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||Dear Mr Nicey,|
I came across your site while doing a Google search for Welsh Breakfast Tea, and I saw the entry from the Australian man about Welsh Breakfast Tea and your reply that you had not heard of a breakfast variety of Welsh tea.
I assure you there IS such a thing, and I personally find it smoother and more to my palate than the English and Irish varieties. The loose tea itself is smaller in 'grain' than you might expect -- rather like a rough coffee grind. The trick is getting it of course.
I can report that if you do a Google search for "welsh breakfast tea" (it must be in quotation marks), several purveyors will come up. I am writing from the US, and I found two distributors right off the bat, but I'm sure your readers in the UK will prefer to make their purchases directly from a Welsh company.
Anyways, please pass along to your readers that Te Gymraeg is indeed available, and I hope this information helps someone. :-)
|Nicey replies: Yes I remember mailing Brian about that.
I was only basing my observations on the fact that I grew up in Wales and nobody I have ever met in Wales drinks Welsh breakfast tea, or indeed has heard of it. There is a tea called Glengetty which is a Welsh brand of tea, but its not widely drunk either. From what I remember of it smooth is not a word I would apply to it, astringent perhaps. I don't doubt that some other companies copy this blend style, or not, and call it Welsh Breakfast but it's all a bit contrived I think. Similarly in England where I have spent most of my adult life very few people indeed drink English Breakfast tea at breakfast time unless of course they are forced to through finding themselves in a hotel or something that insists on keeping up the charade by having Twinings English Breakfast tea. Mostly they are after a nice cup of PG, Tetley, Typhoo etc In my limited exposure to Irish Breakfasts you mostly never get Irish Breakfast tea, but something sensible like Barry's, Nambarrie or Bewleys. Do see where I'm going with this? I don't want to sound stroppy (my Mac is telling me that's not a word, so you may not know what I mean), it's just I suspect these things are abstractions which elude to the popular styles of tea blended over a century ago and subsequently replaced by branded tea.
I'm sure you would be equally nonplussed at things that pass over here as 'New York Bagels' or 'American Cheesecake'.
Weston's Wagon Wheels Review
|Hello again nicey and family,|
Just perused an email on your site about WWs and realised that here in the Great Southern Land you can buy lots of different types of wagon wheels viz standard WWs - one to a packet in regulation size (largest in the world now? - gotta love it) biscuit sized in packs of 12 in standard WW flavour, strawberry choc (ie they are pink on the outside and taste like it) and vanilla choc (they are white - what IS the purpose of white chocolate?) mini sized in double choc and jaffa
You can also buy Korean 'moon pies" by Lotte - they look like pregnant WWs and taste stange - no jam, funny oriental marsh mallow and a VW bug kind of profile.
Choc bikkies are out of control in this country - saw some Kahlua flavoured slices (a mint slice with Kahlua cream) and a Black Forest gateau flavoured slice as well. Too much
Wish I could get eccles cakes out here....sigh
|Nicey replies: Hi Monika,
Wow sounds like the WagonWheel has really wigged out since joining Arnotts.
|Sarah Campbell Kennedy
I am procrastinating writing an essay and so thought I should alert you to the Best Biscuit in the World, which you may have missed out on in your biscuitology experiments.
It is made by Arnotts, and is called a 'Kingston'. I found it in Australia and have yet been able to find/buy it online or in the UK, but it is probably the most amazing biscuit I have ever tasted. I only ate my first on a whim because I am from Kingston, but by god I am thankful for trying it.
Thought you should know. If you ever find where I can get them in the UK i'd be grateful... i'm saving up to return to Australia and get some more, but I am only a mere student and my biscuit-quest fund is limited.
|Nicey replies: They are actually made under licence by Arnotts and are their version of the South African biscuit the Romany Cream made by Bakers. We reviewed the originals some time ago.
You can get Kingstons in the Australian shop in London's Covent garden although they are loads of money.
