to translate into English. Again, for your information.
Thank you for reading.
Hiromi Miura (Seoul Korea)
|Nicey replies: Well done biscuit correspondent Miura,
Your quest for biscuit solace in Korea seems to be bearing fruit now. I like the double 61 it is surely some sort of sign. Very interesting that the biscuit has lactic acid bacterium, and well done on the tricky double translation. Your reward was that it made you feel a bit strange when you ate it before you got the hang of them.
Polish Jaffa Cakes Multireview Review
Not too sure what we're doing discussing Jaffa cakes really but if you're looking for a cheap but terrific option when it comes to purchasing these tasty treats then try Lidl.
Yes, dare I say it. LIDL. Nicer than the 'real' thing and about half the price. Brilliant.
Thanks for the lovely website by the way.
|Nicey replies: Hi Ian,
Yes we often sing the praises of Lidl's Mr Choc Jaffa Cakes. A comparative pack of Mr Choc Cherry Cakes almost made it into the Polish review but were eaten before I had a chance to take their photo.
I get quietly annoyed at Lidls snobs, who really just don't get it. Lidls is a fantastic way of getting some pan-European supermarket stuff, without having to cross the channel, even their bread flour is distinctly continental, and like the Jaffa Cakes delightfully different for it. Apart from their biscuits if people don't want to buy a good Spanish Olive oil for £2 a litre or Bavarian Pilsner Larger for next to nothing then that's their business.
||Dear Nicey, Wifey and the YMOS's,|
As a student I always have my cupboards stocked high with biscuits of all shapes and sizes (I must confess that one of my favourites is the pink wafer, but don't let this put you off). However recently during a time of great biscuit need I went to the cupboard only to find it was bare of all biscuit related items....apart from some 2 and a half month old Merba apple pie cookies. They were left over in their foil wrapper and additionally wrapped in a plastic carrier bag. When I bought them originally I hadn't enjoyed them as I found them too hard for my liking, despite their delicious smell, but needless to say I was desperate!
Normally biscuits that have been left open for as long as this go soggy, but this biscuits benefited from a slight softening and I gobbled up the pack. I urge you to try this, don't forget about the plastic bag over the top....can you explain why this might have helped?
|Nicey replies: Alexandra,
Having been educated to degree level at the same august if slightly concrete obsessed establishment as yourself I have first hand experience of subsisting on a student diet. One quickly learns to adapt to ones impoverished circumstances and try new foods as well as completely revising ones whole understanding of best before dates. I well remember some friends taking their lives in their hands as they cleaned out a catering size jar of mayonnaise which had been left in a house that they had rented. By the time they became desperate enough to do this they had already lived there for the best part of a year. The same house also proved very stimulating to its largely biology student residents due to its impressive use of assorted wall paper roll ends. These were all from the 1970s school of large orange flowers on a black background wallpaper design. The large poster they had of the H Bomb detonating at Bikini Atoll often struggled to outdo the wall paper for dramatic and imposing presence. More academic stimulation could be found behind one of the wardrobes which had its own ecosystem of slugs which were living on the tender shoots of a shrub which was managing to grow through the wall.
So I can only say with respect to your biscuits that you were fortunate to find them to your liking. I would say that the plastic bag would have helped to create a constant micro-climate in which your biscuits could exchange moisture with each other and what ever atmospheric moisture diffused in. This would allow them to go stale much more gradually which is after all why you bunged them in there in the first place.