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I just read your bit in the book about tea in SF and fully sympathise. Was wondering if you have tried tea left in a flask with milk and tea bags for many hours (5?). You would imagine it would come out discustingly stewed, wouldn't you. But it comes out tasting like Chai which was quite a shock for me when my brother introduced it to me a month or two ago, because it reminded me of being in india, where the tea is deliciously sweet and tasty. I thought it was the cloves and other jazz they put in that made it so tasty but now i know its just the fact that its been left to stew for so long (maybe the milk sweetens and turns into something like condensed milk).
Anyways, I've laughed a lot in the last 10 mins reading your book in the toilet of my friends about biscuits, especially the bit about Wagon Wheels, which when I was younger always viewed with disdain because of the soggy biscuit and poor quality ingredients, but then later in life wisened up and learnt to enjoy it as a whole!
happy chai/tea/etc drinking
|Nicey replies: I heard that in Indian road side truck stops they rate the tea in kilometers depending on how far you have been and how stewed up the tea is, with 500K tea being the thickest.
Personally I'm not consumed with a burning desire to try either tea Chai / Tea made with condensed milk / tea that has been stewed in any way, but I'll defend your right to do so if it comes down to that. Lets end by thinking of a hypothetical situation in which that might happen.
||I've just discovered your website and am particularly interested in the biscuit info. Do you remember the 'milk and honey' biscuits that used to appear in biscuit selections in the 1950s (or aren't you that old?)? They may have appeared in their own packets too. They were a sandwich biscuit, rather like a custard cream, but oval shaped and with a 'window' in the top layer, which revealed the 'honey' element, which may or may not have consisted of real honey. I'd love to know if they still exist, or when they disappeared.|
I totally agree with the pink wafer being the worst biscuit - I can never understand why anyone, ever, eats a wafer biscuit of any sort. What is the reason for the popularity of Kitkat? It's so disappointing. Give me a Club anytime!
|Nicey replies: Hello Anne,
The Milk and Honey appears in our missing in action section. We think they didn't make it beyond the 1970s. We have heard tale that it is still produced in the Far East by manufacturers who licensed the biscuit in the 1950s, but have yet to substantiate that.
Tunnocks Tea Cake Review
I was quite surprised to read that Mark and Mandy were struggling to identify biscuits with marshmallow as Australia has its own version - the might Arnott's Chocolate Royal. This is a circular plain sweet biscuit, topped by a thin layer of jam, followed by marshmallow and dipped in chocolate. The chocolate can be milk or dark and the marshmallow can be pink. They do tend to be brought out for special occasions only, which is maybe why the name is so fancy. The name is much more sensible than that of "teacake" as while it is a tad pretentious, the item is not creating confusion between biscuits and currant buns.
Having read much about the Tunnock's Teacake, I would like to see a comparative review of this favourite and the Chocolate Royal - a bit like the Tim Tam and Penguin review.
||Dear Nicey and Wifey|
I am reading your book at the moment and enjoying it very much. I have just read the section on keeping biscuits fresh. I have a different way of keeping them fresh. As I take the biscuits I require from a packet I reseal the packet with parcel tape. This is the best way I have found of keeping my biscuits fresh because my husband does not eat many biscuits and so in our household I am really the only biscuit fan. As I like to eat a variety of biscuits I find that having about three packs of biscuits on the go at once is helped by my parcel tape methos of freshness. By pursuing this method I am trying to keep the manufacturers freshness in the biscuits for quite a few days.
|Nicey replies: Angela,
Thank you for that, its always good to hear about people willing to push at the boundaries of biscuit technology. Do you use a fresh piece of tape each time, and do you use one of those tape gun things if you do?
Actually I could see this approach becoming quite addictive, and going around taping up things around the house after one has used them. The cereal boxes, tubs of margarine, doors, pets etc.
Slightly concerned that your husband doesn't eat many biscuits.
|Mark and Mandy
Tunnocks Tea Cake Review
We stumbled onto your site today whilst trying to settle an arguement that arose at Morning Tea this morning. Morning Tea is a regular event down here. Not every morning, but little excuse is needed to set one up. Births, retirements, small wins on the lottery, remembering the Queens Birthday etc all qualify as events worthy of a Morning Tea. The formality of Morning Tea can vary considerably but, as a general rule, if people are Standing Up rather than Sitting Down then the event is considered as formal. Indeed, there may even be a "Speech". A short speech appropriate for a Formal retirement Morning Tea might be "Thank you". A longer one might be "Thank you very much". If it is a Sitting Down Morning Tea then any attempt to make a speech would be considered rude. If there is no acceptable reason for having a Morning Tea then colleagues generally have to make their own arrangements to have tea in the morning. But the provision of biscuits and Lamingtons under such circumstances is usually woefully inadequate.
Our arguement was based around trying to establish the identity of a confection consisting of a small circular biscuit base, topped with a dome of marshmallow, the whole being covered in chocolate. Some think there may have been a layer of jam between the biscuit and the marshmallow. I'm not so certain about the jam, but, as we probably had supermarket "own brand" inferior copies (almost certainly from the Co Op), I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment. One colleague who thinks they visited England once, but it may have been Denmark, reckons they were called Twinkies. But that just makes me think it must've been Denmark as no red-braced, stripey shirted son-of-Maggie marketing whizz bang would've come up with anything quite so silly.
Here's hoping you can help.
Mark & Mandy
|Nicey replies: Mark,
Thank you for that lovely description of morning tea and the mention of Lamingtons.
The name you seek is simply 'Teacake'. I admit that's not a terribly accurate or descriptive name given their splendour. Also there are flattish currant laden buns that also lay claim to that name.
Here is a picture of some that I took to reveal their inner workings. Burton's I believe, but Lee's a Scottish bakers perhaps make better ones. These have the gelatine based spongey marshmallow and can be safely injected with jam as seen here. The mighty Tunnocks teacake has egg white based mallow which is basically uncooked meringue, and shirks any mauling around with jam.
Closer to you in Tasmania, I'm sure Kiwi bakers Griffins produce Teacakes.