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Bakers Tennis Biscuits Review
|Dear Mr Nicey|
Well I am surprised that someone travelling from South Africa, home of the “rusk” or “beskuit” can possibly find anything in the universe better for dunking. I refer to Nick, featured on your website. An airplane biscotti really can’t do justice to the wonders of the South African rusk. It’s what keeps me here in Cape Town. You can hoover up an entire mug of tea with only three rusks. In their favour, they’re huge, make lots of mess, get up your nose, and can only be tackled by those without moustaches, which ought to keep the dead hamster population down in this neck of the woods.
|Nicey replies: Kechil,
Thank you for that contrived excuse to go on about South African rusks. Actually there is a shop near to NCOTAASD HQ which is a well known SA food stockist and has rusks as well as Romany Creams and Tennis Biscuits.
South East Asian Multireview Review
Your mention of biscuits for thrill seekers reminds me of the time several years ago when I bought a packet of durian wafers from an oriental store in Amsterdam. The durian, highly popular in South-East Asia where it is known as the King of Fruits, has an odour variously described by Westerners as fermenting onions, unwashed socks or over-ripe sewage and is allegedly banned by many hotels and airlines in the area. The fruit is supposed to be an acquired taste. I can't imagine anyone acquiring a taste for the biscuits as one bite was enough. I can't describe it exactly, but I seem to remember strong overtones of garlic. The fact that this was probably an artificial durian flavouring didn't help. It was back to the syrup waffles again after that.
|Nicey replies: Good grief, the South East Asian biscuits we endured that tasted of Tomato, Melon and Yam were bad enough.
||Hi there Nicey and Wifey!|
I'm a British ex-pat in Sweden and I was gobsmacked to find out they have no concept of custard over here!
The closest thing they have is "Vaniljsås" which is a creamy vanilla-flavoured sauce served *thin* and *cold*, it's nice but a poor custard substitute!
I've had some Birds powder shipped over here on a few occasions but unfortunately the milk over here is less pasteurised than in the UK - so custard made with the local milk tastes 'funny'.
The only way I got close to making 'real custard' was to boil the milk up, then cool it down quickly (sticking the pan outside in the snow works well for that) and then heat it up again and proceed as normal.
I've actually resorted to making custard with eggs instead - the old-fashioned way - as I couldn't cope without custard!
I've been educating Swedes as to what custard is - they have no notion of 'a trifle' here since they don't have thick custard - it's scary! An entire country going trifle-free!
Apparently classically trained French chefs refuse to acknowledge the existence of custard, and when pressed, tend to fall back on using the euphemism “crème anglais”. Maybe this is what Queenie calls it.
I once saw custard defined in a gastronomical dictionary as “a malevolent conspiracy of the hen, the cow and the cook”.
Off to Romania next week to check out the tea and biscuits topology – do you have any recommendations for that part of the world?
Keep up the good work!
|Nicey replies: Nick,
We are largely clueless about Romania, so consider yourself on a bold journey of discovery. We had some Russian biscuits last year which were not ever so massed produced and sold loose in little plastic trays. They were the sort of thing that needed to eaten very fresh sort of like a semi sweet Viennese finger. Perhaps you'll find something like that?
|Thank you for your review on that marvelously bland biscuit we all love so much! I'm an ex-pat South African, living in the USA now, and let me tell you, the food I miss the most is ... You guessed it MARIE BISCUITS. :D Pathetic isn't it? But I really do.|
We used to make sandwiches out of them with butter and marmite, or just dunked them in our tea (as a kid I could eat half a packet easily!). Sometimes we drenched them with Illovo syrup, and they always tasted good crumbled up in custard and jelly! I loved nibbling off the frilly edges first before delivering the death-blow bite to the center. When I got pregnant with my son, the only thing that helped with the nausea was this innocent little biscuit and our native Rooibos tea.
Maybe it was nothing but a placebo effect, but hey, it worked! :)