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||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.
Just read your comments on the PG Tips bags. On the bottom of my current box of four score I notice that PG (Unilever) have trade marked the tetrahedral shape of the bag AND the name Pyramid. Surely they can't have it both ways. To add even more confusion I have just had a nice mug of PG Tips tetrahedral shaped pyramid tea, with a "Hand Baked" Current Shrewsbury biscuit. Surely they mean Hand Made, Oven Baked!? It's all too much for me, it's enough to drive anyone to Happy Shopper square bags and a packet of pink wafers.
|Nicey replies: Sound points there Jim. Baking stuff in your hands would almost certainly lead to very a serious burns injury.
On a similar note things that proclaim themselves to be homemade when they are plainly produced in Industrial proportions always get me wondering. Do they have a vast network of homes in which their products are made, involving an exhaustive series of deliveries of raw materials and collection of the finished goods? Or perhaps somebody actually has to reside at the factory premises in order for it to be a home and therefore be able to produce homemade goods?
||Dear Nicey et al (Please insert gag about there being no-one called Al at Nicecupoftea here.....................)|
The usual congratulatons and thanks for such a remarkable site apply. May I point you in the direction of Fox's Big Softies? Not only a thoroughly delightful biscuit entertainment (chewy, yet crisp with it), but also an excellent comedic opportunity. And currently on offer in my local
Co-Op for just 69p, which is damned fine value for money in these times of over-priced comestibles.
Yours in biscuits,
Steve Fox (no relation. Well, no relation to the people who make Fox's biscuits, anyway. Which is a shame)
|Nicey replies: Yes we have tried them, and were a little disconcerted by the addition of Glycerine to make them soft. Still they are quite nice, and 69 pence is a very good price for a premium biscuit such as these. |
I was just reading through all the e-mails on your excellent website when one happened to trigger a suppressed childhood memory. I can now vividly remember how I went to school with Grey Dunn's Caramel Wafers in my tupperware box, and as I sit here typing I can almost taste that firm, succulent combination of caramel and wafer. I was a child of the 70's so I can testify to their existence around that time. Perhaps regional distribution patterns are the reason for your unfortunate lack of familiarity with these satisfying wafers? Then I lived in Doncaster (South Yorkshire) if that helps matters? As to why this memory has been suppressed for so long...I have no idea. I will never forget how I often ate entire packets of Blue Ribands, and Custard Creams (I still do actually)-so Im not sure why Id forgotten about Grey Dunns wafers?
Im off to Sweden for 5 weeks shortly, and if anybody had some biscuit recommendations, Id appreciate it, as I cant afford to make mistakes in such a pricey country...Thanks -Damon.R
|Nicey replies: Thanks for the Grey Dunn wafer info. I was in South Wales in the '70s so maybe that is my excuse.
As for Sweden, I did once have some thin ginger biscuits from Sweden, which you were supposed to consume with a sort of pre-bottled mulled wine called Glurg I think, into which you dropped large raisins and almonds. They were quite nice, a bit delicate, and possibly a little vulnerable if they were to find themselves in major biscuit eating session where there was tea present. If you see any attractive biscuits whilst in Scandinavia then we would be delighted to hear about them, photos would be good too.