Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
To help you work out what is what, are now little icons to help you see biscuit related themes. And now you can see at a glance which are the most contested subjects via this graph (requires Flash 6.0 plugin).
Please keep your mails coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like, you can use this search thingy to find stuff that matches with any of the icons you pick, or use the fantastic free text search, Yay!
|Mrs Sarah Mint-Viscount
Kimberley and Chocolate Kimberley Review
|Dear Nicey (and Wifey, and NCOTAASD YMOS),|
As I listened to Today FM's Ray D'arcy Show this morning, I was getting very engrossed in the debate that raged - a debate on the nomenclature of that delicious little delicacy which is made by mixing Rice Krispies with melted chocolate, and dividing the mixture out into little paper cases to set.
Now, the many NCOTAASD enthusiasts who don't live in Ireland can't have heard the show, so they won't know that the debate in question raged between those who insist that the perennial party favourite made from chocolate and Rice Krispies should be called Rice Krispie Cakes, and those who are adamant that they are, and always must, be called Rice Krispie Buns.
Guest host Jenny Kelly was very calmly handling the situation, as well she might, for she is usually the producer of the Ray D'arcy show, and the show regularly broadcasts very important and controversial debates such as these. But calm as she was, there was no doubt that this debate was getting heated - the emails and texts sent in by listeners were becoming more terse and aggressive by the minute.
Even without hearing this show, your NCOTAASD readers will readily understand how my enjoyment of this debate rose to all new levels, when none other than your good self was suddenly introduced to weigh in with your expert opinion. But I must say I was deeply surprised by the opinion you gave. Stating that you would call them Rice Krispie Cakes was bad enough, but to assert that you had never even heard of them being called Rice Krispie buns? It was almost too much to bear. And then, to my delight and relief, Jenny announced that the result of the poll was in, and that a resounding majority of the voters, well over 70%, agreed with me in calling them Rice Krispie Buns. Phew! I wasn't crazy after all.
Now, the British and the Irish are usually in full agreement on the subject of Tea, Biscuits and Cakes (or Buns, as the case may be). We're both in favour of them. Lots of Them. Lots and lots of them. But as you had never even heard of Rice Krispie Buns being called buns, and as they are buns to the majority of listeners to one of Ireland's most popular radio shows, I can only conclude that here is an issue which divides these two islands more than the Irish Sea divides us, and perhaps even more than the Jacob's Kimberley divides us.
In light of this, I wonder if we on the Emerald Isle deserve our to have our own icon on the NCOTAASD feedback section, as the French, Canadians and Aussies already do? After all we are the only nation to which you have ascribed a national gene allowing enjoyment of a particular biscuit (the aforementioned Kimberley). A little shamrock, perhaps, which would sit so nicely with the other icons, and make my heart swell with pride!
Mrs Sarah Mint-Viscount
|Nicey replies: Well yes I came to much the same conclusions in the news item I posted after the interview. Anyhow you're right the time has come for a proper Ireland icon. I'm normally fairly reticent about dishing out icons based purely on geopolitical boundries but as you all seem to have this weird rice krispie bun thing going on over there in addition to Kimberleys I think you've finally earned it (its a pity you had to mention the others as protocol dictates that they need to go up too (Also the Welsh will be after me again (...oh you left out the Kiwis))).|
||Hello there Nicey, Wifey and the Younger Members of Staff|
I am responding to your website's article about holiday cakes. I haven't had a big summer holiday this year so I'm afraid I don't have anything international to offer, but I have been on a few camping trips in England.
The first of these was an expedition to the Essex coastline. The weather was horrible, but we had an aim - to walk from Southminster Station to the coast to find somewhere to camp and to swim in the sea. We managed the first two. It rained all the way and footpaths in Essex seem to be the same thing as overgrown field boundaries. So when we arrived at the campsite / empty field, we set up the tent and dived it. Never before has a tent felt so warm and cosy. Then came the ultimate satisfaction... we brewed up a cup of tea on the camping gas stove under an umbrella outside the tent door and got out
the cake. It was a slightly random purchase initially - bought only because it mentioned tea on the wrapper - but the contents were delicious. I had bought a Yorkshire Tea Tea Loaf. It's a dense but moist loaf with raisins and cherries and it goes superbly with a nice cup of tea and a sit down. I would heartily recommend it for anyone, especially if you are planning on a rainy camping trip and have therefore attached a picture to help spot it in the supermarket. I would have photographed the cake inside too, but I was in on my own last night and thought if I opened it I would have eaten the who thing which I think would have got me in trouble with my housemate since I had bought it in order to share the joy I felt in Southminster.
Enjoy the cake.
|Nicey replies: James,
Thanks for evoking such a vivid tea and sit down moment, it almost makes me want to rekindle my hiking days and wander around a bit lost and drenched to the skin so that I can really really enjoy a cup of tea.
|The Lincoln biscuit is alive and well in our local Sainsburys, it is now called 'Lincoln Shortbread' but packet looks the same as always and they taste the same.|
|Nicey replies: Thank you for this important information.|
Custard Cream Review
|Ah, when I was younger custard was always Bird's. In fact, an offer of 'nanas and custard was usually turned down with a "can I just have the custard?".|
Then we upped and moved to more southern waters, where there was no Bird's (or even custard creams!), and the natives preferred something rather vile called Ultramel. This way too viscous stuff came out of a tetrapak carton and was an unnatural shade of yellow. Strangely enough, I went off eating it altogether. (Although I would still eat far too many custard creams if I could get my hands on them).
My husband and I have now moved again, to another southern clime, where I managed to find some ludicrously priced Bird's powder (and some custard creams!). Since making it for hubby, I've realised that I actually do like the stuff. In fact, I like it even more when I make it myself from eggs, sugar, vanilla, etc. I like it kind of 'tuesdayish' I think. Runny (or Creme Anglais-y if you want to be posh). It just musn't come ready made out of a carton. Eww.
Thanks for the bittersweet reminders of my favourite biccies. Think I need some tea now.
||The two-cup drink/dunk is an amazing thing. I am sat here in Australia in a water shortage situation at the mo and can't help but think that it is too much of a luxury at present to be dunking in a separate cup. I will have to stick to holding a piece of biscuit in my mouth and quickly taking a sip of tea, to achieve the dunked effect without getting that nasty sediment at the bottom of the cup.|
Nicey, I lived for some time in London, and coming back to Australia has reminded me that tea can taste oh so different depending on the local water supply. I remember having lovely cups of tea in Devon and The Peaks, and I always used filtered water in the kettle in London. Where, in the world, is the best 'tea water'?
|Nicey replies: Very good point about the water. Our water at NCOTAASD HQ is very hard being drawn from chalk ground water. It does however produce its own sort of unique tea which without realising over the space of a mere ten to fifteen years one gets quite used to. Having spent three weeks travelling around France making tea in various places, there is still nothing quite like that first cuppa when you get home. Is it the water?
I'm sure many people would be thinking of Yorkshire Tea's two blends for hard and soft water areas which they'll post samples out free to UK residents. Also I'm fairly sure that vats of Manchester water used to shipped out to Indian tea plantations to aid with the proper blending of the tea before shipment.