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What a nice web site you've done there. As I live in Paris it offers a welcome glimpse of bakelite and allotments, the smell of new Beanos in the paper shop, and everything else that make Great Britain possibly the most Great British of places on the face of the planet.
I have a confession, and I would gratefully appreciate your respecting my anonimity, a request you'll understand given the perverse nature of my sin.
I like eating digestive biscuits with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese. Nothing wrong with that, you say? How about *chocolate* digestives? Both milk and plain? I have to make sure there's no-one else in the house when I do this, as it disgusts and saddens my family.
I would find it of great comfort if there were others who, if not sharing my prediliction, could at least extend some sympathy along with the tea? God made me what I am.
Thank you for letting me get this off my chest. I feel better already.
|Nicey replies: Tim,
Yours is a recognised condition which is why we have the cheese icon.
I've noticed you being a bit mean to Lipton's Yellow Label on several occasions now. Granted, it is a bit of a poor brew, but in foreign climes it can be a blessing in disguise, but more usually, the only thing on offer that resembles tea.
I've been saved by it on foreign trips as far afield as Mexico and Thailand. Given the usual choice of Yellow label or chamomile (in the form of a bunch of flowers in one notable case) Lipton's will win every time as far as I'm concerned.
I do wonder if Lipton's tea is really so bad, or it is just that most Britons only ever encounter it abroad with the attendant odd tasting milk they have over there.
PS In Thailand I went so far as to try Nestle's iced tea, for I which apologise and offer only the excuse that the weather really was very, very warm indeed. The iced tea was, alarmingly, rather refreshing.
|Nicey replies: Yes too many catered skiing holidays with enforced Lipton's Yellow Label when the body is crying out for PG.
||Having chanced upon these biscuits over a drink at work - we had some heated discussion about the pronunciation, and the derivation, of the name.|
We noted that you have this listed as an FAQ on the website - but that the answer is somewhat unsatisfactory.
With this in mind, we set about some research in a desperate attempt to avoid our afternoon's work based activities. The results were surprising.
A quick straw poll revealed that the general public opted for the nice pronunciation (as opposed to the 'neice' pronunciation - as in the city in France).
Further investigation involved contacting Fox's biscuits, and Sainsbury's customer service…please see attached e-mail.
As it turns out - they should be called 'neice' (as in the place in France) - but no-one really knows why they were named after the town. Is there any chance that you could shed further light - as our search for an answer has now been ongoing for about a week - and we feel it is becoming detrimental to our work!!
Thank you for your e-mail.
Nice biscuits have been a family favourite since 1922. Named after the city in the south of France, Nice biscuits were considered to be a sophisticated treat to have with morning or afternoon tea, pronounced as in the city.
I hope this is helpful
Sainsbury's Customer Services
Thank you for your enquiry. Our Nice biscuits are pronounced 'Nice' as in France. The only suggestions that I have had are that someone decided on the name after a holiday in the South of France. However, we cannot be sure that this is the case.
JILL LISTER (MS)
CONSUMER CARE ADMINISTRATOR
|Nicey replies: Right first things first you need to settle down a bit. Nice biscuits can most likely be attributed to Huntley and Palmers back in their heyday between the wars. Back then they made about 400 different sorts of biscuits so its hardly surprising some of the names are a bit random. Perhaps the desiccated coconut was seen as evocative of the palm trees of the Côte d'Azur. Due to the fact that nobody in France has ever heard of them then I think its perfectly fine to pronounce them as 'Nice' as in Ice, I enjoy the irony.
Much of the reasoning behind biscuit naming is unknown, lost to the mists of time, so don't loose too much sleep over it.
I've noticed some discussion of French biscuits on the site, and thought I'd mention one I came across while staying in the Loire valley towards the end of 2002. I was studying at a French language school near Sancerre, and I found these biscuits in a little shop in Sancerre itself.
The biscuits were called 'langues des sorcières' (witches' tongues — apparently the region was once known for witches). They're large but quite thin and sort of teardrop shaped — about 6 inches long and 3 or 4 wide at the widest bit — crispy with a distinct honey taste, and they have some kind
of sticky glaze and nut bits towards the centre, if I remember rightly. We weren't supposed to eat in class, but if I brought these along everyone (including the teacher) scoffed them.
I do recall them being very nice with a cup of tea (even though the only tea I could get hold of was Lipton's Yellow Label).
I think I was told they were a local speciality, but my French is fairly bad so I could be wrong.
|Nicey replies: That sounds like a local variation on the 'langues des chats'. You do have to watch out for the Liptons Yellow Label tea it can confuse the palette, but it is better than nothing, just.|
||I recently visited the French resort of Nice and was shocked to find that the liberator of Italy - Garibaldi - was born there. One town associated with two biscuits - is this a record.|
Also - Nice biscuits are generally nasty - is this the same attitude to naming that means that any country with the word "Democratic" in its name is not? Similarly, Fig Rolls don't (roll) and neither do Jammy Dodgers (dodge). How many other misleading biscuits are there? Should something be done to prevent confusion?