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|Dr. Greg James
About halfway through every clinic at work, a kindly nurse will bring me a cup of tea (usually without sugar- NHS cutbacks going to far methinks). Last week, this always welcome respite from the continual stream of patients was accompanied by two biscuits. I was obviously over the moon initially, but on further investigation, my joy turned to despair.
For the proffered biscuits were the most strange and unappealing i have ever had the misfortune to encounter. Essentially they were slightly longer, thinner versions of pink wafers but WERE NOT PINK. Instead they were made of the same colourless, flavourless stuff that is used to make ice-cream cones. There was not a single speck of anything to make these more palatable- no sugar, chocolate etc. A molecule thin layer of tasteless glue held the two slices together. Has anyone else encountered these so-called "biscuits" and can anyone shed some light on them so I can warn others of their existence??
Dr. Greg James
|Nicey replies: Good grief surely such things are banned by human rights legislation.|
Jammie Dodger Review
|Having recently purchased a packet of the aforementioned biscuits, work colleagues discovered that the base level of the 'sandwich' had its patterned surface 'jam side'. Why hide this detail? Does this increase the adhesive capacity of the jam filling, offer a safer more stable 'plate status' (by using the plain side to increase the contact surface area) or, is it a mechanical error? Has anyone else noiticed this and is it replicated in the new orange dodgers? Yours, Pat|
|Nicey replies: That's a profound point you've brought up there. I've always thought the reason was two fold. First the inner pattern plays an important role in retaining the jam as it is applied in liquid form. I would like to think that Burton's have spent considerable R&D money on refining this and getting it just right, and not simply made a bit of a pattern and stuck with it unchanged for years.
Secondly the baked under surface of the biscuit is the natural surface for the final fully assembled Jammie Dodger to rest upon. This gives its most stable base and allows them to be stacked in nice little piles on plates for parties, to heights in excess of three biscuits.
I'm off to sunny Swansea this weekend for a bit of a Uni reunion. One thing I always remember about the place is the tea from the greasy spoon cafes that I used to frequent on a sunday after a heavy night down the mumbles mile. It was definitely the strongest stuff I have ever tasted. It could probably strip walls, it certainly took the back off my throat. I wonder where others have been served ludicrously strong tea, i'd be interested to find out.
On a different point to do with greasy spoon cafes. Most serve tea at the point of order. It can then take around 10 mins for the brekkie to arrive. I'm normally easily through my tea by the time the food arrives and am forced to buy another cup in order to aid digestion. Is this a conspiracy to get more money out of us? Is it hard to bring me a tea with my breakfast rather then serving it when I order?
Have a good bank holiday.
|Nicey replies: Jim,
Swansea isn't it. A nice pint of Felin Foel Double Dragon and tea and welsh cakes in the market whilst not ever buying lava-bread ever (well maybe once). I once had a very nice sit down in Singleton Park too.
Anyhow yes indeed greasy spoon tea policy. I'm sure that I've been to some where the tea was something that you bought into and once on-board were entitled to top ups much like coffee in an American Diner (obviously it wasn't easy for me to type that last bit). Still the main thing about the tea is you shouldn't feel it has been made especially for you, but that you are imbibing a brew that is being shared amongst the other people there in some sort of tribal fraternity. I find that's a very unique and primitive bond amongst strangers that you should all be drinking from the same pot/urn. It makes little individual pots seem somehow prudish, the individual changing cubicle of tea drinking. Perhaps its good for our tea inhibitions to guzzle down what ever we are given, in the communal tea drinking environment of a greasy spoon.
I'm sure I've completely wandered off topic by now.
|Here's a biscuit-related conundrum for you. I was in Waitrose at lunchtime and decided I ought to get the builder doing my door frames something to dunk in his tea. As he is a new builder, I have no idea of his tastes and preferences. So it was difficult to know what biscuits to choose. Nicey, what would you have done in that situation? (After wavering over the Waitrose own shortbread fingers, I got him some Hob-Nobs in the end - was I wrong?)|
Perhaps you could have a poll on builders' favourite biscuits, ie what people have found their builders like best
|Nicey replies: Katie,
I think you were right to swap the Shortbread fingers for HobNobs. I hope it was the original Hobnobs, as that would have been a good choice. If you went for the chocolate ones then as you well know he might have interpreted that as a bit of a come on, or possibly worse, that you are easily parted from your cash.
You can always knock him back with pack of budget price Rich Teas, but then again that's what most builders like.
We are definitely interested in what biscuits can be successfully deployed in builders tea breaks.
Wagon Wheel Review
|A few years ago I visited the Opie Museum of Advertising and Packaging at Gloucester (closed now, I understand). In the 50s gallery there was a large collection of biscuits in their packaging, including wagon wheels. I announced in a purposefully loud voice "It's true, they were bigger in those days!", a view readily agreed to by other contemporaries in the gallery. For, yes, the proof is out there. The Opie Collection has an original wagon Wheel, and it is vast.|
|Nicey replies: We have heard anecdotal evidence that the initial 1950's Wagon Wheels were bigger, and so you have lent this considerable credence now. It would be interesting to know if it did have the same diameter as the primal Australian Westons Wagon Wheel that we got hold of a few years back.|