Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
To help you work out what is what, are now little icons to help you see biscuit related themes. And now you can see at a glance which are the most contested subjects via this graph (requires Flash 6.0 plugin).
Please keep your mails coming in to email@example.com
If you like, you can use this search thingy to find stuff that matches with any of the icons you pick, or use the fantastic free text search, Yay!
|Far back in the dim and distant past (the late sixties and early seventies) I was in love with the most wonderful biscuit on Earth - the plain chocolate garibaldi. Now of course, the milk chocolate garibaldi was good, but the bitterness of the dark chocolate combined with the sweetness of the fruit made this, for me, the ultimate in 'sitting with my grandfather watching television' treats.|
Sadly, I have not seen such delights for many years, although a friend of mine once presented me with a Christmas gift of several packets worth of garibaldi over which he had carefully spread melted chocolate.
Ah... those lost biscuits of the past...
|Nicey replies: Nick,
Yes our best information on the Chocolate Gariballdi is that it was probably made by the now defunct south London biscuit manufacturer Chiltonian biscuits. Not only were they able to cover some in chocolate but theirs were much more moist than today's Gariballdis. When ever I'm in the presence of one of the powerful people in the biscuit world I habitually put in a plea to bring back the Chocolate Gariballdi. So far there is no sign of this happening.
|Dear Nicey, |
As one who fondly remembers the launch of the Breakaway ("nudge, nudge, wink, wink...") all those years ago, I'm sure the digestive innards have changed.
Tasting one now there seems to be a taste of coconut in there somewhere, which I'm sure wasn't in the original. Has anyone else noticed this?
Also, whilst writing, I got given some Peruvian biscuits and I put them somewhere safe, planning secret munching and a possible review for you.
Imagine my horror to find that ''Er Indoors' had found and scofffed them. Not only that, but she said she didn't enjoy them anyway!
|Nicey replies: Vic,
I'm sure that the digestive was much more Digestive like in Breakaways of old, it seems a little derivaive now but I wouldn't go as far as saying coconuty, although I haven't had one in a while.
As for your Peruvian biscuits this is the eternal problem suffered by those of us who thirst for biscuit knowledge, and I've seen it happen time and time again. They get eaten by the other half, and then they give you a hard time for getting in some strange biscuits that they don't like. One of the benefits of running NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown is that Wifey now actually observes and respects my review biscuits and holding tins. Unless of course I have more than one packet of something then its open season.
Fox's Butter Crinkle Crunch Review
|Dear Nicey, Wifey and YMoS,|
I have recently discovered that the office in which I work appears to exist in its own separate pocket of the universe, a pocket in which the usual rules of food decomposition do not apply. I am not sure whether to rejoice or be scared, and so I wanted to consult you on the matter.
You see, some time ago my boss bought me two packets of biscuits to have with my office-time cuppa (and you'll agree that this was kind when I tell you that he doesn't really bother with a cuppa, or biscuits, himself). Now as I've been doing my very best lately to get a bit slimmer (the lot of so many a female), I've been watching my intake of all things sweet, biscuits included. Thus I have stretched out the two packets for what I think is something like a month. The extraordinary thing is that despite a whole month passing, the biscuits are lasting really, really well. Incredibly so, given that they are not getting any special preservation treatment; they are not in any kind of Tupperware or tin box, they're just sitting on a shelf. I haven't even been giving them any special folding-the-packet-and-securing-with-a-peg treatment as I've seen my aunty do. Just a very light twisting of the empty part of the packet, which I believe is fairly standard.
Despite the lack of preservation efforts, there is barely any softening of the biscuits. One of the packets is Tesco's own-brand Ginger Nuts, and while the one I have just eaten is ever-so-slightly softer than a brand-new one, it is still much harder than a normal biscuit, which is what one comes to expect of a Ginger Nut. Bear in mind that this was the one off the top of the packet! Imagine the ones below! Stranger still is the other packet, which I'd been led to believe from your reviews, is a biscuit that can go stale extremely quickly - Fox's Butter Crunch Crinkle. A month old, and I swear to you, they retain full crunch. What, in the name of all things good, is going on??
