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As I was in pursuit of a nice cup of tea and a sit down this afternoon, and this necessitated hiding in my office to get away from the offspring, I thought I might just cruise in and while away the afternoon reading about all the biccies I've been missing. Lo and behold the teacup (okay it's a mug, shoot me) was soon woefully empty and I was forced to make a secret foray into the kitchen to make a fresh pot of tea. Alas my Sunday afternoon sit down has been fraught with delay and obfuscation as the tea jar was empty. What to do?! A frantic search of the tea cupboard ensued. Chamomile, Chai and "Tension Tamer" tea flew in all directions and a brief, hectic, moment of joy evaporated as the Bigalow tin yielded only packets of Tazo Green tea and some vile Lipton Cold Brew foisted on the unsuspecting public by Chatalaine magazine as a free insert months back. At last! A package of store brand Orange Pekoe teabags and the reason for my contribution today. You see the store is called Overwaitea and you would have to have visited Canada to have heard of it. Are you with me? Overwaitea? Yep, according to the story on the box... Over-Weight-Tea. Here it is: "R. C. Kidd established himself in New Westminster, British Columbia as a tea and coffee merchant. With his innovative marketing for the price of a pound of tea, R. C. gave his customers another 2 ounces. He was famous for selling 18 ounces of quality tea for the price of 16 ounces.
Since 1915, R.C. Kidd's "Over Weight Tea", a symbol of our continued tradition of "more for less", became known as OVERWAITEA."
All I can say is I wish I had some of his "quality tea" now instead of this dishwater in my cup, but I thought it made an interesting story highlighting local character and providing the world with a view of what one man and his cuppa can do in the Colonies.
|Nicey replies: April,
Thank you for that stimulating peep into Canadian life. We have made a icon to celebrate! Now to find the other two emails we've had from Canada..
I have been enjoying the biscuit reviews and letters on your site for a few months now and have noticed many references to Australia, New Zealand, and "America" (the United States, we call it) -- is there no interest in your site from Canada? I, like many other Canadians, love a good cup of tea (or coffee, I admit) and a biscuit. Thus I am pointing you to this untapped biscuit-exploring opportunity. Here are a couple of Canadian biccie facts, based on my experience, of course:
- even though we generally call them cookies, the word 'biscuit' is printed on every package anyway because that is the french word for cookie. Thus, we respond positively to both terms.
- for some reason you can buy Rich Tea biscuits in Canada but not in the States. Sadly, I have heard of Canadian expats stocking up on these (along with particular chocolate bars, etc. that you can't get south of the border) when home for the holidays. argh.
ok, that's all for now, I should get back to work anyway. One last thought: I do enjoy the french "Lu" biscuits -- have you thought of testing Jaffa and Lu's Pims (orange flavour of course) head to head? This would be quite a contest.
|Nicey replies: We are aware of Canada, it is a good source of wheat, a staple ingredient of biscuits.
We are mounting a fact finding mission to France at the end of this month when we hope to secure some of the Lu Jaffa Cake analogues of which you speak.
||I woke up this morning thinking, "Do Nice biscuits really come from Nice?" We live in Canada now, but my wife is originally from Nice so I asked her, and after we'd sorted out why the frig I was waking her up at half past six on a Sunday - she didn't actually say 'frig', her English is that good now, but I know there are sensitive ears out there amongst biscuiphiles - she thought about it for a minute and said, "What the frig is a Nice biscuit?" So, I set out to find out, and lo and behold I discovered your Internet site. Thank you, a gap well filled. Anyway, my point is this. We all know|
how appalling the French can be when they try, but if we must have a go at them, let's leave it to their predilection to vote for lunatics. On the biscuit front I'd guess the "Nice" is an English creation made especially to undermine the image of France as a land of the sublime. If you really want to face the issue head on, try tackling the Lu Petit Ecolier, dark chocolate. A biscuit as remarkable as it is simple, and yet another reason to have France allowed to remain exactly as it is, unchanged from this point forth, given protected status and declared a world cultural theme park.
|Nicey replies: Glad we could help out with your biscuit query. The main thing to realise about Nice biscuits is they are vile, regardless of who is responsible for them. Your Wife is wise to distance herself from these biscuits by denying all knowledge of them, and all citizens of Nice would be do well to follow her example.
France is indeed a lovely place, I go there when ever possible to ski and drink tea at altitude. In the summer I like nothing better than to visit the Loire, Charante and Vesére valleys, where I have any amount of very enjoyable sit downs. French food and wine is fantastic, they've got some outstanding cakes. I work with a bunch of French folks and one French Canadian, all lovely people and many have developed a taste for digestives, Jammy Dodgers and other fine biscuits.
Regrettably, however French biscuits in general are crap. I've had those Petit Ecolier jobs, Milk Chocolate and Caramel Choc, and indeed refer to them in my Biscuit FAQ, they are an attempt to make Petit Beurre palatable by putting a big old lump of chocolate, on top. They nearly succeeded but the Petit Beurre underneath detracted from it. They also had to stack them in some sort of tray insert thing 4 compartments of 3 if I remember correctly.
||While living in Canada i am somewhat removed from the biscuit world, I occasionally am able to enjoy a good biscuit (although crackers seem to be more common around my house). I agree with the majority of your reviews, but I find pink wafers to be not only the best wafers available, but one of the better varieties found in the entire biscuit trichotomy. Fig Newtons have always had a strange hold on me; I particularly enjoyed them in my early years. Lately "Dad's" oatmeal and choc chip cookies make for a good lunch time supplement to a sandwich.|
Thank you for your informative reviews
|Nicey replies: Thank you for those thoughts.
I tried Pink Wafers again this week, in a grim experiment instigated by a work mate (Rimmingtons, Rinky dink Pink Panther wafers no less). Maybe it was the vitamins and minerals supplements as each wafer contained 10% of the RDA of zinc, iron, Vitamin C, B12, A folic acid, thiamin, and riboflavin, but they tasted bloody awful. I tried to think of something that might taste that bad and decided that stretches of tha A13 between Dagenham and Purfleet would probably hold their own in a taste test.