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All this talk of buying chocolate biscuits at school break times brought back fond memories of my particular childhood favourite, the glorious 'United' biscuit. Plain and rather crumbly biscuit covered with low-qualityish chocolate which was thick on top and - wait for it - mixed with impossibly small honeycomb pieces. The best part though was the design: a single biscuit was shaped into three distinct pieces which could be snapped off and eaten separately, allowing
for a deeply satisfying KitKat-style ritual. A triumph of the biscuit whole being somewhat greater than the sum of its parts.
In later years I believe the United was redesigned and became a standard uni-biscuit. Of course, the novelty thus removed, it soon dropped from favour and I can't recall seeing one for many years.
The other thing about Uniteds was that the chocolate on top was dimpled, allowing for excellent 'brass rubbings' to be taken using the foil wrapper. Breakaways also once had this property in spades with their excellent criss-cross patterned top, but once again the design was meddled with, and biscuit brass rubbing was dealt a cruel blow. In fact I'm unaware of any current biscuit that readily lends itself to the practice.
Do biscuit executives really have so little a grasp of what makes a particular biscuit great?
|Nicey replies: Never had a United alas, but thanks for that vivid description.
Also a point well made about the brass rubbing on top of Breakaways, we mention that in our review of them. Its these things that elevate a biscuit from an also ran into a classic design, and engage the eater.
||Dear Nicey, |
I believe I can shed some light on this seemingly cruel child baiting! In Sweden it is traditional to serve very thin ginger biscuits at christmas time and indeed it is traditional to try to break them into three parts with one tap in order that your christmas wishes come true. This was taught to me
one happy winter time in Stockholm, as I had ingested large amounts of 'Glugg' a turbo alcoholic mulled wine like beverage that could cause blindness, I cannot remember the exact name of the biscuit but it featured many 'kn' sounds. I never had a cup of tea with any of these biscuits but presume this would have improved my memory considerably.
Yours humbly etc..
|Nicey replies: Yay Penny,
I've had Glurgg and those thin Ginger biscuits. The Swedish ladies that were with me at the time didn't tell me about smashing them with our elbows, they were more insistent that we had very large almonds dropped in our Glurgg.
||hello. i read your article regarding the uruguayan (?) biscuit situation, and was literally surprised to hear the use of the term 'dolce de leche' used about this "sweet milk filling" that fills many South American biscuits and cakes. I have an immigrant father, who in his foreign methods and peculiar habits often sings the praises of the said 'dolce de leche' and includes it as a major part of his daily after-meal-with-tea rituals. I was glad to hear the author, whos name escapes me now, enjoyed the product of my fathers origins (even thought my father is from chile, not uruguay) and even more glad to be able to pass on the fact that dolce de leche can be home-made! Its something to do with putting un-opened tins of condensed milk in a pressure cooker for while, i don't know exactly what, but if the author wishes me to i can enquire as to the exact timings and milk-types. i hope i have shone a little sunlight where there is little.|
||Alan Smith is probably reminiscing about 'Thruppenny', a foil-wrapped biscuit exactly as described from our old friends Burton's. The name came, unsurprisingly, from the price that it was sold at, and it was a staple product of many a school tuck-shop. The snag was that with a name like 'Thruppenny', it was very difficult to ever take a price increase without destroying one of the brand characteristics, ie its name. So it was discontinued. It re-emerged in the early 1980's with a new name 'Bingo!', but never caught on and was discontinued again. The name 'Bingo!' was re-used on an aerated chocolate countline that can still be found lurking on the lesser-shopped reaches of the chocolate biscuit fixture.|
Looking forward to seeing you on TV tomorrow!
|Nicey replies: Once again Biscuit Man comes up with the goods. And yes watch out for me on Richard and Judy tomorrow 5/6/2003.|
My wife and I both remember from our childhood's a fully chocolate covered wheatmeal digestive biscuit that came individually wrapped in blue and silver foil (red and silver for the plain chocolate version). I used to be able to buy one during break-time at primary school.
Does anyone else remember these, if so can you remember what they were called and who made them?
Most importantly of all, can you still buy them?
PS. We're not talking Viscounts here.
|Nicey replies: Yes that definitely stirs my memory, but not enough to remember what they were.