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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.
I just went to the biscuit tin and made a horrible discovery. In a fit of tidiness, someone in our family had put hobnobs and ginger nuts in the biscuit tin together. As all biscuit lovers know, mixing ginger nuts with other types is supposedly not a good idea, as ginger nuts will impart their flavour. But what we now have is a ginger nut flavoured hobnob. Surprisingly, this is not an unpleasant combination of flavours/textures, and the hobnobs have lost none of their crunch. I have just put away four of them, and very nice they were too. Anyone wanting to replicate this mutation should note - the formula is 2 hobnobs to 1ginger nut, and leave for about 3-4 days.
||Hello again Nicey.|
Kate Strudwick got me thinking about biscuit tin etiquette, by talking about "the rules that require you to finish the first layer before proceeding to the second layer". There are loads of unspoken rules in our house (sort of "The Tin Commandments"):
- You mustn't take a foil wrapped biscuit twice in a row
- You mustn't leave the foil wrappers in the plastic molding, in case you fool someone taking a quick glance into the tin that one of the nicest biscuits is left
- You mustn't leave any of the sellotape around the top when you first open the tin
- You mustn't eat pink wafers by taking the wafer bits off, scraping the cream stuff off with your teeth then putting the reassembled wafer bits back in (ditto bourbons)
- You must not pretend you've eaten the first layer by eating a biscuit out of the second layer then putting the last biscuit from the first layer into the space it leaves (especially if it's a different shape)
... I could go on, but you get the general gist.
I still really enjoy your site, thanks a lot for the fun.
|Nicey replies: Hi Nicky,
Yes I particularly enjoyed that bit too I'm glad you picked up on it. Well done on your other points too. I think we could develop this into the definitive list in time for Christmas, which would be very helpful for all those clueless uncouth people. It would also be a boon for all those sticklers for decorum who could brow beat the biscuit tin abusing louts with it (I was once interviewed in the Daily Mail you know).
Wagon Wheel Review
I was fortunate enough to discover your wonderful book on the back seat of a friends car and I have never enjoyed a 30 minute car journey more. The next day I went out and bought a copy on Amazon (well not so much went out then more diverted 10 minutes when I was at work to go on line, but you get the point)
Anyway I digress from the purpose of this e-mail. When my brother and I were younger and had packed lunches to take to school we would have some kind of sweet biscuit snack, the usual penguins, clubs, wagon wheels etc. well we found that in summer and in an age of no aircon we would open our lunch snacks to discover that the chocolate had melted and therefore spoilt our sweet snacks (please note that we still ate them though). Now my mum is a resourceful woman and came up with the idea of freezing our lunch bars, then in the 3 or so hours between them being added to the morning lunches and us opening them at noon they would have defrosted enough for us to eat them chilled and un-melted.
When my brother and me were on school holiday we discovered that or mum did not revert to keeping the biscuit treats in the cupboard but kept them in the freezer! This meant they were not available to eat off hand but had to be defrosted first, until my brother one hungry day at home discovered something that still baffles me to this day. You can eat frozen Wagon Wheel! Where we were expecting a cold and frozen biscuit and centre, we just had good old Wagon Wheel, granted it was cold but it was not properly frozen! And what’s more it was very nice indeed because the chocolate was flaky, the biscuit slightly more resistant and the marshmallow was perfect. At the end of our holiday we went back to school and mum soon discovered that instead of several multi packs of wagon wheels there were only two loose ones left.
And finally the point of the e-mail, being a man of science I was hoping that maybe you could explain why Wagon wheels do not freeze?
All the best
|Nicey replies: Hoorah! for our book sculling around in the back seat of cars.
Anyhow as you know Wagonwheels of old were quite unlike anything else on the planet before or since. So it comes as little surprise to find out that they had unique physical properties. Perhaps if you had thought of it at the time you could have continued your investigations and seen if they fluoresce under ultra-violet light or if finely divided Wagonwheels (technically crumbs I suppose) could act as the catalyst in something like the Haber-Bosch process.
I doubt if a modern Wagonwheel would be any good as they are made with conventional components like chocolate and so forth.