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|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.|
Fox's Butter Crinkle Crunch Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey |
I turn to you having searched long and fruitlessly for the chief biscuit of my childhood, the Treacle Crunch Cream. It came into my life in the late 80s/early 90s and despite being treacle-based, I recall that the cream was reasonably light in colour and clasped by buttery, rivuleted biscuits, similar in taste if not in texture to the biscuits used in that Bar of Sunday Teatime Glory, the Classic. I believe it eminated from the Kings of Crunch-named biscuits, Fox's. I also recall that in that bastion of 80s film, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, the afore-mentioned kids encountered what looked suspiciously like a Treacle Crunch Cream abandoned in the garden and hurled themselves at it with the wild abandon that would be expected when one encounters a biscuit that is many times the size of oneself.
Anyway, do let me know if you've seen my beloved anywhere or have heard tales of its return.
|Nicey replies: Its not in their current range as far as know, but they are always up to something with their crunch range so maybe it will get another chance one day. BTW They have just done a chocolate crunch which is very reminiscent of a biscuit I used to buy from Sainsbury's when particularly flush in the 1980's. Maybe its a harbinger for the Treacle Crunch. In fact you could come up with quite a convincing mythology around biscuits being harbingers for the coming of other ones. In a three weird sisters form Macbeth sort of way.. "When the chocolate crunch is once more upon the shelves of Sainsbury's and Huntley and Palmers arise fro their long slumber with their Olivers all chocolate covered, then shall ye seek the treacle crunch cream - or not".|
||Hi Nicey and Wifey,|
Long time drinker/muncher/dunker, first time typer.
Just thought I'd send this tremendous picture of the 'Welcome Tray' I received when visiting the Isle of Arran in 2005. Can't remember the name of the B&B where I experienced my tray of glittering delights, but I know it was up a steep road in the Whiting Bay area. Two nights B&B for £46, with everyone's granny as the proprietor, producing her own home made tea and biscuits, cake daily.
How I long for a return visit to the wild, inhospitable landscape again soon.
With all hearty wishes,
Steve Norris (no, not that one...)
|Nicey replies: Steve,
That's really terrific, almost good enough to take your mind off the clouds of blood sucking midges.