Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
To help you work out what is what, are now little icons to help you see biscuit related themes. And now you can see at a glance which are the most contested subjects via this graph (requires Flash 6.0 plugin).
Please keep your mails coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like, you can use this search thingy to find stuff that matches with any of the icons you pick, or use the fantastic free text search, Yay!
Nabisco Nutter Butter Review
I love your website. When I left England at the tender age of twelve, I did not realize that America didn't have proper biscuits. Luckily they do import biscuits from England and Canada, so Digestives and other yummies can be found from time to time.
Unfortunately, our local blood drives have Oreos and Nutter Butters (a peanut butter flavored sandwich cookie in the shape of a peanut) as the reward for donating blood. To wash these down they provide juice boxes or bottled water. No cups of tea in sight. :-)
I do drag my husband back to England every few years - he survives on sausage rolls and Jaffa cakes. He's American. :-)
Keep up the good reporting on all things biscuity.
|Nicey replies: It seems only right and proper that if somebody removes a pint of the very lifeblood from an average British person that they should immediately administer tea and biscuits to replace it like with like. I'm sure the same could be said of the Irish. As for the other nations of the world I'm not sure but there is good sport to had coming up with tongue-cheek suggestions.|
Polish Jaffa Cakes Multireview Review
|Dear Nicey, wifey and YMOS!|
Thank you for your wonderful review of "Polish Jaffa Cakes Multireview". I believe that Wifey was able to get such fine biscuits by giving her right arm that she risked abandoning beloved Nicey and YMOS for a while. It must be just trophied biscuits.
Sad to say, I have never tried any Polish Jaffa cakes. However, I am lucky to have enjoyed some "McVitie's branded Jaffa cakes" biscuits in the U.K. I loved the fruity tartness of the orange jelly rich in gelatin that could work as a skin moisturizer. (or jam ??) I think many people in the U.K.and Poland are really happy to be able to eat Jaffa cake biscuits.
As you guess, Korea has no Jaffa cake biscuits. However, I recently met a nice biscuit named "Big pie" .
The "Big pie" manufactured by CROWN is a biscuit with a strawberry flavoured jelly in a chocolate. The main reason I love the biscuit is that I can enjoy three key- points such as "the biscuit, the chocolate and the jerry" at the same time as Jaffa Cake biscuits in the U.K.
Of course,I know that the "Big pie"biscuit is not a "Jaffa cake"biscuit. But I will taste the Korean "Big pie" as Korean Jaffa Cake" with gratitude in Korea.
The "Big pie" is a SMALL round biscuit around 4 cm in diameter.
Hiromi Miura (Seoul Korea)
|Nicey replies: Hiromi,
Glad to see that you have settled down in Korea and are busily finding new biscuits. As you point out not only are those pies not big but they don't appear to be pies either. We are very lucky to have your Japanese view of Korean biscuits based on your working knowledge of British biscuits. I feel that one day there might come to pass a course of events that would see you at least saving the world using your specialised knowledge that is a Japanese view of Korean biscuits based on your working knowledge of British biscuits.
The smashing orangey bit in the middle of the jaffa cake to give it its full technical name is as you suspect actually jam. Industrial jam at that. Which means that the inclusion of the Jaffa Cake in the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary with the definition as
a sponge biscuit with an orange-flavoured jelly filling and chocolate topping is wrong on two counts and very obviously throws doubt on the validity of every other piece of information held in it.
As for Wifey she gave her left arm today, as she gave blood. She tells me she had a cup of tea afterwards and three Crawfords Gingernuts, although Digestives and Custard Creams were also on offer.
||Wonderful site - but has making tea really come to this? A tea bag? Dreadful. For instructions on "real tea" (in the same manner as "real ale") please visit our tea page|
Also a tea quiz - see link at bottom of page.
Keep up the good work.
Philip & Catheryn
|Nicey replies: Philip,
Whilst I'm very pleased to use at least four of our tea icons to go along with your mail, I would urge restraint on your part and not to descend into full blown tea fascism. A live and let live attitude is the enlightened path unless of course you are having to drink somebody else's ropey tea, then its all right to have a go especially if you are having to pay for it.
