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It's Nick Parker -- you very kindly reviewed my book on Toast a few months ago, (yr review still holds pride of place on the Toast page on Amazon, btw).
Just thought I'd add a few words in response to the review of Choco Leibniz biscuits that's on yr site. Which is that in addition to being one of the finest biscuits currently available (the product description on the back of the box gives a clue to their success: 'chocolate biscuits *set in*
chocolate' -- less a biscuit with chocolate on, more a sort of elaborate chocolate/biscuit suspension) they also win another accolade: being the only biscuit ever to be named after a philosopher*.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz to be precise. Born in Leipzig in 1646. Some book said of him: 'Leibniz was a man of medium height with a stoop, broad-shouldered but bandy-legged, as capable of thinking for several days sitting in the same chair as of travelling the roads of Europe summer and
winter. [so he even liked a sit down!] He was an indefatigable worker, a universal letter writer, a patriot and cosmopolitan, a great scientist, and one of the most powerful spirits of Western civilisation.'
All that, *and* he gave his name to a biscuit. wow.
*to my knowledge, McVitie's Caramel Nietzsches never made it past the prototype stage.
|Nicey replies: Hey Nick,
The Choco Liebniz is of course the chocolate version of the Leibniz, just as the Chocolate Digestive is the chocolate version of the Digestive, and the Petit Écolier (small school boy) is the chocolate version of Petit Beurre. Slight loss of plot by the French again. Originally, 1890 something, Bahlsen produced 'Leibniz Kaks' and then changed the name to 'Leibniz Cakes', which sound even more tempting. I'm told by Bahlsen that the Choco Leibniz enjoys a fierce brand loyalty, which would seem about right as it is an impressive use of chocolate to dress up an otherwise uneventful biscuit, much as the Lu have done with the Petit Beurre. Of course the master stroke is to make the chocolate something that can be nibbled off.
Bakers Iced Zoo Review
Ah, a classic... the history of animated nature all segmented. Evidence that tea is in fact a life preserver; because no matter how hot, when the ZB was dipped, only the biscuit base would get soggy. So leaf saves squirrel. And only animal sustains animal. Or not. Poor things. I had absolute power in all two (or was it three? four?) years of me. The best part was, as white as they appeared, they disappeared. No blood. I wanted to believe it true - if it doesn't bleed it doesn't hurt (isn't that nice - like the sticks and stones rhyme). The king of all South African Zoo animals is, of course, the mighty housefly - can't postage him in, all red and green and blue and confusingly shiny. Well, if it's not on top...
|Nicey replies: OK, good.. I think.|
Bakers Iced Zoo Review
The white icing 'animals' have provided much room for mirth, debate and derision (compared to the picture on the pack afterall) over the years but I can confirm that the whale/slug/fox hybrid is in fact intended to be a squirrel.
I never drew on the animals but the tri-partite architecture of these biscuits does reward the adventurous biscuit-eater with a variety of methods for eating them.
My personal favourite IS to eat as much of the biscuit away, then lick the beast off, at which point the maximum sugar-rush can be achieved by rapidly consuming the 'purified' coloured icing.
Bakers Iced Zoo Review
Many thanks for the evocative trip down Biscuit Memory Lane that your review of Bakers Iced Gems provoked. I grew up in South Africa, and despite having dabbled with several dangerous drugs in adulthood (such as blue Smarties and double espressos), I have never quite been able to
recapture the combined chemical high and sugar rush brought on by those luridly-iced confections. I also recall that we used to ink or pencil-in features on our favourite animals prior to consuming them, and I am pleased to report that ingestion of quantities of felt-tip and
pencil lead seem to have done me no great harm at all. Sadly my memory of South Africa's fauna is not quite as well-developed, but I may have an idea regarding the pink slug/whale/fox hybrid thingy. The clue was in your comment that the icing appears to dress to the left, so to speak, and that perhaps you had this biscuit upside down, and lo and behold, after inverting my monitor I could make out the shape of a squirrel or possibly a beaver or other large-tailed rodent.
I hope that this is of help, and wish you all the best in your biscuity crusade. I'm off to PC World now to by a new monitor.
Weston's Wagon Wheels Review
I have beside me a Canadian Wagon Wheel, along with a ruler. This diminutive treat is but 6.7 cm in diameter, and 1.8 cm thick. According to friends and family who ate the rest of the Wagon Wheels that I purchased, they are mighty delicious.
For your information, there really is raspberry in the raspberry filling in the Canadian Wagon Wheel. There are also a number of positively frightening-sounding components. The ingredients of the Wheel are as follows: sugar, enriched flour, glucose, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, glucose-fructose, vegetable oil shortening, cocoa, apple pulp (apples, sulphites, potassium sorbate), gelatin, modified milk ingredients, fancy molasses, salt, sorbitan tristearate, sodium bicarbonate, raspberries, pectin, soya lecithin, citric acid, ammonium bicarbonate, sodium benzoate, monocalcium phosphate, nutmeg, natural and artificial flavour, colour (contains tartrazine). Each 41-gram cookie contains 167 calories (700 kJ) and practically no nutritional value whatsoever, but who cares?
Something you should know: it appears as though Weston sold his Wagon Wheels, as the only ones I could find are made by Viau McCormicks, which appears to be a subsidiary of Dare Foods Limited. These Wheels are a genuinely Canadian product, however; it says so right on the box.
I hope that this information proves useful to you and completes your quest for information on the Wagon Wheels of the world.
|Nicey replies: Jenni,
Thanks for that wonderful piece of trans-altlantic biscuit detection, and the wealth of data in your report. Good to see that the Canadians are settling for a 67mm Wagon wheel which is 7mm smaller than our own, although you may have the edge over us on depth. Amazing to see Raspberries turning up in the jam, this must be a first for the whole genre, you should be proud as a Canadian, even if you are unable to eat them due to your dietary restrictions.