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On a recent adventure the French Alps I discovered that when the French aren't making fine wine and excellent cheese, they busy themselves with a spot of Marmot Tea making. Unfortunately, despite they niceness of the illustration on the packet (two marmots enjoying a nice cup of tea, and a sit down), the tea itself turned out to taste of very little, and we were left disappointed by the drinking experience.
However, the website that I found advertised on the box almost made up for it www.les2marmottes.fr - it has a rather pleasing animation on start up that tells a tale to warm the cockles. Thought you might like it also.
The conclusion of my investigation was that while there are plenty on places for a good sit down in alpine areas, you are best avoiding the cups of tea, and opting for the nice cup of vin chaud and a sit down instead. Nothing to report on the biscuit front, so think further research is needed.
|Nicey replies: Indeed. Never ever expect the French to produce a decent tea bag. Doubly so if they are basing their inspiration on a the leaf litter dragged into the borrow of a large alpine rodent. I could go on.|
Lotus Caramelised Biscuits Review
You probably get lots of requests to identify biscuits, so sorry if this is another one you can't help with!
I don't know if you have seen the Direct Line adverts on TV, where there is a woman in the garden with her dog, and she tucks into a biscuit after Direct Line make her happy. It's a square biscuit. looks the same colour as the Lotus Caramelised biscuits and has swirly patterns on it.
They look like a nice biscuit to have with a cup of tea but I have no idea what they are!
Of course you might not have seen the adverts, in which case never mind!
|Nicey replies: I hadn't noticed but I shall pay special attention now and report back my findings.
I like studying adverts, at the moment I'm paying special attention to the Pantene shampoo advert. The girl with the very long hair is so pleased at how shiny its become that it has turned her ever so slightly evil. She uses her mirror shine hair to annoy a sleeping stubbly bloke by dangling the ends of it in his face. I've noticed that just lately the stubbly bloke has anticipated her doing this and is now partially awake. Presumably he finds it increasingly hard to sleep soundly knowing that hair dangly girl could sneak up at any moment.
Custard Cream Review
|As a longtime devotee of the classic Custard Cream biscuit, I was intrigued to find a recipe by Nigella Lawson for making your own. She has published this recipe in the Valentine's section of her book 'Feast' and urges you to make them in kitchy heart shapes. Unable to resist a challenge, I have made a batch and can report that they are every bit as nice as bought custard creams - maybe even nicer because you can put in as much cream filling as you like!|
I am attaching a picture for your perusal.
|Nicey replies: And you did all that without mentioning Valentines Day (actually you did, and so did I now).|
Flew back from working in Dublin yesterday. Ryanair served me with the requested cup of tea and my god, it was the second worst cup I'd ever had. Some strange Indian brand I'd never heard of. It had brown bits of crap all over the top of it. Not tea dust and not tea leaves, just some crap. Then the gave me coffee cream to put in it! It tasted as you would imagine.
They should take a tip out of the Easyjet PG Tips tea choice.
|Nicey replies: Whilst I have no desire to bring down the wrath of a budget airline upon us, it does let me use a very succinct set of icons. |
|Dan and Laura
Wagon Wheel Review
I have been a fan of your site (and book) for a long time, and today I took some time to peruse more of the fantastic site - including the 'your views' section, which previously I had avoided (why would I want to read the views of a bunch of amateurs when so much wisdom from a connsumate professional is on offer?). But today I did, and enjoyed the experience so much I was drawn to email you on a couple of topics.
As I drifted into the debate on wagon wheels, I was reminded that my mother hated them. 'They taste stale, with sickly horrible marshmallow and a yukky coating' she used to say, on the few occaisions when we coudl persuade her to buy them for us as children. Re-reading your review, I laughed out loud, becuase that is indeed exactly what they taste like - but then somehow transcend all that to become rather nice. I guess my mum just never got through the individual bits to appreciate the whole. Anyway, I also remembered that she discovered another interesting property of wagon wheels when she was young - and that is that you can't flush them down the toilet. She was given one once at a party as a treat, and being too scared (or polite) to say she didn't want one in case it sounded ungrateful she took it. After one bite she realised that she was going to be unable to finish it, so took it to the bathroom and tried to dispose of it down the toilet. However, it remained floating in full view despite more and more frantic attempts to flush it away. I'm not sure if the more recent model has a similar property; it would seem rather a waste to find out though.
We have recently moved to Australia, and I have used your site a few times to educate Aussie's about the various elements of British tea and biscuits. Luckily Australia is far from a barren land when it comes to biscuits, with Arnotts making some really rather good examples. Good tea is harder to come by; we actually get friends to bring out PG Tips from the UK when they come and visit. Interestingly the Australians I work with really like it too, pronouncing it nicer than their local brands. Perhaps there is a ripe export market there?
Finally, on the topic of Arnotts biscuits, I am always very excited when an Arnotts review appears on your site. Whilst I can understand you want to limit the number of reviews you do of biscuits not widely distributed in the UK, it would be great if you culd include a few more - I'd be happy to send some over to you (and yes, Queensland Ginger Nuts are quite different to NSW ones; we bought some when there on holiday to see if it was true). In fact, I ate an entire packet of Arnotts Lemon Crisps for lunch today - a sensational biscuit featuring a genius touch of salt on the top. The missus thinks they are revolting, and taste like washing-up liquid, but I think they are nice and lemony. I think biscuits that spark such fierce debate are interesting, don't you?
Anyway, keep up the good work, and many thanks for creating such an entertaining site that is refreshingly free of banner ads.
|Nicey replies: Dan,
Thanks for sharing your Mother's difficult and somewhat embarrassing adolescent Wagon Wheel memories with us. Although this has obviously left its mark on her and indeed is now something that the whole family must bare, I feel that such information could be put to good use. Perhaps the plot for a movie in which desperate souls escape a sinking ship by clinging to its buoyant cargo of Wagon Wheels. I hope it's not necessary to unwrap them first as that could be tricky in an unfolding disaster scenario. Then again it could add dramatic tension.
We are always happy to review Arnotts biscuits when we get our hands on them, and yes we like biscuits that get people talking.
Also glad to hear that your supply of PG Tips is being appreciated down under.