One pound forty on the P&O Dover Calais ferry for half a cup of warm water drizzled over a one cup bag with a small plastic pot of milk, now that's something to get upset about. These vessels are now effectively the very edge of British tea culture. Leaving our shores they are the last chance for a cuppa in a place that should recognise the significance of such a thing. They are also a welcoming sight for the weary travelling Brit and should be a stronghold and embodiment of mass tea provision, in a way that we can be both grateful for and proud of.
Of dear you appear to have set me off on one now.
McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
Any idea what McVitie's have done to the Chocolate Homewheat? It seems to have metmorphed into the inferior Chocolate Digestive. People have referred to them as digestives for years, but that was only the copy brands. The Homewheat was a great biscuit, particularly in plain chocolate. These digestives are too "refined".
|Nicey replies: Neil,
You are basically compounding the recent history of the McVities Chocolate Digestive into one issue. The Homewheat branding was dropped a bit over two years ago as McVities sought to refocus on the McVities name after the nasty dabbling with MacDonaldsesque 'McV' of 2002. So this was really an exercise in re-branding and fitted in well with the planned diversification of the Digestive. Indeed just the other week we bought some new McVities Yog Fruit digestives, topped with a sort of white substance and bearing little clumps of squashed fruit matter. This would have been un-thinkable five years ago, but now seems somewhat inevitable.
The biscuit too has changed a good deal in that time loosing lots of its salt content and its payload of hydrogenated fat. With the best will in the world it can't be said that the biscuits of yore are at all like today's, such is the price of progress.
As you might remember, we moved to Pennsylvania about four years ago. Managing only to return to England once a year, we therefore get a little homesick for certain British treats - marmite on toast, Seville Orange marmalade, REAL milk chocolate, and so on. Much of this homesickness is fended off by regular re-supplies provisioned by well-intentioned friends and relatives on transatlantic visits. However, when I saw your piece about the adventure of the fruitcake, the theme of British delectables in the USA bubbled unbidden to the surface. Since there was a camping trip to Williamsburg and Jamestown (Virginia) in the offing, we thought that bringing a bit of homemade fruitcake to the original colonies would be an appropriate way of extending that theme, and a whole lot better than bringing shop-bought fare.
The only way to do this was (of course) to use your recipe as a starting point. I doubled the cherry quota and included slivered almonds in the mixture, as well as some brandy along with the orange juice. It turned out very nicely, and since we were camping with another family of four with small children (also English), the cake was demolished within two days. Now, what I haven't mentioned (and this is something that even the hardiest NCOTAASD reader may not know) is that in the USA fruitcake is something of a national joke. It certainly seems that recipes for fruitcake were inherited during the period of colonial rule, and there are plenty of places in the USA where one can buy it. But somehow, along the way, it has come to be regarded as the ultimate in unwanted gifts, frequently re-packaged and handed on to the next 'unlucky' recipient, hardening all the way since no-one has heard of feeding such an aging masterpiece with brandy. The association with Christmas doesn't exist over here, so mention of 'Christmas cake' generally meets uncomprehendingly blank stares. I'm fairly sure there was no cake at the Boston Tea Party, so I wonder if you can shed any light on where our friends across the water went wrong.
Yours with thanks,
|Nicey replies: Hello Simon,
I'm very pleased to hear that you have built your own NCOTAASD fruit cake with some extra custom build to order features. Its also terrific news that you took it camping too. Wifey and I are filled with warm fuzzy cake, tea and sitting on the floor thoughts.
I think I once detected in an American sit-com a sideways jibe at the British and fruitcake, and just put it down to ignorance of the good things in life. I think that fruitcakes really became firmly established in the Victorian era. This was also around the time that baking powder and self raising flour came on the scene. Most recipes prior to that time are for fruited breads raised with yeast. So it would seem that the first British colonists had pre-dated this wave of Victorian baking. The emigrating Scots and the Irish were probably America's best hope of getting some decent fruitcake know how after that.
Certainly sounds like a subject worthy of further investigation.