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McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
Having just read your book, I was concerned that you had kept well clear of the 'which way up' issue concerning the chocolate digestive (and other such biscuits). Having just discovered your website for the first time, I am relieved to learn that there has been some debate on the matter.
I have two points to raise on the matter: Why should the top of an ordinary digestive become the bottom when there is a chocolate coating? In my opinion the delay factor of the chocolate reaching your tongue is greatly reduced if they are eaten chocolate side down, and the chocolatey taste sensation prolonged. The business of grip and grasp of said biscuit is merely a diversion: what is important is the eating/tasting experience.
To conclude, isn't it about time that the NCOTAASD website took the lead cleared the matter up once and for all? After all, you are the undisputed authority on such matters? The solution is simple: an online trial and survey. Readers should be asked to try eating a chocolate digestive one way up, and then the other; then complete an online form where they might indicate the way up that they have traditionally eaten their chocolate digestive, and their preferred way up based on the trial. If it were agreed that the experience is even better chocolate side down, then you could be responsible for changing biscuit-eating discipline for ever - and perhaps even name the process?
It has also occurred to me that there are other edibles out there suffering similar confusion, e.g. how many of us automatically open a packet of crisps so the writing on the bag is the right way up when you are eating them? Do we actually read all the small print on the bag? So why do be bother always opening it at the 'top?' Indeed, when we eat crisps communally at a pub, the packet usually sits flat on a table, and if being able to read the packet were really an issue, in such situations it should be opened at the 'bottom.'
My final plea: tasting notes for good everyday teabags (we can tackle Earl Grey etc. at a later date). Buying teabags these days seems to be like tip-toeing through a mine-field. There was a time when Sainsbury's Red Label was the answer - sadly those days are long since gone. Yorkshire teabags are not as good as they used to be, even though Taylors claim that they do not change, and even blend according to which region of the UK they are destined for. I wonder if any readers have discovered Punjana teabags which are blended in Belfast? I am happy to assist with these tasting notes.
|Nicey replies: Hello James,
When we polled people as to the right way up for chocolate biscuits we had 582 votes, 86.08% thought choc side up 8.25% were with you and 5.67% seemed to think it didn't matter. Perhaps a few of the 86% can be convinced to try them 'inverted', but we did have reports of some people trying that last time we talked about it. They said it felt disturbing.
As for tea, I notice that like ourselves you live in Cambridge and so maybe you might want to consider some form of water filtration for our grim old tap water before you start worrying what is or isn't happening to teabags. It might buy you a big margin of tea improvement, our kettle thread had lots of messages from people saying it had really worked for them.
Wagon Wheel Review
|Please help, I am deeply concerned.|
As a life long devotee of the Burtons wagon wheel ( shameful and unsophisticated, I know- but we develop obsessions in life about which we have no choice), I have endured gradual and some times sudden alterations in packaging. I started with the predominantly yellow wax paper. Sold singly in, sweet-shops.
I have accepted the changes in size (maybe I imagined those, I'm a lot bigger than I was, and every-things relative).
The very quality of the biscuit-base has changed- the original was thicker, crumblier, and had a definite salty tang, which worked as a counterpoint to the overall sickly sweetness of the other ingredients.
Actually the original biscuit was way too crumbly to be sensibly portable, whether in a packed lunch or thrust into a blazer pocket to nestle against one's conkers; often upon opening one would find a handful of mixed crumbs, with only the marshmallow layer left intact.
The basic design however, has remained as constant as Blue Peter, the boat race, and dishonesty in public life.
Two discs of biscuit. Chocolate flavour candy approximation on the outside. Inside, a layer of slightly chewy marshmallow polymer, and a dob ( I believe that's the word) of red jam/jelly.
So, how does it come to pass that the 'new improved' Wagon Wheel comes with a squirt of chocolate sauce where the jam should be?
I had hoped that this was simply an alternative product, an offshoot, a homage. Such things are not unknown in the history of this confection
But no, I have searched my local supermarkets and can find only these impostors.
It's an affront to all that's decent and reliable in the World.
I'm all for peaceful coexistence. Some people might even like these pretentious Johnny-come-latelies with their fancy continental ways, and that's ok by me. But you simply can't replace the original with these things. This is not a wagon Wheel. A Wagon Wheel has jam in. This is a sneaky low-budget usurper!
