|John E Noir
||Dear Nicey, Wifey and YMOS,|
Hope you enjoyed your bicycle tour and are fully recovered from any lingering saddle soreness.
As you may be aware I have expressed interest in fruitcake elsewhere in your lovely site. Your recent fruitcake symposium prompted me to muse on the acceptability of serving fruitcake with cheese.
It is traditional in this part of Yorkshire to serve a fruitcake with a nice bit o' Wensleydale a la Wallace and Grommitt. Other similar crumbly cheeses such as Lancashire may pass muster (but NOT in Yorkshire!) It is my opinion that a good moist cake could also stand a nice mature cheddar but it would seem unacceptable to muck it about with blue cheeses or waxy cheeses like Edam or Gouda. I also have reservations about the newer varieties of Wensleydale that incorporate fruits in the cheese such as cranberries or apricot. Not that I have anything against cheese like this just served with fruitcake it seems to be "Gilding the Lily"
I am sure your readers would welcome your opinion on this delicate subject and look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.
I include a picture of a recent dabbling into cheese/cake combining and also another pic not necessarily of my addiction to cheese but just to prove the exceptionally dark beverage in the first pic is actually tea served black rather than coffee.
John E Noir
|Nicey replies: I think my thoughts on this is that it's a Yorkshire thing that I have no direct experience of. It has been mentioned before but always in the context of Yorkshire-ness. Mind you I do imagine that Caerphilly cheese would work too.
We visited Caerphilly in May on a rainy day to see the excellent castle. Afterwards we had a spot of lunch in the town but couldn't find any Cearphilly cheese for sale which was a bit of a blow.
Here's a picture of the castle not the cheese
A friend of mine has recently moved house and his new local have a tradition of sharing cheese on a Monday evening.
Last Monday my friend made his debut appearance in the said establishment and was presented with a ‘TUC’ biscuit to accompany his cheese. He said “thanks for the tuc biscuit”. To which the reply was “It is a T.U.C. biscuit, not tuc!”
Who is right? And if it is T.U.C. does it stand for ‘tasty under cheese’?
|Nicey replies: It's a 'tuc' biscuit (actually a cracker really).
The strap line is 'TUC in', so it seems pretty wrong to 'T.U.C. in' even more wrong to 'Trades Union Congress in'.
Not quite sure what it stands for but I always thought it was evoking links with either tuckshops or Frier Tuck.
|Jon Barry Coldwell
My Grocers inform me that Bath Oliver Biscuits are 'out-of-production' and supplies have ceased. How can this be? Well I note that in recent years they were made by the Jacobs company a manufacturer that was taken over by the food giant Danone. Now, Danone is a French firm. You might say "say no more" and conclude that on the bicentenary of Lord Nelson's victory at Trafalgar they determined to strike a rearguard action against the epicurean heart of Old England. At sea and on the land they could not defeat the stalwart John Bull; resorting to underhand commercial practices they have sought to deprive their old enemy of a culinary masterpiece that has sustained and delighted discerning gentlefolk in this sceptred isle for some two hundred years. Is it time once again for this Nation to to awake from its slumbers and assert itself to curtail the excesses of these continental bullies? I caution against precipitate action. Let us first take up the pen and alert members of parliament and the barons of the media to this outrage with a demand that the shopkeepers of England be once again able to obtain supplies of sustenance made to Dr Oliver's singular recipe. We have a Royal Prince whose own endeavours have delighted the hours of many a biscuit lovers life; would it be a great presumption to humbly beg indulgences that the Duchy seize the day and take over production of the pale delight. Then William's genius could be reborn in even greater glory as the "Royal Bath Oliver Biscuits".
Jon Barry Coldwell
|Nicey replies: Jacob's UK business was acquired by United Biscuits over a year ago. We recently purchased Bath Oliver's in Sainsbury's and Waitrose, I've also seen them in Budgens and some independent stores. If they have taken the step of ceasing production then this must have happened very recently indeed, and it would be a huge pity.
Kimberley and Chocolate Kimberley Review
I was interested to note the recent emails concerning our Russian cousins' drinking of tea with jam, and would like to tell Nicky Bramley about my Polish experience: one of the jams of choice which was added to tea in that fine country, by my unfine fellow-at-the-time, was rose jam. It had petals and everything (when I say 'everything' I exclude thorns and hips and leaves and stalks and roots). Rose jam is also a popular choice in Poland's famous doughnuts, which are merrily scoffed in a pre-Lenten fashion (a la pancakes), as is cheese. But that is another - and quite dangerous - matter. Imagine those petals floating up in your tea! Very pretty.
PS I am currently downing vats of tea (milked, not jammed) in order to rid my mouth of the unpleasant sensation of a Jacobs Kimberley. How can these atrocities be permitted in this day and age?
Fruit Shortcake Review
I think its important to warn people of the danger that crumbs can bring. If you bring your elbow down on one (particularly on a vinyl or pvc tablecloth) and the crumb is at the right (or indeed more accurately wrong) angle it don’t arf hurt! Worst injuries are from a ginger nut so take care! Next thing you know MVities will be getting a raft of legal actions to deal with in todays sueing culture…. what about on packet warnings?
Another thing, I have a mild complaint, I,like pretty much everyone else, enjoy a really lovely cup of tea, sit down and biscuit or cake. BUT what about a cuppa with beans on toast or cheese on toast, or indeed with a lovely fry up? I mean any site that really knows its teas should cover the savoury side of tea enjoyment! Come on what do you think?Its a whole area of tea based pleasure that is simply being neglected by you and the faithful site regulars in my humble opinion. Personally I recommend ASSAM with any savoury comestibles.
Warmest tea loving regards
PS – I do agree with your opinion that fruit shortcake does give you more than you ask of it. I still think gingers are king mind!
|Nicey replies: Maybe McVities should inject some gritty realism into their 'Crumbs' TV campaign to show people flicking crumbs about then suffering terrible elbow lesions as the lean on them.
As for the role of tea with toast and fry ups we often discuss such matters, behold the might of our toast icon, which can also be accompanied by the cheese icon.