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||Dear Nicey, in a previous life I worked at the HP factory in Aston, Birmingham which sadly met its end this week, the Ansell’s Brewery was a few yards away, so there was often the heady aroma of beer and brown sauce in the air, I worked in the development kitchen and we worked on all manner of interesting things such as vinegar, baked beans, Worcestershire sauce, Pot Noodles and cooking sauces as well as brown sauce and ketchup.|
Part of our job was to check out ‘rejected’ stock, and believe me you don’t know the meaning of belly ache until you’ve had to sample one pot from each of 38 pallets of Chicken Curry Pot Noodle rejected by Holland on suspicion of being rancid (they were).
One day I had a mishap with half a gallon of boiling brown sauce, I scalded my wrist, but by judicious application of cold water was not scarred, however, my skirt was not so lucky and it ended up covered in the stuff, not surprisingly I got a whole carriage to myself on the train home that day, but I stank so much my mum wouldn’t let me into the house, so I had to get undressed in the garden (it was November) and only then did she notice the HUGE bandage around my left arm.
Ahh happy days!
|Nicey replies: That's all very thrilling reading, tales of baked bean development, rancid pot noodles and brown sauce accidents. Perhaps you could have your own scent made like Sarah Jessica Parker, based on Brown Sauce of course. It would no doubt be alluring to those who like meat pies and chips. Actually the younger members of staff think that not only has Sarah Jessica Parker annoyingly got my initials, but by calling her perfume 'Lovely' she is encroaching upon my parlance too.|
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
|G’day Mr Nicey and his wifey,|
I just read the thing about Tim Tams in the land of the yanks, and I thought I ought to let you know also that around valentine’s day Arnott’s also released 3 new types of Tim Tams under the rather seductive name of Tim Tams Love Potions. The promise is of ‘pure chocolate biscuit heaven’ and so I bought some for my beloved for v-day. They were much cheaper than a box of chocs (they were on special for $1.99 and now they’ve gone up to $2.71) and to be honest he preferred them anyway. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the dismay when you run out of biscuits and try and dunk your favourite choccie in your tea instead. Anyway the new Love Potions range includes 3 nice flavours, Double Chocolate and Raspberry, Chocolate Mud, and Sticky Vanilla Toffee. There are pretty swirly hearts on the packaging and you get just enough in a pack to make you sick if you eat them all in one go. Perfection. The advert on the telly reckons it’s love at first bite and my one true love agreed.
I suppose they are only available at the moment here in Oz, should I send you a packet do you think?
Love from Laurel
P.S I actually work about 2 minutes away from the Arnotts factory and whenever I go outside you can smell the sugar in the air! I think it is a marketing ploy to make everyone in the vicinity really fat on biscuits.
|Nicey replies: I think its nice when places like large parts of a City smell of biscuits and the like. When I used to live in Norwich twenty or more years ago the Rowntree Mackintosh factory (subsequently Nestle), used to make the entire city centre smell of chocolate. I don't know if the could help it or not or whether they just did it as a public service. Mind you Cardiff city centre smells a bit odd from time to time due to Brains Brewery making Brains SA Bitter (I've been told SA stands for Strong Ale, Skull Attack or Sick Afterwards).|
|I've been discussing this subject recently, maybe you have already covered it, I'm not sure. I couldn't find it on your website, so maybe not.|
Anyway, my colleagues and I got into a discussion about wafers. i.e. when is a chocolate wafer a chocolate bar and where does it sit in relation to your Venn diagram.
Firstly, you call a Kit Kat a chocolate covered biscuit. I would tend to agree. In your book you include it with the wafers. But then is a Tunnock a wafer or a chocolate covered wafer? Its individually wrapped, but mainly wafer with a bit of caramel and a thin chocolate coating - or am I splitting hairs? The pink wafer is clearly a wafer, the triangular-things-that-taste-like-cardboard-but-make-a- suitable- support- for -globs- of -ice- cream, are clearly wafers. Tunnocks - my colleague states - is a chocolate bar. Surely, its a chocolate covered wafer!
However, it's also available in the shops individually which would tend to move it towards the chocolate bar definition. No Mars bar certainly, but going in that direction, and because it has caramel in there as well, its more confectionary than say a Kit Kat which only has wafer and chocolate. Conversely, you refer to the Kit Kat as a chocolate covered biscuit, in the States they call it a wafer, but then again it is available individually wrapped as well. On top of all this there is the chocolate waffle - is this the missing link between the Tunnock and the Kit Kat? Its sort of wafery on the outside, but with caramel (or chocolate) inside.
Can you confirm the relationship between a Tunnock, the Kit Kat and the chocolate waffle - and define the evolutionary family each one belongs to.
|Nicey replies: Mike,
The Tunnocks is a biscuit, the Kit Kat might be a biscuit and the Chocolate Waffle isn't although it would probably like to be.
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
I came across your excellent website while searching for somewhere to buy Penguin bikkies in Austin TX where I have lived for 10 years now. While the USA has looked after me well and I enjoy living here, it is not reboun for its abundance of excellent bikkies. In fact most of the US varieties are pretty revolting. You have already, quite rightly, poured scorn on the shocking Oreo cookie elsewhere on your website. Of course here in the USA a biscuit is a scone and a cookie is a biscuit, its all very confusing.
Anyway, getting to the point - I read your review of the Tim Tam with interest, so I decided to try and find them here as I wanted to have a go at the Tim Tam Slam. I found out they are available at World Market, which is a chain here in the US that sells food and furniture from all around the globe. They are called Arnotts Originals, Arnotts Double Coated and Arnotts Chewy Caramel. So any British or Australian ex-pats out there who need a Penguin/Tim Tam fix, you know where to go.
According to Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) Arnotts themselves prefer to call the Tim Tam Slam, the Tim Tam Suck.
|Nicey replies: Jamie,
Thanks for that useful info. Probably most useful to Australians who find them selves not in Australia as they are prone to do. They get a bit animated when the subject of Tim Tams comes up so its best and safest to take a couple of steps back and let them get on with it. Those three varieties are the core of the range. I liked the double-coats.
Still fingers crossed you might come across some Penguins too.
Maryland Specials Raisin, Oat, Choc Chunk and Maple Syryp Cookies Review
I'd really like to put Chris Rayment off from any interference with sheep. Particularly those friendly seeming woolly creatures who hang around at the little car park at the Bwlch on the A4061 between Treorchy and the Afan Valley. They are quite partial to a nice cup of tea and a sit down, preferably in the car of some passing tourist who has stopped to admire the view and left the doors open for a second. They are also fond of ice cream. There's usually an ice cream van on the site. I think the sheep have been trained to snatch cones as a marketing ploy which makes the visitors buy twice as much in order to quiet the screaming kids.
(I think you need a sheep icon, but that could just be my cultural leanings.)
P.S. I'm quite partial to Gabriel Oak, but wouldn't want him to come at me with a knitting needle. BTW, I think it was clover that made the sheep bloat
|Nicey replies: Yes the Bwlch ice cream eating sheep are are indeed one of South Wales' most spectacular tourist attractions. I think we stopped there once as a child and then after that learnt our lesson and would simply drive past slowly, laughing at people being set upon by marauding sheep. I found this photo on flickr. Aren't these the same sheep that have learnt to cross cattle grids by laying down and rolling across them?|