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||Hello, I've just been forwarded your website from a friend in England. (I am American but have some connections to the Empire, having grown up in Jamaica, in the calypso days.) When my friend comes to visit, she must bring me Iced Gems. I rediscovered them when visiting my sister in Brighton in the late 1980's. Her former spouse, a Welshman, said "my God, I didn't know they still made those horrid things!" Many of my coworkers with international backgrounds remember them. I was told that they were used as prizes at school sporting events. I have also seen "fake" ones in Chinese grocery stores. I love the "new" chocolate ones, although I guess they do not ship as well as the traditional variety. Do these qualify as biscuits? |
|Nicey replies: The iced gem is recognised as a small novelty biscuit. Like another small food stuff, the olive, people tend to be fiercely divided about liking them or hating them. As you point out the recent innovation of chocolate iced gems points to continued popularity of these dry spikey little biscuits.
Personally they seem to me much like something you would use when building your driveway underneath the paving.
|A T Lewney
not sure if this has been debated before, or not, but do eccles cakes have ANY essential cake type components? surely like so many others (jaffa cakes et al) they fall in the misty region between cake and .... ummm well who knows, i disagree with the cake icon, perhaps a more fruity icon for those things with high fruit content (fig rolls, some flap jakes, but primarliy eccleses) could be brought about?
a matter for consideration
|Nicey replies: The Eccles cake is essentially a small fruit pie, and as such is a member of the cake kingdom. The fruit icon can be used against such things that merit it. However, I might need reminding from time to time to use it.|
Today I have eaten a Marks and Spencer Eccles cake. Let's just say that from now on other Eccles cakes aren't even in Eccles, they're out near Withenshaw or somewhere, or possibly outside of Lancashire altogether.
Impressed of Sheffield.
|Nicey replies: Hoorah!
I introduced the younger members of staff to Treacle Tarts over the weekend, through the medium of an Asda instore bakery twin pack. They displayed impressive signs of a sugar rush, and spontaneously invented several new words as they sat there gibbering a bit.
It does seem rather a shame that the poor Hovis biscuit languishes in so many otherwise empty biscuit selection boxes, all through a lack of understanding of their true purpose.
Hovis, and indeed, other plain digestive biscuits, are the perfect accompaniment to strong blue cheeses. A fan of blue cheese myself, I have often found some of the stronger examples, particulary the more powerful Stiltons, so simply be too salty and sharp for my palate. However, when accompanied by a Hovis biscuit, the slight sweetness taakes some of the salty edge off the cheese, leaving the lovely underlying blue veined flavour to come through.
Perhaps more could be made of the Hovis biscuit's potential educational properties, allowing the uninitiated or blue veined phobic to experience the subtle pleasures of cheesy mould without having to deal with the harshness of some of the stronger varieties.
|Nicey replies: We have created a new cheese icon as this debate looks set to rage on and on for a day or so, perhaps.|
Thin Arrowroot Review
On the subject of Rich Tea Fingers, I should like to mention the idea of Biscuit As Medicine.
I suffer from migraines and when I get one, I can't bear the thought of eating. That is with the exception of the Rich Tea Finger. The trick is to nibble the whole biscuit at once resulting in a mouthful of crumbs (a favoured technique of mine especially with Digestives and Abernethys).
Somehow this produces a foodstuff that is both palatable and non-nausea-inducing, and I usually feel better after eating a few with a couple of sips of tea. For this reason, in our household Rich Tea Fingers are known as "poorly biscuits" and there is usually an unopened packet in stock, "just in case".
I was once struck down with a migraine whilst holidaying alone in Paris. Having no companion to send out for aid, and not knowing where else to go in the city, I walked like a zombie for several miles to Marks and Spencers, where my treasured medicine was purchased for a small fortune. It was worth every painful step and every centime as I felt almost instantly better upon opening that packet of Rich Tea Fingers!
The Round Rich Tea simply doesn't work. I don't think the taste or texture is as good, and the shape of the finger is better for nibbling. My Granny used to speak of the medicinal properties of the Arrowroot (your site has touched on this already), but for me it's the Rich Tea Finger ever time. Sainsbury's for preference.
|Nicey replies: I think your tale of Rich Tea fingers touches on the paranormal.|