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||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
Further to my recent e-mail on the subject of Tifin, I have made further enquiries and found the definition on Wikipedia to be much more helpful than my own dictionary,giving a full account of all of the various uses of the word.
Regarding Tiffin the cake (and I use the classification loosely), my colleagues and I decided to embark on a quest to find the finest example of the breed. Samples from Waitrose, Tesco, Bon Viveur and a home made version were offered for comment and the general consensus seemed to be that the Waitrose version was slightly superior to the others.
The best comment came form Vicki who said, on the subject of classification, "It's trying to be a brownie, but someone's shoved a cherry up it". This sums up the whole Tiffin experience very nicely and has led me to conclude that cheries are an essential ingredient in distinguishing between Tiffin and "Chocolate Refrigerator Cake", the latter being the closest thing to Tiffin I could find at M&S.
Interest in the subject is running high in the office, so it was decided that we should have a Tiffin "bake-off" next week to find the best Tiffin recipe.
There wil be 6 entrants and a judging pannel consisting of the more noteable cake / biscuit eaters in the department.
The contest has been scheduled for 11:00 in an attempt to revive the fine old tradition of "elevenses".
I will endeavour to send you some pictures of the winning entry after the event.
|Nicey replies: Your cause is a noble and just one.|
||Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
I saw your book in the library the other day and borrowed it, and now I am going to buy copies for many members of my family who would really enjoy it. Well done, a really good read with lots of truly vital information, as you will be well aware.
But I had to write to ask if anyone knows anything about Milk and Honey Creams. I doubt there was much honey in them, and possibly not any milk, but for me they will always be the quintessence of a jam sandwich cream biscuit. Slightly toffee flavour jam (the so-called "honey") and vanilla "milk". Do you think people were put off by the possible extreme messiness of a Milk and Honey Sandwich? Maybe if it was explained that it was really a toffee and vanilla biscuit then Huntley and Palmers, or whoever they call themselves now, would produce it again, thus taking me back to my childhood and doubtless providing much pleasure to those whose childhoods were bereft of this wonderful biscuit.
I like the website too by the way. I live near Belfast and we recently had a Christmas market featuring stalls from all over Europe, but most of my money went to the Breton cake stall. Apple buns, almond slices, chocolate tart, all wonderful. Sadly the market was only there for 3 weeks so I did not have time to eat every item on sale, so maybe I will have to go on holiday to Brittany like you did.
Keep up the good work!
|Nicey replies: Hello Hilary,
Yes I just about remember Milk and Honey's, amongst my earliest biscuit memories, I must have been about 3 or 4 years old. My Auntie Edna had some and they very different to the Crawfords Custard Creams which would have been my benchmark biscuit at the time. At the time she lived in a large old Essex weatherboard house called Clements Hall. I remember eating Milk and Honey's as we went to watch a bonfire in the very overgrown grounds of the place, all sat in a disused tram car that had been salvaged from Southend Piers's light railway. Apparently it's all gone now, I think it burnt down, and a leisure centre has been built there.
Although it is part of our missing in action section I have heard tale that Milk and Honeys which like many Huntley and Palmer biscuits were produced under licence around the world, are still made in Malaysia.
As for living near Belfast, the same can be said of Wifey's family. In fact Grandma Wifey's unrelenting one woman PR blitz on a poor unsuspecting Northern Ireland after our books publication could well be the reason that your Library has a copy.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
There has been a degree of confusion in our workplace recently over the exact nature and meaning of the word ‘tiffin’.
A number of shops, including Tesco, Waitrose and our own local Bon Viveur sell a small, chocolaty biscuit / tray-bake under the name of ‘tiffin’.
This varies in both content and appearance with some varieties containing cherries, some containing nuts and others topped with a layer of chocolate.
They all contain broken-up biscuits of some description along with raisins, all held together by a sort of cocoa based mortar.
The dictionary definition however states simply that ‘tiffin’ is an Indian word for lunch, possibly with a drink involved.
I had always thought that ‘tiffin’ referred to a sort of afternoon or early evening tea with a little something, possibly cake, to go with it.
