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|Nicey replies: Thanks for your mail,
We don't make biscuits we just eat them. Any how good luck with the biscuit wrapping machines, they sound splendid.
||Greetings from the other side of the pond. I'm out in the wonderful US of A, in Texas, where everything is supposedly bigger and better. BOLLOCKS! You ask for tea over here and you know what you get? ICED Tea! It's an abomination that should never have been allowed, and is obviously the development of some evil fiend who is trying to destroy one of life's simplest pleasure, drinking a nice hot milky mug of tea (and some sugar, if that's the way you like it).|
The Chinese drink tea hot, the Japs hot, the Indians, the Sri Lankans. Everywhere they grow the stuff, they drink tea hot. And you know why? Because drinking tea cold is bloody horrible. What do you do when your mug of tea gets cold? You empty it out and make a good fresh cup. But not here in Texas. Oh No! They even have devices specifically to cool down your tea. Have you tasted Iced Tea? It's vile. It makes the wonderfully misnamed Nice biscuits seem like a culinary delight by comparison. Where would be the pleasure of dunking a digestive into a mug of cold tea? I'm telling you. They are out to ruin tea if we let them.
But I feel that all is not entirely lost. They can be saved so long as they are shown the error of their ways. It took a while, but I have converted my girlfriend (a yank) over to the delights of hot tea, which she enjoys out of one of your Giant Bee Mugs (Bloody brilliant by the way). And last saturday at the supermarket, I was going on about running out of decent english tea, and having to get some sent over, when I came across something magical. The Über-Biscuit. My favourite. They had a small stock of Plain Chocolate Hob-Nobs.
The next morning, enjoying a nice cup of Hot tea, I broke out the packet, and after just one bite, I knew that I had a convert to the delights of biscuits. American Cookies are now just not good enough. The Mighty McVitie had triumphed.I shall continue to convert as many as I can to the delights of a nice cup of hot tea and the snap of a proper biscuit. (The supermarket screwed up at the checkout and gave me the pack for 99c instaed of $2.99, so I consider this to be some sort of a sign that my mission is a virtuous one).
I have since tracked down Digestives, Standard Hob-Nobs, Fruit Jaspers (a wonderful citrus creation from McV's and goes great with afternoon tea), and Ginger Nuts (although, I have not seen the plain chocolate version, much to my disappointment).
What is your opinion of iced tea?
|Nicey replies: Woo what a fantastic eMail. Hoorah! Yay for Giant Bee mugs, its wonderful to hear that they are bringing such tea drinking happiness to you and your girlfriend.
I'm absolutely sure the HobNobs at 1/3 of their intended price was a sign from the universe to your self that your Tea and Biscuits path is a righteous one. The supermarket checkout assistant was obviously unaware of the priceless nature of the chocolate HobNob, a biscuit which is frequently enjoyed by adults in a consenting relationship.
Iced tea, I have gone out of my way never to drink it as it is plainly misguided and wrong.
||I woke up this morning thinking, "Do Nice biscuits really come from Nice?" We live in Canada now, but my wife is originally from Nice so I asked her, and after we'd sorted out why the frig I was waking her up at half past six on a Sunday - she didn't actually say 'frig', her English is that good now, but I know there are sensitive ears out there amongst biscuiphiles - she thought about it for a minute and said, "What the frig is a Nice biscuit?" So, I set out to find out, and lo and behold I discovered your Internet site. Thank you, a gap well filled. Anyway, my point is this. We all know|
how appalling the French can be when they try, but if we must have a go at them, let's leave it to their predilection to vote for lunatics. On the biscuit front I'd guess the "Nice" is an English creation made especially to undermine the image of France as a land of the sublime. If you really want to face the issue head on, try tackling the Lu Petit Ecolier, dark chocolate. A biscuit as remarkable as it is simple, and yet another reason to have France allowed to remain exactly as it is, unchanged from this point forth, given protected status and declared a world cultural theme park.
|Nicey replies: Glad we could help out with your biscuit query. The main thing to realise about Nice biscuits is they are vile, regardless of who is responsible for them. Your Wife is wise to distance herself from these biscuits by denying all knowledge of them, and all citizens of Nice would be do well to follow her example.
France is indeed a lovely place, I go there when ever possible to ski and drink tea at altitude. In the summer I like nothing better than to visit the Loire, Charante and Vesére valleys, where I have any amount of very enjoyable sit downs. French food and wine is fantastic, they've got some outstanding cakes. I work with a bunch of French folks and one French Canadian, all lovely people and many have developed a taste for digestives, Jammy Dodgers and other fine biscuits.
Regrettably, however French biscuits in general are crap. I've had those Petit Ecolier jobs, Milk Chocolate and Caramel Choc, and indeed refer to them in my Biscuit FAQ, they are an attempt to make Petit Beurre palatable by putting a big old lump of chocolate, on top. They nearly succeeded but the Petit Beurre underneath detracted from it. They also had to stack them in some sort of tray insert thing 4 compartments of 3 if I remember correctly.
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
I am interested to know if you have Tim Tams in Britan. I don't, in any way, want to detract from Sandie Cleland's insights about the 'Kit Kat Straw', indeed I applaud them generously. However I thought you might like to know of a similar phenomenon in Australian biscuit tradition called the 'Tim Tam Slam'. Irritatingly basketbally term but a singlularly worthwhile persuit which involves biting diametrically opposite corners off the rectangular, choc-covered Tim Tam and sucking hot beverages through them. Public opinion is divided on whether this practice constitues a violation of the TT which is regarded as the luxury biscuit for rich and poor alike and has semi totem status here.
A while ago, I bought some Cadbury's cookies that came in a transparent celophane bag contained inside a nice cardboard box. These cookies rocked. Unfortunately, besides the original Portsmouth co-op I bought them from, I've not been able to find any other shops that do. This is unfortunate, because they taste damn nice.. perhaps you could use your biscuiteering resources to track them down.
Although the Safeway cookies are a worth substitute.
|Nicey replies: Well they sound similar to Cadbury's Animal Shapes biscuits which are simply fantastic. Even if they weren't Animal biscuits I would recommend that you go get some for a special treat. In fact I'm off to the shops later I'll get some hoorah.
Does that help?