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||I am writing to tell you about a most distressing tea related event that occurred when we were in the united states. We were in a large hotel in Las Vegas, purely for tax reasons I would like to say, and wanted to make a nice cup of tea. Having lived in the US previously we were well aware of the terrible trouble you have getting decent tea. We had taken our own Dilmah tea all the way from New Zealand. We even had our small teapot, which had been carefully wrapped in an old sweater. When we arrived we asked for a kettle. We could have been speaking a foreign language. We could not get the concierge to understand that we wanted boiling water. The hotel suggested we use the coffee pot, despite our insistence that it is not really possible to make a good cup of tea with a coffee maker. Finally we marched down to the front desk and tried to explain that we wanted boiling water. The hotel suggested a "hot pot" which was a device that heated the water to about 200 degrees, but did not boil the water. This was a slight improvement over the coffee maker but as any real tea drinker knows you must have boiling water to make real tea. On top of that they insisted on charging us $20 a day for the "hot-pot". Alas we never did get a decent cup of tea in Las Vegas. For all you travellers, you know that the USA is uncivilised, but it now seems that you need to bring tea, teapot, and a kettle. Oh and you need to bring your own milk if you do not want to drink tea with dairy creamer. Finally remember you cannot move items in the fridge in your room or you will be charged for them even if you don't drink them.|
Lucky tea drinking.
Jeremy and Libby
Yorkshire Tea Review
|Hello Nicey, |
Just come across your website. It is currently getting big props on my favourite music forum.
Any way, despite a fantastic mission statement, I feel the need to comment on your Biscuit of the Week feature. You state that the Yorkshire Tea Biscuit is the only biscuit that Taylors produce. This isn't strictly true, as any true Yorkshire Tea aficionado will know, Taylors are part of Betty's & Taylors of Harrogate. Not only a world famous independent tea room chain, but also a fantastic bakery.
Amongst a wealth of wonderful cakes, biscuits and savouries, they do a wonderful variation on scones, which they call Fat Rascalls. Perfect on a winter afternoon with plenty butter and jam, and a nice pot Betty's Blend Loose leaf.
Apart from that, keep up the good work!
Love and good tea,
|Nicey replies: Yes I should have been a little clearer. I meant the only one for retail distribution, such as your local supermarket. I would very much hope to see a fine selection of baked goodies in their own tea rooms - hence all those links I popped in to their various enterprises.|
|Hello again, Nicey|
Well....what a turnup for the books! Further to my recent communication regarding the forthcoming demise of the Lincoln, I spotted a pack...in, of all places, Sainsburys in Godalming! There it was, sat all alone in about half a foot of shelf space...so I grabbed it! When I asked Customer Services about their stocks, they did seem to think that they may be getting more in but they couldn't guarantee anything.
A close examination of the pack revealed a BBE date of April 07, so it would appear that these biscuits have a potential shelf life of around 4 months. My plan then, is to buy up some reserves as and when I can and try to preserve them in edible condition for as long as possible. Your good self being, I presume, an expert on such matters - what advice can you give me for storage of biscuits in the best possible condition? My thoughts are an airtight biscuit tin with a sack of silica gel (several of which I shall, no doubt, find amongst electronic products under the Christmas tree this year!).
I remember my Granny, sadly departed from this life now, having a rather nice copper-coloured biscuit tin with a silica gel insert in the lid...every few weeks this would be popped in the oven to refresh it. This kept her biscuits in fine fettle and there was always something very special about being allowed 'something from the tin, Pet'. As the lid popped off the tin, the little puff of 'biscuity aroma' was a joy to inhale. My brother and I often fought over who would get first whiff. What with this and her saving up all the cards from the PG Tips (we only visited a couple of times a year due to distance), or Monkey Tea as it was known, stays with Granny were something special.
To this day, the smell of a well loved and regularly used biscuit tin still evokes happy childhood memories of Granny's kitchen...memories enhanced by closing my eyes and indulging in a little dunking session with a good cuppa and of course, a Lincoln!
Cheers Nicey, and my best regards to you and Wifey this Yuletide season.
|Nicey replies: Hello again Mike,
Yes its quite common to find 4-5 month BBE dates on biscuits when one actually has cause to take notice. It is in the nature of NCOTAASD's mission to have to sample biscuits which are very close to or have actually passed their BBE date. The simple truth is the fresher they are the better, and particularly for shortcake biscuits like the Lincoln which seem to hold up the least well compared such things as Garibaldis and Gingernuts.
I think you are probably doing about all you can possibly do. Excluding moisture, light and extremes of heat are about the best one could hope for. Maybe a protective atmosphere of pure nitrogen gas (as in crisp packets) if you have any compressed nitrogen and hermetically sealing vessels with valves to hand. Even with all of this the biscuits will still go off caused by inevitable and irreversible chemical changes. Indeed one of the arguments that kept biscuit manufacturers using hydrogenated fats for so long was that they prolonged the shelf life of the product.
These modern twilight Lincolns will have none of that. Devoid of hydrogenated fat, the last of a great and majestic dynasty of patterned shortcake biscuits. Like the giant Sauropods at the end of the Cretaceous Period 65 Million years ago, going about their business on the shelves of Sainsbury's unaware that they are about to be wiped out by the dispassionate comet of de-listing.
Perhaps they'll continue to find a place in that great seasonal biscuit assortment the Family Circle selection tin, (only its a plastic box nowadays) along side the Gypsy Cream
Just a quick one. I was perusing my local supermarket shelves just the other day, and from out of (apparently) nowhere, a thought popped into my head...Lincoln biscuits!
I remember these from my childhood, not for any particular reason other than they regularly appeared in the selection of biscuits lurking in the larder after me Mam had been shopping! I made a concerted effort to look for some in Sainsburys and Tescos but to no avail. The whereabouts of said comestible began bugging me so today (06/12/2006) I phoned the McVities Customer Careline for help.
I was informed by a very helpful young lady that the one factory manufacturing Lincolns suffered major flood damage a couple of years back, and that since then production had been moved to another plant but on a much smaller scale. Between the flood and the new production, major chains were unable to order these biscuits in 'mass' quantities, so took this product off their shelf-plan. When production in limited amounts resumed, major stores were no longer willing to introduce what they saw as a discontinued product - shelf layouts being very carefully planned months in advance.
I was advised that the biscuit IS still manufactured, but is only likely to be found in smaller independent corner shops or the smaller food chains. The bad news is that, according to McVities, they will be 'delisted' from their portfolio in early 2007.
If you can find a pack of Lincolns, and enjoy a 'dotty moment'....grab them while you can, for they will vanish in the next couple of months.
I urge Lincoln fans througout the UK to write to McVities and urge them to reconsider their decision to stop production and to pester their local corner shops to stock these icons of the British tea-break!
|Nicey replies: Mike,
Thanks for passing this on. Will this torment ever cease? I imagine that McVities moved production from flood stricken Carlise to their newly acquired Jacobs factories in Liverpool. Once again an object lesson in the extraordinary power of the large supermarket chains dealing with large manufacturers to actually snuff out products.
||We`ve been missing out - just checked out the "polls" part of nicey`s site - hysterical! Some very serious opinions and debates to be had.|
|Nicey replies: Yes its very instructive isn't it. Time for a special yuletide poll I think.|