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|After several trips to the UK, I grew to realize that my firm belief that Mulino Bianco made the best breakfast biscuits in the world was being seriously challenged by the chocolate HobNob. But, I've had to rearrange my priorities before - having grown to realize the superiority of overseas cookies vs the ones we have here in the USA. I was more than happy with the Stella Doro Swiss Fudge Cookie back in high school in the 70's, and moved on - as I'm sure so many others did, as well - to the Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano in the 1980's. It was during my first visits to Italy that I discovered the Pan di Stella Breakfast cookie and fell madly in love.|
Now, a cup of coffee just wouldn't seem complete without a handful of those crumbly, hazel- nutty delights on the side. But, tho' aware of the concept of afternoon tea, I still confined my snacking to morning-time.
But then - two things happened. I began to wean myself off the strong Italian coffee I'd been consuming, and gradually moved to drinking tea ... and I discovered that many tea "biscuits" had very little in common with my plain, dry perception of what a biscuit was. From Jacob's Ginger Biscuits to McVities Chocolate Covered Digestives, these were as far away from saltine crackers as I could have imagined. Then my good friend Pam in San Francisco introduced me to the Chocolate HobNob. Luckily, they were hard to get in the USA. Luckily, they were expensive. It didn't seem that they'd have a chance at knocking my beloved Mulino Biancos out of first place, as any time a visiting relative would fly over from Abruzzi they'd always know to bring several bags along with them. I was even starting to find a few stores in the Chicago area that stocked them ... all seemed safe.
And then, my local supermarket added some English products in a specialty section. Creamed Rice, Branston Pickle, Malt Vinegar - and, yes - several rows of McVitties biscuits.
Tho' still pricey enough to be considered a treat, I would treat myself - and stock up like crazy whenever I was lucky enough to take a trip over to Great Britain. But then - an amazing thing happened. My supermarket began to undergo a remodeling. Bins began to appear at the back of the store stocked with products they no longer intended to carry. Malteasers. HP Sauce. Lyon's Tea. Somehow, I had a feeling HobNobs would be next, if I could just remain vigilant enough. It took patience - and several visits. But one day I made my way to the back of the store & stumbled upon a sea of delicious blue cardboard tubes - Yes, Chocolate HobNobs!! And Chocolate Digestives, as well as Plain - plus Jacobs Ginger Biscuits, to boot. All for 69 cents each. Which is roughly 38 p, for you all. I abandoned all forms of self control & bought every package they had. Even tho' I'll actually be coming to London this fall, where I may - presumably - buy a few more packages of HobNobs. Because it is possible I could eat my way through the 25 tubes I have in the next 7 weeks. They're just that delicious.
Greg Di Loreto
|Nicey replies: Righty ho then. Maybe you want to let McVities know when you are coming over and they'll make a couple of thousand extra, which should take them 20-30 seconds.|
I found your site whilst looking for information on the Chiltonian Biscuit Factory in Hither Green, London. I worked there in the mid 1970's and I can assure (your correspondent) Kevin Sowerby, that I packed many, many garibaldi biscuits while I worked there.
They were just delicious and I have never tasted a garabaldi biscuit as good as them since those days...
We packed biscuits for Sainsburys, Peak Frean and many others at Chiltonian - there was also a broken biscuit shop where customers and staff could buy a huge bag of broken biscuits for 10p!...
I am sad to learn that the Chiltonian factory is to be converted into housing development.....
God bless all,
|Nicey replies: That's great to have the location of Sainsbury's wonderful 1970s Garibaldis tracked down. Presumably the much missed Chocolate version was made there too. I certainly remember a time when Garibaldis were a softer and the raisins a bit plumper, perhaps they were Chiltonian ones. Still it would be good to see if they could whack a bit of chocolate on a modern Gariabldi just to see what they came out like.|
Leafy Pie and Green Tea Pocky Review
|Hi Nicely & Co.|
1) Perhaps what you have stumbled across with respect to the quince/green tea Pocky is that curious phenomena where an entire population turns a blind eye to the fact that something doesn't taste like it should. For example, in the Western world, we often have strawberry or banana flavour (as opposed to flavoured) products. I can't say I've ever honestly thought they taste like strawberries or bananas. All strawberry flavour products taste the same, so we have clearly agreed in some collective way, that it is the official artificial flavour.
You may have discovered the Japanese official pretend green tea flavour, without having been socially conditioned into believing it yet.
2) Perhaps the chap who thinks a Twix is a biscuit would do well to consider the caramel digestive by way of comparison. In the general taxonomy of sweet things, it's undupitably in the biscuit genus, partly due to the biscuit ratio, and partly through family ties. Also, isn't there a more fully biscuit version of the Twix? Possibly discontinued now, I'm not sure. Then again, consider the Viscount and chums. Or that thing from Fox's, which was under 50% biscuit.
I can dunk my finger into tea. Does that make my finger a biscuit? No, it does not.
Phil (of the Destrooper biscuit review)
||I'm terribly sorry if this has been asked before, but Twix has been the cause of myriad arguments in my flat. I insist it is a chocolate bar, but my flatmate is adamant that it's a biscuit, for the simple reason that you can dunk it in tea. Surely this is not the only criterion on which it is decided?|
Please can you let me know your judgment in this case? She just won't listen to reason!
|Nicey replies: The Twix does have a piece of biscuit inside it, which gives it a much better claim on being a biscuit than the fact that it can be immersed in tea. However it stalks around in the outer reaches of the Venn Diagram in the union of chocolate bars and chocolate covered biscuits. As such it has a foot in both camps, but its heritage is that of confectionary rather than biscuit, so I'm more than inclined to place it with its confectionary stable mates such as the Mars bar and Malteser.
Actually somebody asked last week if Maltesers were biscuits and I didn't grace them with such a long reply.
A friend of mine emailed me the link to your site with a little title "You will LOVE this site"
She was right - it's great! For a long while I have been a campaigner for many more 'nice cups of tea and a sit down' than are currently deemed feasable.
Anyway, I noticed that in your 'Biscuit Quiz' page, there were a disproportionate number of Bourbon pieces left - this is always the case in my house as I can't stand them - never the less, they are always included in my favourite asortment packs.
I am considered a wee bit strange by my friends & family as, even though I do like chocolate, I really hate the taste of chocolate biscuits(chocolate flavoured - chocolate covered (ie milk chocolate hobnob) are fine), chocolate cake, chocolate milkshake etc etc.
I was wondering if THIS might be the community to delve into this affliction and maybe come up with some answers - maybe I'm not alone?!
|Nicey replies: Sean,
I'm going to go out on a limb here, but you are probably very odd in regard to this chocolate biscuit aversion. Perhaps there was a traumatic event in your formative years that included a chocolate biscuit? Given that most people especially those with whom you share a biscuit tin, would see your passing over of the decent chocolate biscuits as a bonus, I wouldn't be rushing out to seek regressive hypnotherapy.