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||Dear Nicey (and Wifey, of course),|
I don’t know if you can help, but I have a query about Pink Wafers. While I’m in no disagreement that they are indeed the spawn of Satan, I’m writing a short story, part of which is set around the 1960’s, and they’re exactly the sort of maiden-auntish biscuit I need for a spot of description. However, my problem comes in that I don’t know when the aforementioned wafers of doom were introduced. It’s probably a bit stupid of me to set part of the story in the 60’s when I wasn’t born until two decades afterwards, but most things (clothing, cars, music &c) I either know, or can find out. However, since nobody likes pink wafers, no-one appears to have taken sufficient notice of them to be able to tell me when they were first introduced… Any ideas?
|Nicey replies: Not sure exactly but wafers (and pink (carminic acid) for that matter) in general are old school biscuit technology so you'll be fine with them in the 1960s.|
|In the discussion on Garibaldi biscuits, I notice that Eccles cakes have been mentioned, but a much closer relative (and maybe the original) would seem to be the thinner, drier, less sweet Chorley cake. Chorleys, Eccles and Garibaldis are all mentioned in virtually the same breath.|
Answers.com says the Garibaldi "was first manufactured by the Bermondsey biscuit company Peek Freans in 1861 following the recruitment of one of the great biscuit makers of Scotland, John Carr." (Did they get that from you?) I wonder if Carr stopped off in Lancashire on his way south.
Your web site, which I have only just found, is splendid. I shall visit regularly if I may with more biscuity comments.
|Nicey replies: Not sure if we contributed to that in but in the great tradition of synchonicity that we enjoy on our site from time to time, John Carr's great great Grandson just emailed us before you! Hoorah for the internet and all who sail on her!|
|I stumbled across your web site whilst ‘Googling’ Peek Freans.|
It was started by my Great Great Grandfather John Carr with John Peek and Mr Frean and the Carr family ran it right through until the 1970s. I worked there for 10 years but left before the various take overs.
Yes, the Canadian Factory was set up by my Uncle Rupert and there are also factories in India called Britannia Biscuits and a factory in Australia, which my father Richard pioneered.
I still miss the smell of Ginger Nuts as I go passed the factory on the way to London Bridge station….happy memories.
|Nicey replies: Chris,
Thanks very much for getting in touch, you and your family are of course biscuit royalty.
Just back from London for the second time this year, with another stash of Hobnobs. I vote for the Hobnobs in self-sealing tubes for purely selfish reasons: I haul them stateside and ration them throughout the year, so tubes are better for packing integrity and year-round freshness. This time around, I also purchased two copies of your book -- for a friend in another state and myself -- and plan to read it with a nice cuppa and some of my hard-won Hobnobs. My husband and I bought an extra suitcase to bring our dirty laundry back, and reserved the "good" suitcase for the Hobnobs. In case our precious suitcase was lost in transit, we also hand carried 13 tubes of Hobnobs. In total, we brought back 37 tubes this time. Next time, I will bring a bigger suitcase. A true test of friendship: I will share my Hobnob haul with my friend.
San Jose, California
|Nicey replies: Maggie,
That really is an awful lot of HobNobs, I'm sure the people at McVities will be dabbing away a small tear of pride from the corner of their eyes. It also sounds wise that you are sharing them with your friend. Also very pleased to see you bringing some PG Tips to San Jose, this will go a long way to redressing the balance for that cup of tea I had there in 1999 (chapter 1 of the book!).
I thought I would keep you up to date with our tea related race in the lake district.
It went down a storm and in the end team gingerbread won it. The weekend was great fun to organise and everyone who took part is desperate to have another race. as a result there will be another TRC next year.
Stay tuned! Visit our website at: teamteacake.com
|Nicey replies: Horrah for all of you,
Thanks for keeping us up to date with your cycle-tea-and-cake marathon. Well done for showing the value of exercise! It enables one to have their cake and eat it too although seven times in one day does seem excessive. Team NCOTAASD enjoy a good bit of mountain biking, especially if we are a bit lost in forest. Good luck with next years charity one.
I have been press ganged into a Children In Need Fun-Run on Friday lunch time. 'Fun' and 'Run' are two words I would not expect to find in the same sentence let alone joined with a hyphen, so wish me luck. I have signed the disclaimer absolving them of responsibility if I keel over half way round.
Edit Right we did it but I fear I may never walk again. Taking to the bath with a cup of tea and some Ibuprofen.