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|A T Lewney
i like to cook, and i like to bake, biscuits and cakes (tho really im crap at anything thats not sponge, but thats ok, cause i dont like fruity cake anyway much) but ive never come accross xanthan gum, can i ask you or her or whoever, what it is and can i get it in my local londis/spar/moronisons etc? and whats it used for other than the recipe provided, it all sounds very exotic
|Nicey replies: Good question. Stuff beginning with X is rocket science by definition. I have never seen Xanthan gum for sale, but I have seen it in stuff, Sunny Delight for instance as you might expect contains it (I once read the ingredients of Sunny Delight to try and figure out if it was indeed as sinister as it appears to be). Whether or not they simply added it because it begins with X and they were working through the alphabet in some kind of sick ingredient stunt or maybe it is to do with 'mouth feel' which I think is the term for industrial chemists would use when building vats of Sunny Delight. Maybe it is part of the emulsification of the vegetable oil in the solution of sugar, and chemicals which is central to the production of Sunny Delight. Perhaps it is a by product of the production of Sunny Delight, which spontaneously gives rise to stuff that begins with X, and Sunny Delight itself is presumably a by product of detergent manufacturing.
You could try Holland and Barrett.
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
|Nicey, you are a gentleman and no mistake to ascribe so many virtues to the Tim Tam, however we New Zealanders, living as we do in constant biscuit imperialism directed at us from the other side of the Tasman sea, know all about the shortcomings of Australian products which are continually foisted on to our shelves to replace superior local and British products. The Australians are even extending their usual cultural rapine to claim that fine original New Zealand products, such as the Anzac biscuit, the Pavlova and Hokey-Pokey ice cream are their own! We are quite content for them to claim Rolf Harris, but wish them to own up to their greedy colonisation of talent and inspiration. However, it was nice to see your tongue firmly in your cheek when you claimed to be aware of modest Australians. Cheers, Barry Newman|
Something has been bothering me for quite some time now, and you seem like the right chap to ask; the Claire Raynor of biscuits if you will. Why is it that Ginger Nuts are called Ginger Nuts? They clearly contain no nuts, the only other conclusion I can draw is that the name is communicating a crrrrrazy enthusiasm for the ginger flavour - I hope you will not confirm these fears as it's so crap I feel it will dint my enthisiasm for the aforementioned biscuit.
|Nicey replies: Liza,
Thank you for your mail, unfortunately I can offer no explanation other than the one I am about to make up. The gingernut is so called because its hard like a nut, and you sort of have to crack them to eat them like nuts. We have been eating lots of Gingernuts recently and I was waiting to answer your mail until I felt I had eaten enough of them to give you a really good answer.
||Paris - it's the city of love, it's a stroll by the Seine, it's a wet afternoon looking at the masterpieces in the Louvre, it's a Depardieu film, it's a girl in a miniskirt offering to do all sorts of interesting-sounding stuff for not a lot of money.|
Yes, it's all these things, but it's more, much more. It's the place where there are lots of shops selling Lu Petit Beurre biscuits. With the appearance of a Morning Coffee on steroids, and the buttery smell of... well, a packet of butter, it's rich and crispy, it's dunkable and satisfying. It's a Brigitte Bardot of Biscuits!! It's a (someone beginning with "S") of Snacks!
And you can eat lots of them without having to point to stuff on menus and get condescended to by some garlic-smelling waiter with greasy hair.
|Nicey replies: Its a such a pity that Petit Beurre taste so completely dismal. I'm off to the land of Petit Beurre this week, with my stock of PG Tips bags in tow, fingers crossed I won't be forced to eat any Petit Beurre. Maybe if we find ourselves in a bizarre and contrived survival situation that involves them then I'll consider it.|
|Ms Ginger Snaps
||I have just discovered a fabulous chocolate covered biscuit (the correct term I think). They are Sainsbury's own brand and a variety of their 'King' bar. These ginger bars are just fab as the biscuit inside is not the hard and frightening ginger nut type, but a crumblier biscuit more often found in the Breakaway or similar. Not only this, but the ginger taste is refreshing and tastes more like the root than the spice. An impressive own brand creation which I shall be buying more of.|