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Penguin Splatz Review
|Your recent Biscuit of the week review about Penguin Splats left me with somewhat melancholy feelings. It's not that I care about the splatting of penguins, which are fair game for such activity, but rather because of your sad words about Happy Faces.|
These were one of my favourite biscuits, when I could get them. They have all of the jammy goodness of a jammie dodger, plus a little bit of cream like a custard cream. The mouth shaped cut out even let you peak inside to make sure that you got a biscuit with a good ratio of the two. It's the ideal choice for someone who likes to have a bit of both every now and then. Admittedly the jam was rock hard, and the cream was a bit thin, but combine that with the fact that there were a selection of different faces (not all happy either!), and that means that you have to consume about a third of a packet in one sitting - good going for our house.
I was saddened therefore to read how unpopular Happy Faces have been in the UK, and especially saddened to hear the news that this may be due to passing resemblance to scary clowns. Personally, I can't see it myself, but that is probably because I was looking through the eye holes to make sure that there was enough filling in there rather than studying the features. Perhaps some pictures on your web site of the Happy Faces that bear less resemblance to clowns would help rekindle their popularity. I suggest that for added safety these are shot in a non-clown location, e.g. Burger King.
|Mrs Joyce Hoover
||Dear Mr Nicey|
I'm writing to thank you for your refreshing website, which has been pointed out to me by my neighbour, Martyn Ford. He owns a computer and knows about these things, so he is helping me to send this little e-mail communication to you (my first!). He knows very little about biscuits, but
is an apt and eager pupil; so with my experience and your impressive repository of biscuit data and biscuit lore, I'm sure he will come on in leaps and bounds.
I am a landlady in Brighton on the south coast of England. These days, with the decline of the traditional British seaside holiday and the availability of cheap flights to hot, insanitary lands in the south, I have come to rely on overseas visitors to make up the great majority of my
paying guests. My terms being half board, naturally I always try to give these guests an
authentic taste of Britain. And this includes BISCUITS.
Many of these visitors do not enjoy our natural advantages - I mean, for example, they are not native-born speakers of English and have to struggle to express even rudimentary ideas in our language. It's difficult to imagine, but there you are. We have to do our best to help them cope. And here I come to MY POINT: you will have noticed that a number of varieties of biscuit commonly offered in "assortments" these days carry the NAME of the biscuit impressed or embossed (by stamp or mould) on the baked sugary surface of that biscuit. Hence NICE, and CUSTARD CREAM, to name but two. My lodgers find this kind of linguistic support enormously helpful. Whenever they are taking tea in England and are offered a biscuit they can quickly
(and discreetly) glance at the name and look it up in the little bilingual dictionaries they always carry with them. Thus they know what they're getting, and a little more is added to the great fund of cultural knowledge they acquire by staying with a real English family. Moreover, some of these
English language learners have to take examinations and it is reassuring to know that should biscuits come up in the Cambridge First Certificate Paper Three: Use of English (for example), they will be well-prepared.
For some years I have been conducting a quiet, 'behind-the-scenes' campaign to get biscuit manufacturers to do more of this 'integral signing'. Why shouldn't overseas consumers also be advised that the round biscuit with the host of little bumps on it that they are about to eat is a LINCOLN CREAM? And surely they could find room between the elegant furrows on a fig
roll for the helpful legend: FIG ROLL....
I would be pleased to think that the many visitors to your website would support me in my efforts to put pressure on the biscuit consortia to name (but certainly not shame) their products!
I worry that young Britons today are losing contact with their biscuit heritage (I have heard teenagers say, when asked to identify a biscuit from amongst a teatime assortment, "Dunno. Is it a cookie?") If nothing else, more integral signing would help keep alive an awareness amongst our own people of their rich biscuit heritage.
"Rich Tea". There's another one, you see.
Joyce Hoover (Mrs)
P.S. Martyn has also very kindly fixed me up with a website of my own. You might even like to take a look if you have the time.
|Nicey replies: Dear Mrs Hoover,
We are always interested in the biscuit selection made available to residents and guests when staying in the UKs fine selection of hotels and guest houses. Indeed I believe that in most hotel rating systems the in-room biscuits counts as an extra star.
Only last week whilst staying in Burton upon Trent(famed as the home of Marmite production in the UK), I was disappointed not to see biscuits accompanying the complementary in room tea and coffee. Despite our lodgings being themed on Arthurian legend and the Holy Grail, the round table in the Avalon room where we took breakfast, had merely a limited selection of cereals to accompany the tea and coffee.
||I think you are just the kind of person to solve a problem that has been bugging me for ages.|
I keep buying teapots and none of them pour properly. Next time I buy one I am going to insist that I can try it out in the shop.
I only ask one thing of a tea pot and that is that it should pour out tea without dribbling all over the table cloth and without the handle burning my hand. (I suppose that's two things).
Since you are clearly the experts in this field do you have any suggestions or solutions?
Mrs "slightly annoyed" from Paris
PS I love your website which I found recommended as website of the week on Which Online
|Nicey replies: That is an excellent idea, and deserves an icon. The only guide I can offer is that there appears to be inverse relationship between a teapots cost and its pouring excellence. Our quite pricey Denby Pullman pot dumps tea almost anywhere except in the cup, whilst a really cheap and cheerful pot I bought in a value shop works well.
We will all take your good word that we are Which's website of the week, given that only members can see the site contents. Presumably they tried out all the other websites about tea and sitting down and we came out tops. Hoorah!
Tunnocks Tea Cake Review
|Please help! We are desperate to find out who makes chocolate teacakes with JAM. We are aware of the Tunnocks regular chocolate teacake but there is a version of this cake with jam available, we just can't find out the manufacturer's name. Can you help us?|
Thanks in advance!
|Nicey replies: Thats no problem, you could try 'Lees' a Scottish based baker of tea cakes, or just good old 'Burtons'.|
Tunnocks Wafer Review
|I have just seen a comment about Gray Dunn caramel wafers. I purchased a packet some time last year but I cant remember where from. They were still as delicious as my childhood memories recalled. Tunnocks are not a patch on Gray Dunns. The new plain chocolate Tunnocks are preferable to the milk but sources are limited. I would love to know if Gray Dunn still produce their caramel wafer as my father and I would be keen to buy them again.|
|Nicey replies: Ruth,
Make sure you are sitting then read this.