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I'm so glad that I discovered your web site as I have been plagued with biscuit and crunchy snack related issues for many years. I am a 27 year old bloke and I have always had an aversion to fussy over-complicated biscuits. I can only actually consume the blander end of the biscuit spectrum and have suffered socially as a result.
You can imagine the scene; its a Sunday, a group of friends are round playing full contact canasta and I suggest (naturally) a cup of tea/or coffee and a selection of biscuits, to refresh the troops. I therefore proceed to the kitchen and prepare the hot beverages and arrange a selection of Rich Tea and Nice biscuits on a floral print Wedgewood plate. When I present the array to my fellow players they all leave in silence and disgust.
This was only the beginning, I then lost my house, car, pets, subscription to Guns n Ammo and all my signed American Football cards as a result. That was 3 years ago, I now live alone but have recently joined a group of like-minded individuals who enjoy the plainer side of biscuits. I can also say that I am now down to 2 cream crackers a day.
I wanted to share this because I know now that it's not a character flaw or a weakness, it's a normal, healthy and nothing to be ashamed of. If anyone else out there is a victim of blandism please write in and show your support. You're not alone!
Alan Wheatley's dismissal of Anzac biscuits, which are akin to the soma of the gods, is really not fair.
The oats from the stable floor are pre-softened by natural processes, often pre-used, as it were, for extra digestibility.
Those army socks are shredded only by devoted sock-shredders with years of experience in their art. Never has wool been pulled over their eyes. Furthermore, the socks are made from genuine Australian wool with absolutely no artificial ingredients such as rayon, nylon or teflon.
As for the toe-nail cuttings, it's all lies, I tell you! The clippings provided by Officers and Gentlemen were actually boiled down in billycans to make a nourishing high fibre broth for Other Ranks. The clippings from Other Ranks were fed to the horses, adding rich calcium and carotein content to the pre-digested oat-output.
Er, New Zealand? What is that, then?
An Anzac Devotee
||Could you help us by telling us the name of the biscuit that had a biscuit base (not unlike a rich tea biscuit) with a layer of jam and then 8 blobs of marshmallow sprinkled with coconut and came in really gaudy colours like pink and orange?|
|Nicey replies: Why that is a Jacobs Mikado, and two packs have just been obtained from Ireland by the Wife for review purposes.|
||Greetings Nicey from 'im down under,|
There's no doubt in my mind that the most cosmopolitan biscuit ever made has to be the Anzac, a blend of old oats retrieved from the stalls of pack-horses, shredded army socks and possibly toe-nail cuttings to add some crunch.
Anzac biscuits are reputed to have been consumed by Australian and New Zealand troops besieging Gallipoli during WW1.
They are given as a major reason for the humiliating defeat of these soldiers.
Nevertheless, Anzac biscuits have gone on to make Australia (I can't speak for New Zealand. In fact, no-one ever speaks of New Zealand) the cupofteaandagoodliedownwithabex centre for the world's biscuit lovers.
For complete ignorami, a Bex is, or was, a white powder said to contain an analgesic. Which you will need if you actually manage to consume a whole Anzac biscuit.
|Nicey replies: Alan,
Thank you for those compelling reasons to try Anzac biscuits.
I was discussing with a colleague the other day just which biscuits are most appropriate for which social occasion.
For example, when one has friends round to watch the football, we think the standard digestive should suffice.
When entertaining friends for a dinner party, when a smart/casual dress sense is required, we would go for a bourbon.
Thirdly, when one actually hires a place out, be it for a dinner party, wedding reception, or whatever, we would be inclined to go for shortbread.
Is there a hard and fast rule when it comes to biscuits? And which other biscuits go best with the
social occasions i have described above?
|Nicey replies: Greg,
There are no hard and fast rules about the choice of biscuits for any given occasion. However, it is perfectly possible to choose biscuits well or in poor taste depending on the elegance of the occasion.
I would agree with your first choice and would also add such things as Malted Milk, Fruit shortcake, and possibly some All Butter biscuits, depending the numbers present. At such an informal gathering of friends it may be nice to try out a new biscuit and so almost anything could turn up.
As for a dinner party I would be minded to chocolate Hobnobs plain and milk. Something decadent like a McVities Boaster could so easily form the center piece of a culinary evening. Serving Iced Gems at such an occasion, however, would almost certainly end up with you being ostracised by your own dinner guests.
As for a hired out venue one would always expect to see double layered biscuits and as such the jam and cream sandwich, which would probably head up a plate that includes the custard cream and possibly the bourbon. At such an occasion it would be bad taste to serve up wafers or anything in a branded wrapper such as a Penguin.