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Reading your web pages today, a biscuit long-forgotten suddenly popped into my head, but I have no idea what it was called, so naturally I am writing to you for some help in its identification.
It was cookie like in nature, a similar size and consistency as the Maryland, bit instead of chocolate chips, it harbored small chocolate chip sized drops of green and red 'jelly'.
I remember many a time, sitting with my tea, watching blue peter (circa simon groom and 'goldie') and newsround (actually, I always used to go out and make a cup of tea when newsround was on) and carefully sucking the biscuit until I was left with the tiny drops of jelly.
Do you have any idea what it was?
Yours in hope,
Bev (once known as Beverley Biscuit, but thats a long story)
|Nicey replies: Oh yes I definitely had some of those too, your description is spot on. I had assumed they were some sort of Maryland cookie as you say.|
| David Blaxill
||Dear Mr Nicey|
Finally got round to exploring your site properly, and an enjoyable experience it has been too. The "Paleolithic" section brought back many memories, as I worked as a sales rep for McVities between 1967 and 69. I thought you might like to hear some of them.
Many of the paleolithics were familiar to me, particularly Butter Osborne, also Barmouth and Dad's Cookies which were advertised on telly. Butter Osborne was one of H&P's best sellers in those days, so much so that McVits brought out a competitor called Butter Crumble. It was the first major new product launched for eons - others being only for specialist areas of the biscuit market, like milk and plain coffee wafers (addictive), cheese snaps (even more addictive), and the disgusting Captain Scarlet, (later Joe 90), which were chocolate covered Majestic Wafers with fancy foil wrapper and inflated price tag. The Butter Crumble (launched summer 69) did in fact taste very much of butter, although I remember its consistency as being mid-way between Rich Tea and shortbread. The packaging was, er, buttery coloured, with some red, and the packaging was a box of thin card, and - wait for it - octagonal, although the biscuits themselves were round and in a tube. They were easy to sell, can't remember any stores refusing to take them (plenty of independent grocers in those days). I left McVits shortly afterwards, and having eaten so many free samples, lost interest in biscuits for at least a decade, so have no further information on them.
When I joined the company (Oct 67), although it was United Biscuits, the Mc Vities salesforce was separate from MacDonalds, Crawfords & MacFarlane Laing, or MCM. UB had also just bought Meredith & Drew, but they made mostly own label stuff for supermarkets. McVities salesmen thought themselves the cream, and were officially supposed to wear bowler hats, (although no-one did except managers), and were provided with stiff collars and collarless shirts. The company did away with these as part of a cost cutting excercise - they also downgraded the company cars from Cortinas to Escorts. McVities best sellers were Chocolate Digestives (Milk outsold Plain two to one) at 1s11d, Rich Tea, Rich Marie, Digestives, Ginger Nuts, Family Assorted, Lincoln, and Royal Scot - all 1s1d and Jaffa Cakes at 2/-. On my very first day I learned an important fact - the average British housewife was five feet three and a half inches tall, and spent two shillings and ninepence a week on biscuits. I looked out for her on my travels, but we never did meet.
Funnily enough, I worked your neck of the woods - Cambridge - quite a lot. The largest supermarket was called The Dorothy (think it was in Sidney St). It was actually a Co-op, Cambridge was dominated by Co-ops in those days. And you could park.
Anyway, I've rambled enough. Might do it again if the mood takes me and I remember things. Great site, do keep it going.
PS I know what you mean about the foul tasting tap water in Cambridge. My daughter is at Magdalene and whenever we visit, the tea she makes (Taylor's Yorkshire - sod the PG and Tetleys) tastes very reminiscent of what you got at Butlins in the seventies. With such a large population of undergraduates, I think they must put Bromide in it.
Regards David Blaxill
|Nicey replies: David,
Many thanks for taking the time to share those memories with us.
A merry Christmas to you and your Cambridge water afflicted daughter.
|Far back in the dim and distant past (the late sixties and early seventies) I was in love with the most wonderful biscuit on Earth - the plain chocolate garibaldi. Now of course, the milk chocolate garibaldi was good, but the bitterness of the dark chocolate combined with the sweetness of the fruit made this, for me, the ultimate in 'sitting with my grandfather watching television' treats.|
Sadly, I have not seen such delights for many years, although a friend of mine once presented me with a Christmas gift of several packets worth of garibaldi over which he had carefully spread melted chocolate.
Ah... those lost biscuits of the past...
|Nicey replies: Nick,
Yes our best information on the Chocolate Gariballdi is that it was probably made by the now defunct south London biscuit manufacturer Chiltonian biscuits. Not only were they able to cover some in chocolate but theirs were much more moist than today's Gariballdis. When ever I'm in the presence of one of the powerful people in the biscuit world I habitually put in a plea to bring back the Chocolate Gariballdi. So far there is no sign of this happening.
I wonder if you could solve a puzzle for me? When I was a kid back in the 70s/80s there were some biscuits that had a spooky / ghostly theme to them. Each pack contained an number of biscuits that were coloured in various garish shades - green, red and yellow if I remember correctly - and each was associated with a spooky character. They were probably stuffed to the gills with sugar and additives, but I loved them regardless (or maybe because) of this fact.
Could you put me out of my misery and tell me what they were called, please?
|Nicey replies: They have been mentioned before.. but we don't remember their name.
I'm reading through your book at the moment (£3 in FOPP, a bargain — hardback too) and thoroughly enjoying myself with it.
A quick search around your lovely site here and a trawl through the feedback, and I can find no mention of the long-deceased Caramac-covered digestive. Now, it may have been covered in depth, but I just can't find it; or possibly no-one cared very much for them, and so erased the memories... but I know they existed. I have strong memories of me and my sister melting the sickly coating in front of a two-bar heater, risking scorched fingertips in the process, to lick off the molten goodness. Oh…such pleasure! I think we are talking circa 1975 here. No surprises that it went out of production, I suspect that even for the hardened sweet-tooth, too much Caramac can cause untold dental aching.
Yours, in biscuits,
|Nicey replies: Mark,
Yes these Caramac Digestives have been mentioned to me once or twice. I never had them, although the odd Caramac itself used to come briefly into my possession. I could never really understand why they were always so thin, surely there would have been a market for a Caramac built along similar lines as a family bar of Cadbury's milk. As for the biscuits, if they really were carrying a payload of genuine Caramac then they would have been something to do with Rowntree - Mackintosh, who were of course taken over by Nestlé in the mid 1980s.