Perhaps I over-estimate the power of your connections in the biscuit world, but then perhaps not. Whatever influence you may have, I implore you to bring it to bear; help me in my crusade for proper Wagon Wheels.
I'm all overcome with emotion now; I'll have to have a nice cup of tea. But what will I do for a biscuit?
|Nicey replies: Well I actually like the old and the new. Mind you I was a little concerned at the sweeping aside of the old, and its been a year now since the new ones have been with us, so it looks like the old ones have been retired for good. Wagon wheels have been taking a bit of a bashing in our biscuit vote which we kicked off yesterday, probably with most people who have voted them as yucky recalling the old classic one (I'll just add again that I thought the old ones were splendid). Therefore it was probably time for Burton's to act in order to protect the biscuit and stave off its decline. No doubt if enough new Wagon wheels are sold they'll find it in their power to build a few jammy ones, albeit using modern components.
I would urge anybody who's not tried the new Wagon Wheel to give it a go, you'll be very surprised by the new taste.
McVitie's Milk Chocolate and Orange Digestive Review
A dull trip to somerfield was enlivened no end with the discovery of mint chocolate digestives! I didn't know such a thing existed, and the hubby and I had no trouble seeing off an entire packet in the lull between getting home and having dinner. They were reminiscent of Viscounts, which I am very fond of but can't eat without hearing my mother's disapproving tone. I haven't tried the orange digestives but didn't like the caramel ones at all. Mint ones, however, rock! Are they limited edition or likely to stick around a while?
Regards as ever,
|Nicey replies: Hello Rachael,
Yes I mentioned them at the end of the last newsletter, they were announced back in April but have only just hit the shops. Something about the Mint ones makes them seem much more fully realised to me than the Orange ones. They have that certain indefinable air of maturity which I felt was lacking from the Orange digestives, which seemed experimental by comparison. The Mint ones seem to have a much more substantial texture to their digestive and as you say the mint flavour is excellently executed. I must check back with the Orange ones again to see if their digestive has changed from the very early versions I tried.
The good news is that Mint Chocolate Digestives look to be a permanent addition to the range.
||Dear Nicey, Wifey and Junior members of staff,|
Iím scared, no Iím scarred Ė in fact Iím both, and it is all your fault!
WHITE CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVES!
This development is not just wrong it is a catastrophe that could bring about the destruction of Western tea and biscuit civilisation as we know it! My Monday had been positively productive up to this point, now it is ruined and looks to set the tone for the rest of the week. I had to this point no knowledge of the evil about to emanate from McVities, I thought that Christmas would arrive as ever in the middle of October with your usual Foxes selections and Rover favourites, and yes maybe even a cheeky little brandy snap to add a certain frission to proceedings.
But this! This is just wrong! White Chocolate Oranges are wrong! White chocolate maltesers are wrong! In fact the only white chocolate thing that is not wrong is a Milky Bar, and then it is pushing its luck.
With your connections and considerable clout in the biscuit world could you see your way clear to maybe having some sort of support group set up as I am not sure I will be able to cope with this development alone?
I am going to have a nice sit down in a darkened room now. I feel ever so slightly violated by this whole affair.
All the best,
|Nicey replies: So that's a 'no' vote then.
McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
|Dear Mr Nicey,|
We have just made a very interesting (Friday afternoon) discovery in the office.
It is physically impossible to eat a chocolate digestive biscuit upside down. (i.e.. the biscuit with the chocolate coated side facing floorwards)
It messes with your head.
The brain/tongue immediately posts a message that the biscuit should be returned to it's correct orientation immediately, the texture of the chocolate on the lower teeth is most disturbing.
I am interested in obtaining a grant to investigate this anomaly further, any idea which establishments might be interested in assisting me? I reckon I need around £500K to start with, just to cover my basic expenses etc, mainly tea and biscuits.
|Nicey replies: I would say you have a strong case there for funding. Of course the nightmare scenario is that some unfriendly foreign power realises that they could build a weapon of terror hat would bring Britain to its knees based on upside down biscuits, a bit like those WWII exploding Tinned Plums a few weeks back.|