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As a biscuit lover I am always interested in stretching the biscuit eating / sitting down envelope along new and exotic axes. To this end, last weekend I went to Morocco with my friend Alastair, and while we were there we climbed Jebel Toubkalin the High Atlas, which is in fact the highest mountain in Northern Africa. Given that no Englishman in his right mind would embark upon a hearty ramble without getting tooled up with some biscuits, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try a sit down and a nibble outside of normal laboratory conditions.
To kick things off we ate some very poor excuses for Twix, Kit Kat and Lion bars (local franchise I expect), the chocolate was just all wrong. So we were quite excited when, as we pushed towards the snowline, the time came to unleash the proper biscuits, a packet of locally produced fare we purchased in the remote village of Imlil, called ?Anita?, which looked like a sort of chocolate/rich tea combo affair. However, gloom soon descended as it became clear that the Moroccans have a bit left to learn in the biscuit formulation department. On reflection I suspect that at the root of the problem is the fact that for many years Morocco was a French protectorate and the colonists have clearly used their biscuit influence for ill. It seems that the Anita recipe formulators decided that instead of using sugar, which may be something of a scarce commodity in the Maghreb, they would substitute a fine wood dust, similar in texture and flavour to that used to manufacture MDF (medium density fibreboard, that is). Hence you are left with a biscuit that is both tremendously fissile and tastes like a sort of dry loam.
Anyway here is a picture of Alastair putting a brave face on things and tucking into said snacks, at least the view was nice. I estimate that the two biscuits we could manage before our mouths dried out were consumed at an altitude of approximately 3,900 metres above sea level. Perhaps this could be the start of a new feature, whereby readers can attempt to have sit downs and eat biscuits in extreme environments, e.g. at the bottom of the Marianis trench in the western pacific, inside an active volcano or perhaps while free falling from a balloon in the ionosphere.
Anyway, keep up the fantastic work.
|Nicey replies: Matthew
That's an inspiring tale of man pitted against adverse biscuit conditions. Personally I've eaten muesli bars at 3,200 meters but I didn't hike up there so it doesn't really count.
Yes it would be great to hear of anybody else's tales of extreme biscuit eating, that is either in extreme environments, or just extremely nasty biscuits or both as in your tale.
I've just had the nicest cup of tea and sit down ever. I purchased some new tea bags (a highly risky move I know). Miles West Country Smugglers tea bags. They're belting, highly recommended.
|Nicey replies: Great news about the tea and sit down Jim. Never heard of the tea, but its nice to think of those smugglers having a quite moment in the day when they are not busy shipping in dodgy booze, fags and drugs for a nice cuppa. Mind you this tea selling they have got involved with will probably be their undoing, as I would think its a simple matter now for Customs an Excise to track them down.|
I have recently been directed to your website by a friend, and just in time, I should say! I have just returned from a holiday in Cornwall, the first summer hol there since 1969. Naturally, my outstanding memory of Corwall over the last 33 years has been the Cornish Fairing, supplied by Furniss of Truro. So, the frst morning I was there I popped down to the local store and bought two packets. Now, I had spent most of the 6 and a half hour journey down impressing upon my girlfriend the delignt of the Fairing.
Imagine my chagrin when her reaction was a dubious "this is just a rather feeble ginger nut".. Worse , I was forced to agree! What has happened to the noble Fairing? Once a sublime, indefinable collection of spicey things? Have the French bought out Furniss as well?
|Nicey replies: I must confess to an ignorance of these Fairings of which you speak.|
|My Aunty Edna
Custard Cream Review
|And who introduced Nicey to the wonders of the biscuit tin? As a small boy on his frequent visits to me at Clements Hall he would come into the kitchen, make straight for the biscuit tin and begin to gorge - Custard Creams were a particular favourite.|
Once, in an effort to preserve the Custard Creams for longer than a few moments of a Nicey-Attack, I hid them at the bottom of the tin. To be confronted with the spectacle of Nicey scrabbling frantically in the tin - stopping for a moment and looking at me crossly whilst saying `Haven`t you got any DECENT biscuits!`.
Your Godmother x
PS: Love the Website - may I join in the next marrow-smashing?
|Nicey replies: Hello Aunty Nedda,
Lovely to hear from you. Glad you like our site. Yes, I've often said that my first biscuit encounters were of the Custard Cream variety, and in fact the Custard cream review mentions this.
Of course you can come to the next Marrow smashing, all of this years crop were consigned to Castle Nice's composting facility on Sunday, but there will another lot along next year. Of course the marrows from the year before were used as ammunition by Prawnzilla in his tussle with Citrus Sheep.
|Alan (Fred) Pipes
I must admit I do like a nice Breakaway. In your Biscuit of the week review you didn't mention the strange exhortations in bubble writing on the backs of the sachets. Such racy slogans as: taste it!, enjoy it! Mmmm... Chocolate, Delicious (can't remember what the others are cos I've eaten them). What are these for then? Some start with a capital; others are all in lower case. Some with exclamation marks; others without. Very odd, cos you don't actually see them until you've already purchased the packet and opened it!
Also, I was wondering about the origin of the tea towel? Was it originally used solely to dry the tea things? Surely they're better for drying glasses... Me, I let things drain -- much more hygenic. Apparently there are more germs on the average tea towel than on a public lavatory seat.
|Nicey replies: Yep I noticed them. I thought it was all a bit, inappropriate and tragic really. If someone chooses to eat a chocolate biscuit then that is a personal matter for them. I wonder how many people have been persuaded to go through with it due to the message on the back.
Tea towels, perhaps they were designed specifically to smear a layer of germs on your tea cup. Tea has antiseptic properties and so anybody making it wrong would quickly succumb to terrible tea cup borne diseases, and be effectively removed from polite society. Loo seats were simply too unwieldily for germ smearing and broke too many tea cups in the process.