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|Ian and Barbara Smith
We were dismayed to discover from Fortnum and Mason that chocolate covered Bath Oliver's are no longer available. I expect some marketing "geek" somewhere, who has no discernment, has reached this decision.
A nice lady in F & M, who knew her biscuits, put us on to you. We need a national campaign to save one of our countries great products. What will Christmas be without them? Why can't these wretched people just leave a good product alone?
What do you think?
Ian and Barbara Smith
|Nicey replies: Well Bath Olivers are made under license from Fortts by Jacobs, we presume the chocolate covered ones are too. Two glimmers of hope are the acquisition of Jacobs within the last two weeks by United Biscuits (McVities,Crawfords,KP), which might see some changes the most likely being a focus on Jacob's brands and a move away from generics. Who knows this may benefit the Bath Oliver (my dream scenario is that they fix the Club biscuit back to how it should be while they are at it).
The second strand of hope comes in the form of the recently revived Huntley & Palmers, which really is an attempt to combine the brand name with a range of premium products utilising other manufacturers. H&P at one time owned Bath Olivers and so have a historical association with them. We know the MD of the new H&P has been exploring the idea of adding Chocolate Bath Olivers to his range.
Actually we were in Bath last weekend and took this picture of what we believe to be the ancestral home of the Bath Oliver, which is now a pub in Green Street Bath, but once was a bakery operated by the late Dr Oliver's (inventor), coachman Atkins, to whom he bequeathed the recipe and lots of flour.
Wagon Wheel Review
|Keith Andrews remembered:|
"Wagon Wheels, they're a treat for me [wagon wheels!]
They're the biggest biscuit, you ever did see! [wagon wheels!]
... .... ..... .... ... ... .... .... .
The biscuit thrill to beat the band!"
The line that Keith is missing from the Wagon Wheels theme is "Marshmallow filled, they taste so grand"... which is something of a scurrilous claim nowadays because they taste pretty iffy compared to their former glory. They have a stale and artificial flavour and there is no way on Earth that they are the same size as they used to be. And Jammie Dodgers are stale-tasting parodies of their former selves, too. How I wish I'd had the foresight, as a Wagon Wheel munching ten-year-old, to start a small biscuit museum so I could shame the manufacturers of today into admitting their corner-cutting by showing them tangible proof. Come to think of it, after thirty years they would probably taste much like their current incarnation. Now, here's a sort-of-related question; anyone remember Rondellos? They were big biscuits too, perhaps not quite as big as a Wagon Wheel, probably only four or six in a package...
|Nicey replies: Actually I don't think the taste of Wagonwheels has really changed at all, I think your own personal tastes have evolved / matured. I do think Jammy Dodgers have changed quite a bit with today's biscuit being a much softer bake. We have an entry for Rondellos in our missing in action section, which is looking a tad empty so I'll add in your comments.|
||I have recently being perusing the message board at www.readytogo.net where my fellow fans have been debating their favouite biscuits. The thread contained a link to your site, which I have visited often.|
This discussion on the forum resulted in someone naming a "cookie" as their favourite biscuit, because of its "gooey centre". Surely this can't be right! What are your opinions on the matter. If I may be so bold I would also like to ask if you are going to compose a retrospective of my favourite childhood biscuit - the Trio. Altogether now "TTTTRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOO" etc.
I've tired myself out now - better have a sit down and a nice cup of tea, with a 2" pie of Rich Tea.
I look forward to your reply
Regards and best wishes
|Nicey replies: David,
Of course they are free to enjoy that gooey centered cookie, they might also enjoy eating large quantities of uncooked cake mixture. Calling them biscuits is however effectively surrendering our culture identity to America, a bit like giving up BBC One in favour of Sky One. As for the Trio we still get the occasional sighting in the wild, the last occurred in North East Belfast about eighteen months ago. Alas no pictures were obtained.
|Steve and Lisa Tottle
We're replying to the e.mail from Julie hardcastle about the coloured biscuits from the seventies.
We also remember these biccies very well. They used to have a sticker with them, or a rice paper monster design on the biscuits themselves. they were definately monster themed. However (and its a big however!) I also for the life of me cannot remember the name of them!
There must be someone out there that does!
||Hi again Nicey…|
I’ve been giving Anne’s recollections some tea-induced fantasy consideration. I think she may be referring to “Carnival” biscuits. I too remember the lady-with-parasol design and the odd echo when tapped. Bit like an iced shoebox lid. And just as unpalatable. Does anyone else think so too? And how did the manufacturer achieve that stone-like texture and brittleness? I suspect the presence of tinted quick-setting cement powder in the icing mix. Even a 10-second dunk at 90 deg C failed to soften/wetten the icing, although the immersed Rich Tea-like base disintegrated and subsided into a nasty sludge at the bottom of the cup.
But perhaps my memory is at fault as no doubt by now I’m getting senile (I am 58¾)…the Wifey here says this is indeed so. And as anyone who has listened to Ruth will appreciate, she’s NEVER wrong.
Most biscuitly yours