I was just wondering whether you had a view on the subject and whether the dictionary should be updated to reflect the modern usage of the word (i.e. the chocolaty cake thing).
|Nicey replies: Morning Keith,
Happy New Year to you.
I have seen both usages of the word Tiffin, although neither really fell within my own vocabulary. The first was by friends in my youth who hailed from Lancashire, and was definitely of the Lunch type. I think they used to call their Lunch box Tiffin or maybe they were referring to the contents I was far too young and care free to enquire further.
The second was in Ireland where I feel sure I have seen bars of Cadbury's Chocolate Tiffin, along side their other sorts of Chocolate bars. Again I never investigated further, my head too giddy with thoughts of Kimberlys no doubt.
|Miss Caroline and Mr John
||Dear Nicey: |
My colleague and I often discuss the issues that you and others highlight on your website. Currently we are on business together in the United Arab Emirates. And of course, talk turned to biscuits.
To our horror, whilst browsing the biscuit of the week - more specifically, trying to find out last week's featured choice - we discovered that the web page was blocked by the official censor board. See below for a sample of the web page that popped up instead!
What exactly was last week's biscuit? What could possibly have caused this surprising result? Needless to say, we still desperately wish to know last week's biscuit.
Miss Caroline and Mr. John
|Nicey replies: Oh dear! Last 'weeks' biscuit was La Paille D'Or a French Lemon Wafer affair. I've re-read it and must be to thick skinned and culturally ignorant to spot the moral outrage contained within. Very possibly it was the description of our trolley contents after visiting the Hypermarket in Boulogne which proved to much. Perhaps just even mentioning the biscuits will be enough to get this page banned too.
I will try and not let the thought of possible censorship in the UAE play upon my mind when writing further BOTW. Then again maybe I will. Future historians will be able to point to the moment when BOTW was some how altered by the spectre of Middle Eastern censorship.
||Hello again, Nicey!|
The most favourite colour of mine is pink. So, soon after seeing "Victoria Baker"'s review of "Caxton Pink'n white", I went to the website. At the site, I was able to enjoy seeing the pink-themed site so much. (Thank you for your information about the cute website, Ms.Victoria and of course, nicey!)
Furthermore, I went up for its "flavour poll" part. There, I choose chocolate flavout and voted it.
By the way, now, a BLACK movement has arrived to me, though I do not like black colour. Recently, one of my favourite biscuuits in Japan has been "BLACK THUNDER". "BLACK THUNDER" is "some cocoa-flavoured biscuit chunks covered with milk chocolate". I guess that "BLACK THUNDER" seems like just a rugged PENGUIN biscuit in the U.K..
Many people might imagine something spicy, bitter of taste by seeing the name "BLACK THUNDER". But it is a sweet, yummy and fine biscuit the same as PENGUIN biscuit.
The other day, I tried to buy a case of "BLACK THUNDER" biscuit at my local convenience store. A case has 20 biscuits.
In Japan, "to buy a case of his/her favourite sweet snack at one time "is called "OTONA-GAI". "OTONA" means "ADULT" and "GAI" means "PURCHASING" in English. "OTONA-GAI" or "ADULT PURCHASING" in English is popular among some Japanese grown-ups, in these years.
Why "OTONA-GAI "? because it is difficult for kids to buy a lot of sweet snacks at one time, while NOT for almost adults.
I will enjoy NCOTAASD with yummy, rugged "BLACK THUNDER" biscuits for a while.
Hiromi Miura (From Tokyo, Japan)
|Nicey replies: Hello Hiromi,
How we enjoy our cultural exchanges here on NCOTAASD. I'm impressed by your Black Thunder biscuits for many reasons.
First because of their excellent name which would be equally suitable as the name of an attack helicopter. Our local Radio station has a large sports utility vehicle which they bring along to local events which is also called Black Thunder - next time I see them I'll ask if its named after the Japanese biscuit.
Secondly the biscuit looks a bit recycled, as if made from other biscuits which have been smashed up for reasons I can only guess at. Then again it could also be a small piece of very tarmac road surface.
As for Otona-gai it seems very sensible that you have a word for this, and given that your biscuits are sold individually wrapped twenty at a time is not too outrageous. I suspect in the UK we would just limit ourselves to a special word for the person buying a case of biscuits.