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Kimberley and Chocolate Kimberley Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
Two things. Well, three actually.
1. The book is amazing.
2. I am using it for genuine educational purposes in a University setting. Is this a first? I teach Introduction to Archaeology to 83 first year undergraduate students and in Monday's lecture we will be exploring typology and taxonomies, seriation and the suchlike, and I have decided to make this a hands-on practical involving biscuit sorting. The whole point is to beautifully illustrate the subjectivity of classification, with the added bonus of eating the demonstration materials. Anyway, your book has been properly cited and I'll try and sneak it onto the reading list.
3. As a child of Norn Iron (indeed, of Portaferry, where I read you had visited during the summer) I was unaware that kimberley-mikados-and-coconut-creams were a) separate biscuits and b) unavailable in the rest of the UK, so your book has educated me hugely, and now I've got that annoying jingle stuck in my head on a permanent basis. Thanks for that. Oh, and I tried buying them in Tesco's in Ards shopping centre when I was last home, but their biscuit selection was crap and they had none.
Keep up the good work,
All the best,
|Nicey replies: Well it's probably a first in that sense. A chap at Bath University is translating it into Chinese for his MA, I asked if they could get somebody to translate it back when he was done as I'd like to see how it turned out.|
Further to recent correspondence regarding the whole "biscuits as weapons" thing I would like to introduce the idea of "biscuits as eductional tools". As part of our training we are required to have a basic understanding of materials and mechanics. For the most part it is very basic ( i.e non-existant ) so we have regular teaching sesions which attempt to address this. A few years ago a nice lady who is a world reknowned expert in material science came to teach us for an afternoon. She clearly realised that she was trying to educate morons and had tailored her talk accordingly. She was using examples of everyday items to illustrate various points and it seemed quite easy when she explained it. Well, we all seemed to be grasping it so she moved on to the concepts of brittleness and surface hardness. She demonstrated ductility by bending a plastic ruler which we could all understand and then she passed round a packet of McVities digestive biscuits (which instantly increased her popularity) and invited us to break them in half thereby demonstrating that they do not bend much before breaking because they are brittle. Then she asked us to run our fingernail down the surface and observe the resulting scratch. Thus the concept of surface hardness and the production of asperities by 3rd body wear was easily explained to 20 or so trainee orthopaedic surgeons who are well known for being thick.
Naturally I felt you would wish to know of this example of biscuits contributing to the greater good of man and increasing the sum of human knowledge. It occurs to me now that it would be useful to conduct a trial of various biscuits to compare surface properties starting with the addition of chocolate to the digestive........ And if you are going to have an icon for "biscuits as weapons" do you think we could have one for "biscuits as educational tools"?
I am deeply grateful for the top tip on the mint chocolate digestives, by the way. I think they would be the starting point for any educational research I would try.
I much enjoy your website, devoted as it is to... well the best things in life.
I've just voted in your current biscuit poll (but not currant biscuit poll obviously). I think it's a grand idea to show pictures of what you've just voted for, and the poll leaders.
This, however, leads on to my problem.
My favourite biscuits are from the hobnob family. I find that local supermarkets tend not to stock the
dark chocolate hobnobs, so for reasons of (local) exclusivity they are the worthy recipient of my "best" vote. (Honourable mention must go to the figrolls that some misguided fools have shown as "yuckiest"). I notice that the pictures used for dark chocolate hobnob and dark chocolate digestive appear to be ONE AND THE SAME. Obviously I realise that biscuit production methods might mean the topping is
applied in identical faashion to both biscuits. In which case I will accept your categoric assurance that the pictures are genuine. Might I be so bold as to suggest that side views could be shown in addition, so that no such confusion ensues.
I am pleased to see pink wafers getting the scorn they deserve. Quite how coloured cardboard comes to be sold as a comestible is beyond me. A dishonourable mention to Kimberleys. Not sure why they aren't a clear second place.
Keep up the good work
|Nicey replies: Tim,
You have of course spotted my guilty secret, namely that I didn't have a dark chocolate Hobnob picture so switched in a Dark Digestive. It's also plainly time that I sorted out the votes and told everybody what has been happening. I shall get to it right away.
I can say however in advance that the Top 10s are as follows:
- Dark Chocolate Digestive
- Milk Chocolate Digestive
- Milk Chocolate Hobnob
- Jaffa Cake
- Dark Chocolate Hobnob
- Chocolate Caramel Digestive
- Custard cream
- Milk Chocolate Digestive
- Dark Chocolate Digestive
- Rich Tea
- Jaffa Cake
- Custard cream
- Choc chip cookie
- Pink Wafers
- Fig Roll
- Rich Tea
- Lemon Puff
- Iced Gems
- Jaffa cake
Well done to the Gingernut and Jaffa cake for appearing in all three top 10s. Also we would like to add that the Jaffa cake is of course still a small cake despite its inclusion in the poll. Mind you maybe the VAT man will use this very poll as evidence next time they thrash out the eternal debate.
Iced Gems Review
|Dear Nicey --|
I am thoroughly enjoying your book! Yes, I am writing you from the USA; and no, the book was not a gift, I bought it on my own. I am somewhat one of those foodies (however, I only enjoy 'food' books if they're well written). FYI -- I discovered your book thru a catalog I get called A Common Reader.
I am nearly finished with the book and have just gotten thru with the 'Icing' chapter. I have indulged in some biscuits, mostly the Marie/Maria type. But after just reading about Iced Gems, I realized I also ate these as a child here in the States (Los Angeles), but I called them Belly Button Cookies.
I am of Chinese descent & oddly enough there are always a fair number of British-type cookies & crackers that are sold in the Chinese market (I don't know if this has to do with the British occupation of Hong Kong for so many years). My non-English speaking paternal grandmother often bought us 'cookies' while we took her on her weekly shopping expeditions to the market in Chinatown.
I was actually looking for these Belly Button Cookies recently in a Chinese market due more for nostalgia than anything else. However, I was unable to find them. I had no idea the cookies were originally from England.
However, my best friend's husband has been traveling often to London lately & I haven't been able to think of anything for him to bring back for me. Guess I now know what to ask for. To make his search easier, will he be able to find the Iced Gems at a Safeway? Or would he be better off at a Sainsbury? Or do you have a better suggestion? (I've been to London twice (& the first time I was sent on a mad hunt for a particular type of mustard for a friend that I found in a Safeway of all places)).
Thanks much for your time! Keep up the great website & I hope there's another book from you soon!
|Nicey replies: Hi Anita,
Glad to hear that we have put you in touch with the icing of your youth. Your friends husband will have no problem tracking down a sack of Iced Gems for you all the big supermarkets have them. They are available in fruit flavours or lately chocolate so probably best if he gets the fruity ones.
Morning Coffee Review
|I was undersatndably worried by the impending extinction of Morning Coffee biccies whern I read it on your site. Imagine my joy and relief at discovering a whole herd of them in Morrisons@leeds|
(dodgy) photographic evidence attached.
|Nicey replies: Indeed reason 749 to shop at Morrisons. Nice surveillance work too. I too often want to photograph the biscuit aisle as a useful historic record, but for one reason or another am prevented from doing so.|