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I’ve just enjoyed a splendid biscuit, so, when I returned to my desk, I typed “Best Biscuit” into Google, as you do, and arrived at your most interesting site.
Like your recent correspondent (Julie Marlow), I am an expat living in Melbourne, and the biscuit that transported me today was an Arnott’s Chocolate Shortbread. Confusing I know, since it’s neither short, nor bread, but as we know nomenclature in the biscuit world is inconsistent at best (i.e. Jaffa Cakes). We really need an international naming convention to sort it out once and for all. Conforming biscuits could advertise the fact on their (cardboard) packets as in: HobNobs (Approved – Societe Internationale de Biscuit Nomenclature, Geneva). Anyway, I digress. The ACS is redolent of Dundee biscuits that I used to enjoy in the schoolyards of my youth, in darkest Sheffield. Extremely moreish, with a pleasingly doughy texture , and lots of clag. You’re picking clumps out of your molars for hours.
|Nicey replies: Good plan in the biscuit naming body, but I can't see its decisions being adhered to if its based in Geneva, as Swiss biscuits are mostly utterly woeful. Most of them would carve out a more useful living for themselves as packing material, given that they tend to be puffed up with air in some fashion, rather than being full of biscuity usefulness. I think I would be tempted to site it on the Isle of Man, which would make it handy for the British and Irish to thrash out the various issues we have in biscuit nomenclature. Actually there aren't too many but it would make a lovely long weekend for everybody and I haven't actually been there, only over it.
As for Dundee biscuits the unrest continues here as the authenticity of the ones produced by Cottage biscuits (see our missing in action section) was questioned by one meticulous correspondent. Never having had one I'm unable to comment.
||Nicey, me old dunking chum....|
As a true officionado of the plain chocolate Hob Nob, my world has litterly been torn apart since hearing of my oaty little friends' sad demise. Imagine then, my beaming face, when chancing upon what must be one of the last batches left within the square mile.
A quality sweet shop by my office selling Plain Chocolate Hob Nobs (Or PCHN's to true worshippers) albeit in the rather unsatifactory tube rather than the perfectly servicable wrapper.
Being London, paid a fortune..... but this is a sellers' market!
Keep up the good work on the web-site.
If any London readers want to nip in there quick, the shop is just by Moorgate Tube, near the Chemist. Top shelf (ahem) by the tea bags.
Lotus Caramelised Biscuits Review
|In Belgium we do eat sometimes "speculoos" biscuits as the filling of a buttered whitebread sandwich.|
This is a cherised memory of my infancy.
The Lotus caramelised biscuit you describe, is member of the "speculoos" family.
(Just now, I discovered your sweet website. So my comment comes a little late)
sincerely, Walter Bauters
|Nicey replies: Walter,
Hats off to you Belgian people, biscuit sandwiches, you have our respect.
I couldn't work out where the "nice" bisuits should go in your classification chart in your book. Shame really that you don't seem to mention them (shame on me if I missed a reference to them) as I and my daughter both love them (I for nostalgic reasons and she for love of new biccy's).
Please could you clarify where they fit, as they seem to have a bit of coconut, so are not a simple dunker or shortcake as far as I can tell - ut very enjoyable with a cup of tea.
|Nicey replies: Morning Dorian,
Yes its the little bit of desiccated coconut in the Nice that causes all the problems, certainly for me as historically I didn't much care for it. Personally the Nice and the Pink Wafer are my most non-favourite of biscuits, and whilst I could bring myself to talk about the pink wafer in the book I couldn't quite make it to the Nice. I do like the way Fox's call their biscuits 'Nice Tasty' though, I think that creates a lovely atmosphere on the biscuit shelf in our local high street shop which they frequent.
Having said that, I do get somewhat tense around the Nice biscuit now as my attitude to coconut in biscuits has mellowed over the years, and I suspect that I may possibly get on with them having now reached my forties. Perhaps we could make a particularly dreary documentary where a film crew arrange for me to meet a pack of Nice biscuits in a safe and supportive environment. There would be lots of phone calls back and forth for a month and a half leading up to the meeting, and on at least two occasions I would suffer some kind of emotional set back that would make me call the whole thing off. Eventually I would get talked round by Wifey using some rubbish about the YMOS being in danger of never trying a Nice biscuit. Finally the moment would arrive but I wouldn't allow the cameras in, and afterwards a slightly tearful me would say that I would be prepared to have them in the house providing they stayed in their own separate tin.
Anyhow I think they are a shortcake biscuit with coconut in them.
Iced VoVo Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
You've cleared up a mystery with your report of the sad demise of the Plain Hobnob. They're all over here. There's dumping going on, and whilst I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, how typical is that, the Poms dumping their unwanted on the colonials? I've been here 20 years and still mourn McVitie's of all kinds, but particularly Hobnobs and Rich Tea. Up until now, they've only been available (at a price, I might add) at specialist Brit supply stores. Therefore, my cup ranneth over one day recently in Coles (like Tesco), when to my great joy there on the biscuit shelf were packets galore of McVitie's Plain Hobnobs. And, Ginger Nuts. Never before seen in this particular supermarket chain. Don't get me wrong, Aussie biscuits are up there with the best - Mint Slices, Tim Tams and Iced Vo-Vos would give any British biscuit a major run for their money, but I have to say a Plain Hobnob is my all time fave. So, I had to buy a few packets. I was so thrilled I forgot to check the sell-by date, and whilst not expired, all the packets were perilously close, i.e. Jan 2007. What does this mean? Is there mass export of Plain Hobnobs to Australia to delude the British biscuit buying public that there's no call for them any more? Or, is it all a ploy to get us lot hooked only to withdraw supply and then try to foist all these new fangled flavours onto us? Either way, it's rum.
|Nicey replies: Very interesting, and also quite revealing. Perhaps UB (McVities) failed to predict that a regular customer (a large British Supermarket??) would not be re-ordering HobNobs and were left with a small mountain that they have managed to send to you guys in a deal. Nice as it is for you to get your mits on some dark choc HobNobs its not an ideal scenario food miles wise. Tim Tams being shipped to Tesco's in the UK all the way from Australia whilst the HobNobs we should see on their shelves are being sent to Australia.
Also I'm not sure about the Iced Vo-vo giving anything a run for their money, all the ones we have tried always seemed a bit like something dug out out of a collapsed building. Maybe they don't travel well.