Tim Tam vs Penguin Review
|Hello there Nicey|
I have recently moved from England to Thailand for a 6 month work placement, and I have to say that the wonderful contents of your site keep me dreaming of hours of tea and biscuitty/cake based fun when I return to Blighty. I miss certain biscuits, the Bourbon, the Custard Creme, the Ginger Nut, but especially the classic Penguin. It was whilst perusing through your the archived tomes of your website however that I came across an exciting alternative, the eccentrically named 'Tim Tam'.
So having swotted up the great Tim Tam versus Penguin debate, and being a self-admitted Penguin fan, I was of course eager to try and compare the Tim Tams, so on my next visit to the local shop purchased a few packs. I was pleasantly surprised by the Tim Tam. Initially there is something about the little biscuit that looks a touch dodgy, it's snubbed size and curiously dark choclolate coating expire a sense of foreboding, but on taste you realise that in fact Penguins merely scratch the surface of the true iceberg that is Chocolate Coated Biscuitdom. Penguins just seem bland in comparison with a Tim Tam. Tim Tams come in many different deeply tasty varieties, in my opinion the best are Choco-Chocolate and Choc-Vanilla, but even an Original Tim Tam will more than adequately complete your cup of tea and biscuit combo, and leave you with a smile on your face. And maybe a touch of melted chocolate at the corner of your mouth.
After a few much enjoyed tasting sessions, I bravely decided, as suggested on this very website and on the bold, brown packaging of the Tim Tams themselves, to try the famous 'Tim Tam Slam'. So I bit off 2 opposite corners, and tried a few times to 'enjoy' my cuppa by sucking it through the biscuit, hoping to filter through some chocolatey goodness. But to my horror, the whole experiment went quite magnificently pear-shaped. Never have I experienced a better way of destroying a biscuit and also a cup of tea. Within just a few seconds of 'Slamming' I found that the bottom third of my Tim Tam was already lost to the dark side of bottom sludge. The top of the Tim Tam also melts, as the steam from your tea rebounds off your face, as you are hunched over the cup, desperately slurping. And if you wear glasses, they will undoubtedly steam up too, thus significantly impairing your vision. With only a miniscule amount of tea slurped through the biscuit, I decided to cut my losses and go for the munch. But the Tim Tam itself had become so soft and gooey that it had lost it's unique taste as it denatured into a watery quagmire, hitting my mouth like a festival buffet stand cup of tea. There was nearly a tear in my eye. The results of the experiment were that firstly I felt and looked like a fool, secondly I had ruined my cup of tea, and thirdly I had also destroyed a couple of delightful Tim Tams that could have so easily been dunked and enjoyed in the 'proper' way. I feel quite ashamed and have vowed never to Tim Tam Slam again. Those Australians need to learn I thing or two about ingesting Tea and Biscuits.
I just thought you should know...
PS For a real treat, place your Tim Tams in the freezer ten minutes before you find somewhere for a nice cup of tea and a sit down.
Iced Gems Review
|I was in the depths of despair today, missing my son and his wife and my tiny grandson, who live in TimTam land in Sydney. I was wondering how I could make it through Christmas without them. I was in tears of abject misery. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. It was the postman with a parcel from Amazon containing your book and a message from my family with love and the wish,'may your tin be always full!'. Well, because I have been trying to lose weight, so I will be able better to fit into the airplane seat the next time I fly to Oz, my biscuit tin has languished empty for many months. But buoyant with the joy this present brought and cheered by the loving wishes from my family, I rushed off to Sainsbury's and splashed out on virtually every biscuit variety available, including pink wafers, to which I am unaccountably addicted (chacun a son gout and de gustibus non disputandum, as they say!). I just wanted you to know that I feel a hundred times better than I did before the postman's knock. And I think the book is pure genius.|
Thank you so much.
PS I once had to perform the Heimlich manouevre on an adult at a school Christmas party in order to dislodge a stubborn iced gem from her windpipe. Truth is stranger than fiction. GT.
|Nicey replies: Gill,
So glad that we have cheered you up with our ramblings. Hope you get to do some biscuit research with your family down in Oz soon.