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||Hello Nicey & Wifey,|
I've been enjoying your book greatly and it prompted me to look up your site, which is also spiffing.
However, I must take exception to your description of the latest McVitie's advertising campaign as being entirely about people flicking crumbs at each other.
As one of the chaps responsible for devising this modern masterpiece, and going all the way to New Zealand to shoot it, may I point out that crumbs in question are also poured, retrieved, shaken and hoovered up. Other unused scenes showed them being dunked and banged out of the crevices of a tin.
Shortly, you will even be able to see them being sucked up a straw, in an ad about a new Mcvitie's product so secret that I would be killed if I told you about it.
Anyway, to my point. I probably don't eat quite as wide a variety of biscuits as you expert consumers, but as part of my job I do get to go to lots of biscuit factories and see them at work. Whilst watching digestives splash through their chocolate bath, or observing a ginger nut rise and fall in the oven, or seeing how small the tiny squidge of batter is that becomes the basis of a Jaffa Cake is all jolly thrilling, by far the most impressive to watch in production is............................the Butter Puff.
What do you say to that, eh?
|Nicey replies: Thank you for running the gauntlet of certain death, to bring us that message, however, mostly we say, that we suspect that going all the way to New Zealand to shoot lots of interiors seems like a bit of an excuse for a jolly. We hadn't noticed any obvious parallels with the portrayal of biscuit crumb premises and the scenery in the Lord of The Rings Trilogy, although I'm sure we'll all look a bit harder next time it's on. Secondly I was really referring to the advert where the two blokes are just flicking crumbs at each other, rather than the adverts that came after that one which I hadn't seen because they were in the future.
Thirdly and getting to your point I'm not keen on butter puffs, although I have a good deal of respect for them and their whole 'puff' posse including the Lemon Puff. Presumably now that Jacobs is part of of United Biscuits there can be a public burying of the hatchet between the Cornish Wafer and the Butter Puff which surely is long overdue.
Jacob's Orange Club Review
|Dear Nicey and crew|
Talking of family holidays and what might accompany you in your thermos flasks. My lasting memories of travelling to South Wales in the summertime in the 1960s always conjures up the road side stops, when you pulled into the lay-by (alongside a few other folk travelling to the seaside), opened up the boot, and Mum would produce loads of Tupperware boxes, filled with sandwiches, tomatoes, apples, Club biscuits (generally a bit sticky cos they'd melted), etc. We generally had a nice bit of Madeira cake too. It might have been the height of summer, but there was also a thermos or two of soup (one filled with cream of tomato and the other vegetable or minestrone (quite continental for us at the time!)). Grown ups of course had their thermos of tea - we youngsters had blackcurrant cordial. Fantastic!
PS: As I recall, our thermos flasks tended to have some kind of tartan pattern on the outside.
|Nicey replies: Yes our flask icon is intended to show some tartan action. Our new flask as seen in the last newsletter is one of those new fangled brushed metal ones but we do like it none the less. Which reminds me we really should write another newsletter.|
|While on holiday last year in in lanzerote,having forgotten to take my usual supply, in the hotel shop I came upon a packet of McVities bourbons in a red packet?|
As far as I am aware McVities don't sell bourbons in individual packets in this country. Am I wrong in this, do they sell McVities bourbons over here or is there a whole world of forgain export biscuits that are shipped out of the country with out our knowledge. whats going on?
ps marie biscuits ( a posh persons rich tea) do they still make them any
|Nicey replies: Its all very complicated really. Basically you have the giant that is United Biscuits, whose main brands in the UK are are McVities, Crawfords and the recently acquired Jacobs. Bourbons and Custard creams here are always Crawfords (as are Marie which you can still get (Sainsburys) green pack ). UB has acquired lots of Spanish biscuit firms since the 1990s and are bringing UK brands over to Spain, many of which are being baked in Spain. They use the McVities brand abroad because it is more recognisable to ex pats. They have tried the reverse bringing Spanish brands over here under the Crawfords name as it happens but it didn't really catch on.
||Thanks for the book, it was a splendid present to myself, and I've finished reading it now. I've just seen kettle survey - mine used to glow red and whistle, but it only whistles on a random basis now, and my favourite mug used to be a Coronation Street one that played the theme tune when you picked it up, but that bit fell out! My dad's kettle - you have to guage when you think it has boiled, and then switch it off, it's very annoying.|
As for things that go with tea, when I was a Sunday School teacher - ooh years' ago in the 1970's, we had to drag the kids on a trip each year on a bus to the seaside. Tea facilities would be booked in a church hall beforehand and made by kind ladies when we got there - made in an urn with water that had been boiled since 5 am probably as it was vile and never hot enough. Anyway, the kids would get what was called a "poke tea", that is, tea in a paper bag. Now before you start thinking how dangerous is that, what they got in a paper bag(poke is scots for bag - I know there are other connotations, but this is sunday school so no smut), would be an elderly sandwich or two, and a cake - either something like currant slice or cream iced fancy, and a chocolate biscuit- usually something like a Tunnocks caramel wafer. We'd take these with us on the coach, all made up ready from the local bakers the night before, so you can see how the sandwiches would be oldish. I have more tea related stuff to tell you, but I'm in the library typing this, and I want to go home for tea now.
hope its interesting, and the website is lovely.
|Nicey replies: Yes,
Nice Bag of Tea and A Sit Down, sounds a bit odd. Also surely if one were actually to drink tea from a paper bag that was its self made from a tea bag, you could get into some kind of fearsome tea related Mobius loop. I want somebody to do that and see if apart from getting their jumper wet as an amusing consequence they also fold reality in on itself. Terrific. Surely this is the plot of the next Hollywood science fiction blockbuster, "The bag of tea bag tea incident".
I feel sure Wifey is going to give me a talking to when she reads this..
Tunnocks Wafer Review
I've just got back from a nice trip to Tobago. After a couple of days of hurricane Ivan we enjoyed some nice sunshine and plenty of caribbean hospitality. Anyway, a trip to the hotel shop resulted in me spotting none other than the Tunnock Caramel Wafer for sale. We've had discussions in the past over their ludicrous claim of how many are sold each week, well, if they're being sold as far afield as Tobago then maybe it could be possible. Maybe we could initiate a Tunnocks Hunt. I wonder where the strangest place is that they can be found?
As an additional, we met a very nice couple while holidaying. They were interested but slightly disturbed by my interest and views on all things biscuit. Good news for you though as they are very keen to get on the website and purchase the book.
|Nicey replies: Glad you are back in one piece. I have a pack of the Dark Chocolate Tunnocks Wafers downstairs which you have probably just encouraged me to open. Good work with the book advertising, we are off to see the first copies roll off the presses a week Monday, hopefully we'll have some pictures of that in the next newsletter.|