I am obviously delighted that I don't have to throw any biscuits out (Heaven forfend!) and that I can still enjoy them after all this time, but I'm a bit confused by it and starting to wonder if I should be freaking out. I'm certainly racking my brain to come up with an explanation. This being Ireland, it goes without saying that the weather is not exactly tropical, and coldness probably helps preservation, but I don't think this explains it, so I hoped you would have some thoughts. Perhaps you know something I don't, e.g. that the biscuit manufacturers are going to town lately on the preservatives?
After that, my only thought is that it is something to do with my boss. My biscuits are not the only thing odd in the office - the other is that my boss is actually very nice, which I am fairly sure is quite a unique phenomenon. Not only did he buy me biscuits, he's also prone to saying things like "well it's Friday evening, you might as well scarper home a couple of hours early if you like". Amazing. I'm beginning to suspect that two such odd phenomena, in the one office, must be related - that the utter bizarre-ness of someone's boss being nice has thrown the Universe into confusion, a confusion which has manifested itself in everlasting biscuits.
What do you think?
Yours in confusion,
|Nicey replies: Dear Mrs Viscount,
Indeed it is very odd that your Butter Crinkle Crunch are not going all limp. There must be some powerful dehumidifying going on in your office possibly due to over-zealous air conditioning. Normally such dry air is a bit unpleasant as it actually dehydrates the people working in it. As you are in Ireland perhaps the very high tea intake you'll no doubt have and residual Irish weather permeating your attire protects you from this.
As for your Boss he probably want's to go home early too. Either that or he is an alien with some strange need for the moisture harvested from Irish people. Its probably the first thing though.
||Hi there. After spotting the McVities White Chocolate digestives on your site recently our office has been keen to try them. Imagine our dissapointment on finally securing a box of these tempting biscuits to discover the thin veneer of white chocolate adhering to their top surface (see picture attached).|
The white chocolate is thinner than thin Jack McThin winner of the all Scotland Mr. Thin competion. At the outer edges of the digestive the chocolate is barely there at all. In terms of taste it is all digestive and no chocolate. The levels of chocolate appear to be no where near what is found on a Plain or Milk chocolate digestive. Maybe it is an optical illusion with the darker biscuit showing up more under the white chocolate?
Did we get a dud packet or are they all like this?
|Nicey replies: Adam,
It's my recollection that McVities have applied the white chocolate at its standard chocolate to digestive ratio of 29%. Normally as in this weeks BOTW from Fox's White chocolate is applied a bit thicker than its traditional brothers to compensate for it being naturally a bit insipid. This is because it lacks the dark and bitter 'cocoa mass' of ordinary chocolate but relies on the fatty cocoa butter for its bulk and flavour usually with some skimmed milk.
|Hi there, brilliant site which really cheers me up.|
Re Digestives. A friend of mine has been seriously ill this year and had to spend long periods in bed in hospital, with consequential problems in the downstairs department – problems in keeping her insides smoothly flowing. Despite my offering healthy alternatives, she found that what really did work best were Digestives, whereupon we found that that is what they were developed for and why they have that name. A cup of cocoa at night and a couple of Digestives did the trick and she awoke in regular order. However, the best ones were Doves’ organic digestives. Not so much I think because they are organic as because they are less fatty and sugary and there is more to get your teeth into and for your insides to grip onto.
You call Hobnobs “classics” but really they have not been going that long compared with Digestives and any fool can tell that they are just bits held together with sugar. They are less substantial and cannot satisfy the inner woman.
Ps she had to supply and make her own cocoa and supply her own biscuits – all while on chemotherapy!- but my father in hospital in Wales got his as part of the service. Apparently the staff in both hospitals know full well that biscuits and cocoa help you sleep at night but only the Welsh had the budget for food; in London they could only prescribe sleeping pills to do the same job! Imagine!
|Nicey replies: Hello Norma,
Thank you for this heart warming tale of dietary fibre.
I think I called the HobNob an instant classic, meaning that since its launch it straight away acquired the stature of a much more mature biscuit. Its recent low fat incarnation is a very different beast and I think they might give your Dove's Farm Organic Digestives a run for their money in the roughage department.