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I’ve been following with interest the thread of the elusive chocolate garibaldi. I can assure you that the biscuit did exist – in both plain and milk chocolate form! Many years ago in my youth, I had a weekend job at the local Waitrose supermarket, who stocked the cherished biscuit. This was late 70’s/early 80’s. The brand was ‘Chiltonian’, a brand that seems to have gone into obscurity, just like the biscuit. The plain chocolate version was my particular favourite; I always think plain chocolate and dried fruit go together well. The biscuit always worked better if kept in the fridge, just to keep the chocolate on the firm side. It also made separating the next biscuit from the garibaldi strip a little easier and stopped your fingers getting covered in chocolate.
I’m now living in the States, where any good biscuits are hard to come by, although the Yanks do make some acceptable fig rolls (can’t eat a whole packet of those though!). Like my fellow expat in search of the ‘Dundee’, my electric kettle also raises some eyebrows. It was the last one in the store and the shopkeeper still gave me a discount to take it off his hands. It takes ages to boil using this weak American electricity but it still makes nice cup of tea, with a British tea bag of course. They don’t know what they’re missing!
Keep up the good work,
Lu Mikado Review
|Interesting to hear from Pete Moody about Pocky. Our friends brought some all the way home from Hong Kong for us to try out, not bad we thought, but we won't get any more until they go out there again. Then one day, sheltering from the rain on the way to Asda, I nipped into our little Chinese supermarket in Peterborough and there they were! Chocolate and strawberry varieties, and a savoury type as well. The strawberry ones smell like strawberry, but taste like those little white chocolate mice and leave a fuzzy coating on your tongue. Having said that, I prefer them to the chocolate ones.|
My current biscuit craze came back with me from a visit to Holland - stroopwaffeln or syrup waffles - two thin crispy biscuits with a layer of toffee syrup between. They are hard and chewy at room temperature, but balance them over a hot cup of tea for 10-20 seconds and behold - soft and gloopy on the inside and still crunchy on the outside. When I finished the packet I brought home, I thought again that there would be no more until my next visit. Then again Peterborough does the business! We've had a continental street market, complete with a lovely Dutch lady selling syrup waffles.
People may say uncomplimentary things about Peterborough, but we seem to have an international biscuit trade here - I'm off to see what else I can find!
Griffins Sultana Pasties Review
|I was hoping that, given your knowledge of all things biscuit-like, you would be able to assist in tracking down a confection from my mother's New Zealand youth. She claims they were called something like 'Chocolate Raisin Pasties' and comprised a sort of pastry case filled with raisins, and the whole covered in chocolate. Apparently they were small and dunk-able, as she remembers her father indulging in this habit. Any ideas?|
|Nicey replies: Sultana pasties, follow the link to our review.|
Bahlsen Crumblys Review
|Hello again Nicey!|
Just returned from holiday to find that I'm mentioned in the September Newsletter! Yay! Delighted that the Yoda Mug Story had such a happy and successful ending...
You might be interested to know that whilst in Corfu we managed to pick up a couple of packets of the chocolate Bahlsen Crumbly's! Woo! They are fantastic - well done to the little supermarket in Kassiopi for stocking them; we were most excited to find them on the shelf! Pity they didn't have the other two flavours, but it's still a good introduction to the species!
I managed to bring a packet back for the delectation of my colleagues - although we did have to pack it in the suitcase to prevent in-flight biscuit cravings getting the better of us... I am pleased to report that the chaps in the office also heartily approved (although of course their recent rapid consumption of the weird cranberry cookies from America does suggest that they are not too choosy in the biscuit department!) and the Crumbly's disappeared pretty quickly. Looking forward to finding the other two flavours soon!
|Nicey replies: Wonderful,
If nothing else Joanna your lovely message gives me an excuse to use my Holiday icon, Woo.
Tricky office problem for which we need your sage advice. One of the major pre-occupations at work is of course buscuits, as we work in a small village with no canteen or shop, buscuits have become a very major source of calories for many of us as we can't be arsed to make sandwiches in the morning of bring a nice healthy bit of fruit with us to the office. Attendance at internal meetings is excellent not because of the meetings but due to the availability of buscuits and we are forever inviting customers over for a chat at all hours of the day and night just to give us an excuse for "official biscuits". But enough background, now to the nub (or should that be nob of the problem).........
Outside of meetings there is, of course, a biscuit rota to which we all contribute and take it in turns to actually go out and buy a selection of goodies for the hordes......ahh I can see you are already ahead of me here, yes we are into the dangerous world of what your purchase of biscuits says about you in a public context.
We have no problem with those of us who buy the "value" packs as we are all pigs and are just looking for cheap sugar rushes, however one of our ilk insists on inflicting his poor taste in buscuits whenever it is his turn by always buying the wretched bourbon, a biscuit I have never seen the point of, which nobody else likes with the result that said person gets an unfair amount of buscuits 'cos they're the only one that likes them.
Despite public outcry he still insists on bying them so how do we stop him buying these frankly overated items whilst still getting him to buy his share?
|Nicey replies: Yes Richard I see your problem. This is a much more common problem than you may think.
You are however in a good position at least this particular individual buy's his share rather than nothing at all, choosing to ponce all his biscuits from you. There are really only two ways out of this, persuade them to buy something different or grow to like Bourbons.
Lets take the first. A program of biscuit therapy and analysis. Expose them to other sorts of reasonably priced chocolate based biscuits and suggest they could buy them next time round. The Maryland Double Choc shouldn't be too much of a leap for them. This might break their buying cycle. Also try and find out what it is that is so compelling to them about the Bourbon, you may have to go back to early childhood memories here. Perhaps, they will recall another biscuit with similar emotional resonance, and they could get those next time.
Finally as you know I am fairly ambivalent towards the Bourbon myself, however, if you do have to eat them aim for a quality brand like Crawfords. We had some Elkes Bourbans last week and they were very poor. Maybe if you insisted on nice Bourbons you may grow to like them or they may find it too much hassle tracking them down, and choose something else.
Hope this helps.