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Kölln Cakes Review
I was visiting my German relatives recently and was given a present of some german biscuits.
They came in all shapes and sizes. Some covered in dark or white chocolate and some not.
Unfortunately, upon trying several of them in turn, I realised that all german biscuits are, infact, gingerbread.
This is a matter of some concern to me as, for example, british bisucuits may be shortbread or digestive or any number of varieties.
I would be very interested to find out if Germany has a more complex taxonomy of biscuits than a single, large set called 'Gingerbread'?
I can't ask my relatives directly lest they take offense at my ingratitude to their sincere generosity.
|Nicey replies: Well yes a great many traditional German biscuits are essentially Gingerbread and we would hope so from the country that brought us Hanzel and Gretel. However, over the years we've had all sorts of things out of Germany that weren't Ginger bread. Follow this magic link into our review archive and scroll down to Germany.|
||In our office in Kazakhstan, we have a very nice couple of local ladies who run the tearoom, where tea (and coffee) is freely available at all hours, even with a choice of white/dark sugar. They have taken to selling tasty biscuits and small sweet snacks as well, but I fear that two of these products (photo attached) are not fit for publication...but I thought you might get a private smile from them anyway. Maybe one day you could write a section on "under the counter" biscuits, or even institute an "adult" section on the site for such products.|
(PS, transliterated, it simply says BISKVIT)
|Nicey replies: A huge NCOTAASD Hoorah for your Kazakhstani tea ladies and their foul mouthed snacks. I feel somehow more worldly wise from this knowledge. |
I heard about your website on the Ray D'Arcy Show on Ireland's Today FM and fell in love with it. In particular the recent Jaffa Cake review, it helped me settle a debate with my French housemate that McVities are in fact the original, although we're still debating if they're the best!! We're awaiting a delivery of PIMs so we can do a taste test!
Just one thing bothered me recently, in Paul Master's email about the European sweet chart he eluded that Ireland is part of Great Britain, which clearly it isn't!! I'm sorry to be pedantic, but as an Irish person living in the UK, I really feel strongly about my national identity and can't believe the number of people over here who seem to still consider Ireland the same as the UK!
Really do love the website though!!
|Nicey replies: As you may know Wifey is Irish so we have the whole geo/political map thing under control. Its all quite simple really.
The British Isles are a bunch of islands on Europe's western Atlantic coast. The two biggest are Great Britain and Ireland, but there are lots more including the Isle of Man, The Channel Islands, the Shetlands, Orkneys and Western Isles. Great Britain is divided into three countries England, Wales and Scotland. Ireland has two The Republic of Ireland (Eire) and Northern Ireland which is a part of the United Kingdom along with England, Wales and Scotland.
So to recap Great Britain is the big island. The UK is the political union of four countries.
I'm not sure that Paul actually implied that Ireland is part of Great Britain, but he did say Ireland which as I have explained encompasses two separate European member states as the cake obsessed Austrians should be aware.
Good grief. I need a cuppa after that.
I actually bothered to look at the European sweet chart and I noticed there are also scones on there. I would assume that it is the scone that represents England and not the shortbread. Whether scones can be counted as sweet I am not sure as it is the topping that is sweet and not the scone itself.
Anyway the shortbread must represent Scotland (even though it doesn't look like any shortbread I have ever eaten so I do fear it is a foreign kind). So that leaves the waffles to represent Ireland or Wales, I am not sure which. With one country of Great Britain missing out.
It is clear these EU technocrats know nothing of sweet things and there importance in the fabric of everyday life. I will write to my local European Member of Parliament (as soon as I find out who he is) and tell them to employ you as their biscuit adviser.
And I got through all that without making a silly joke about the Wienerbrod.
|Nicey replies: The Scones are for Eire, as they are a type of Soda Bread made traditionally with sour buttermilk that's a good call on Irish cuisine. Mind you they could have put a few sultanas in them.
The Shortbread is for the UK but is more evocative of Scotland to us. Maybe visitors to the UK don't really take in the Scottish regional tartan package thing, and just think (London | Stratford Upon Avon | Cambridge/Oxford | Scotland (I think that covers it)) = Shortbread Fingers with your coffee, regardless of the fact they were exported over a national boundary. I think they should have had a nice big slice of Victoria Sponge filled with fresh cream and strawberry jam for us.
Strawberry Newton Review
|Hello, you lovely Brits. Your wonderfully amusing and informative Web site inspired me and a friend (we're Americans) to hoard biscuits on our recent visit to London. We traipsed from store to store looking for biscuits. It turned out that the best selection was a block from our hotel in the West End. A cubby of a store called Food City on the Strand had about two dozens types of biscuits, which we obligingly purchased. (The storekeeper thought us odd.) Then friend and I ventured from store to store to supplement our purchases. Back home, I've just broken into my cookie, er biscuit, stash. Now I'm tempted to eat them all by myself, instead of sharing them with my lovely co-workers, as I'd planned. Sigh. This just means I will have to return to London for more biscuits. If anyone has suggestions on which London stores have the widest biscuit selections, I would appreciate knowing for my next trip. This go-around, friend and I each left with carry-ons full of biscuits. The bellhop tried to carry my biscuit bag, but I yelped and grabbed it back. I didn't want my stash reduced to crumbs. Now I'm enjoying my biscuits with a nice cuppa. Oh joy.|
Biscuitly yours from the Silicon Valley,
|Nicey replies: Hello Maggie,
Just off off the Strand is a small Sainsburys supermarket, and just across the other side is a small Tesco's Express. Either of these would be a useful biscuit top up spot. The nearest Marks and Spencers is just up above the Strand opposite Covent Garden Tube Station. If you clean out those three you'll need to charter your own plane to get the biscuits back to California.
Last time I was in Silicon Valley I had to eat Strawberry Newtons, purchased in down town San José.