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McVities Light Range Review
as a devoted fan of biscuits and a keen follower of your website, when I saw the article on McVities Light biscuits I felt I had to email you as just the other day I picked up the wrong pack of Hobnobs in the supermarket and came away with the "diet" version.
I'm sure there are many people out there who, like yourself, love ANYthing oaty. I too enjoy oats but am not such an avid devotee and I must say this new Light Hobnob is not one I shall ever be buying again. Pale, lacking in nice oaty flakiness, and hard as nails (although this latter character does allow the tea-dunker a little extra time to chatter while on tea break before eating the suitablely softened so-called Hobnob). I found them somewhat lacking in flavour, unless you enjoy stale oats and loath the buttery yummy taste of real, properly calorific biccies.
However, I am more than happy for McVities to continue their production of this range; while the figure-concious and oat-fanatic folk are out buying Light Hobnobs, they're leaving more of the proper oaty delicacies on the shelf for me....Hooray!
Long live all those who feast on biccies daily!
I couldn't read your news item about the change from PG to Tetley on the trains without bursting into type to redress the balance. You run a fine and great website but sometimes the "PG Tips bias" is too great for a Tetley man like myself to take.
PG make perfectly fine tea, granted, but given he choice Tetley is always the cuppa for me. Am i the only one that finds PG slightly bitter? Or is this an after effect of the many disgustingly stewed cuppas i used to get at my Nana and Granddad's?
While I'm on the issue, my Nana used to (my Great Aunt still does) "refresh the pot" with new boiling water. Leading to horribly stewed tea. Is this a relic of the war time rationing, an attempt to reuse tea?? Do some young hip-retro-post-ironic tea drinkers still do this nasty and evil practise?
PS: I'm on the market to buy a new teapot any suggestions welcome :-))
|Nicey replies: Hello Russell,
I completely agree with you except that personally I find Tetley a bit bitter, although I'll drink it when needs be. Also we always top up the pot as its only sensible. As for advice on teapot buying there is a chapter on that in our book.
Ponghak Butter Review
No, I'm not from North Korea, so you can put down that grenade.
Reading your article from last October, I was wondering why a biscuit from North Korea would look like a Sumerian tablet when I realized the picture must be upside down; if you rotate the picture you have on your site the letters "????" are legible. "??" is the North Korean way of pronouncing butter (something like ba* da) while "??" is the all-encompassing term for a snack/munchie/treat, so the design on top of the biscuit is actually "butter biscuit" in Korean, surrounded by weird circles and dots.
I don't think I'd like to try one, though.
|Nicey replies: Thanks Yoonna,
Yes I thought I only had a 50:50 chance of having it the right way up. Thank you again for deciphering it for us.
Note: There were lots of lovely Korean character things in Yoonnas message but I can't figure out how to get them on to NCOTAASD
Iced Gems Review
|Hi nicey & wifey|
We been greatly interested in the "die hard with a biscuit" scenario, and it has been much discussed. We suspect that whilst being useless as a weapon, garibaldi slabs would make good substitutes for Kevlar, when used in body armour vests... However, on the offensive, we favour firstly scattering a few packs of iced gems on the floor... Mr Willis invariably fights barefooted, we believe, and the tiny spikes pressing into his feet would undoubtably slow him up. We favour the McVities ginger nut for the coup de
gras as it is just the hardest on the block.
Meanwhile my colleague is just about to bring down a nice cuppa, and I am hoping that I don't get the black mug. (Stay away from the dark side, my son)
Keep up the good work
|Dr Greg James
I note that you have included an interesting diagram on your website which shows a simplistic taxonomy of biscuits. I have been interested in the classification of biscuits ever since a throwaway (in her eyes) comment by the wife that a bourbon "is basically just a chocolate custard cream". Obviously this madness made me splutter out my tea. However I had no scientific proof to argue my case. My wife had clearly thought "same sandwich morphology ergo same essential biscuit". Since this horrendous episode I have been labouring to produce a rigorous and logical biscuit taxonomy. I have based my classification on three variables (or dimensions): 1. substance, including flavour if it is an essential component of the substance (i.e. a bourbon is made of "chocolate biscuit", whereas a chocolate digestive is "plain digestive" with the chocolate coating classified as an extra [see 3]); 2. morphology (e.g. disc, rectangular, sandwich); 3. extras (e.g. raisins, chocolate coating, jam filling). However this "3-dimension" approach, whilst giving a framework for the accurate description of most biscuits, is slightly long winded and lacks a natural "feel" for the inherent differences between, say, the aforementioned bourbon and custard cream. Does anyone else have a decent and reliable classification for biscuits? How does this fare when differentiating biscuits from cakes and chocolate bars? I tend to use the simple "if packed and/or purchasable as individual items it is unlikely to be a true biscuit" rule of thumb. Any comments?
Dr Greg James
|Nicey replies: Dr Greg,
There is of course a much bigger Venn diagram in our book. However, the custard cream and bourbon both find themselves in the sandwich biscuit section. The answer to your particular issue is that of course a bourbon isn't a chocolate custard cream or else it would look like one which it doesn't (your second morphology point), also Bourbons should have some little sugar crystals in the upper surface which counts as extras.
A much more compelling argument can be made for the Penguin being a chocolate covered bourbon, although it isn't.
The fact that recently in the last two weeks we've seen biscuit classification taught as an exercise to undergraduates at Bristol University shows that this isn't a trivial matter.
As a Dr you should also know that this is the kind of comment made by wives to husbands designed to elicit a response. Wifey will frequently taunt me with her views on Jaffa Cakes, such as the time we were This Morning with Fern and Philip.