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Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.

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Your e-Mails

Neil Simmons

McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
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.

Simon Sinclair
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.

Sara Tumalty
Cork Hat - AustraliaFig rollsJaffa cakesCanada
Nicey replies: Thank you Sara,

You are very gracious. I have to say I didn't realise that Jason was actually interviewing me this morning but then I was a bit out of it as the Wife left in the middle of the night (to go on a girls weekend to Poland (she has strict instructions to bring back exotic Polish Jaffa Cakes) ) and a car alarm woke me up twice after that. Then just before waking I was having a strange dream where the girl from Big Brother who was the actress who pretended to be Australian was pinching a variety of sandwich cream biscuits from a conference room which was sited in the middle of a very busy road here in Cambridge. I think one of the biscuits might have been a form of Canadian Maple syrup biscuit, judging by the colour of its cream. I however didn't mind as I was only on my second best bicycle.

Have a nice sensible Friday and a lovely weekend.


Sara Tumalty
Fig rollsDunking

Fig Roll Review
Nicey replies: Sara,

Right first off I'm not sure what the biscuits are being subjected to, but if its just a straight forward see how long they can be dunked for then that's fairly meaningless. I can think of a two biscuits that could be immersed in boiling hot tea and shrug it off as if it had never happened, but I'll keep that to myself until I've been on the show.

As for the stale thing we have to debunk that on a regular basis, as it is riddled with exceptions. Indeed the preceding message I've just posted about the Irish Kimberley shows that they have to go stale rendering them hard before non Irish people trust them. It won't do to be sniping at the Fig Roll and trying to make out that it's not a biscuit but is a cake that somehow took a wrong turn and ended up in a biscuit packet. It's actually the filling of the fig roll that gives it a resilience against the hot tea rather than its pastry outer. Feel free to debate the nature of the Fig Roll at length but be aware that French have one that starts off crunchy and goes soft when stale, which we covered in our FigFest.

As for ginger nuts I think that was a good plan, If you had gone in with a Griffins one from New Zealand you might have won.

Helen Taylor

Kimberley and Chocolate Kimberley Review