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I know i'm in the minority here but i'm partial to the odd Nice biscuit. I've had my suspicions for a while now but they have been confirmed by my latest packet sat on my desk right now. The sugar that used to adorn the top of the biscuits seems to have almost disappeared into some half-arsed powdery sweet topping. There's not a lot of it either. I started eating Nice biscuits when my gran (gawd rest 'er soul) used to feed me them with a cup of her superbly made tea. The biscuit glistened with it's abundant crystalline sugar coating. It was like a scene out of Narnia (kind of). I'm actually seeing now why people are so against this biscuit. I know we've talked in the past about how manufacturer's may or may not be downsizing and degrading the quality of their product. Some of the time we know this to be fact, other times just a bi-product of getting older and bigger. This, however is a case of fact and it's upset me. I don't want to mention any names but they are Morrison's brand. No wonder they announced pre-tax losses of millions two days ago. My advice, start by improving your Nice biscuits and everything else will fall into place.
|Nicey replies: Jim,
In the odd Yin and Yang world of NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown I shall immediately follow up your post with a good Morrisons story. By the way my spell checker really wants me to change their name to morons or Mormons, so it's a safe bet they don't have branches in San Francisco Bay area, although it's heard of the other two.
Fruit Shortcake Review
|I need to learn to drink tea, but so far i find it disgusting without sugar! (my parents say "you shouldn't drink tea with sugar") I have been told that tea-drinking is an essential part of British culture and socialising, and i'm scared that without it I may become an outcast, due to being difficult by asking for orange juice etc. woe is me! (I can make tea in a pot or with a teabag, but I really don't think that's good enough) HOW DO YOU LEARN TO DRINK TEA!?!?!?!?!?|
|Nicey replies: Amber,
You simply need to knuckle down and drink lots of tea. What will definitely help are some nice straight forward biscuits, nothing too fancy as you are looking for the tea to play its part in the proceedings, and not be drowned out. I would say try a few fruit shortcakes with your next cuppa and see how you get on. Also it helps if you really need your cup of tea, so I would suggest any number of physical pursuits to get your need for tea increased. Try short bursts of tidying up the house, between 15-30 minutes. This should have you screaming for a cuppa, sugar or not. If this doesn't work then you could always get a job on a building site, or in the NHS where tea drinking tends to part of the training.
I'm reading through your book at the moment (£3 in FOPP, a bargain — hardback too) and thoroughly enjoying myself with it.
A quick search around your lovely site here and a trawl through the feedback, and I can find no mention of the long-deceased Caramac-covered digestive. Now, it may have been covered in depth, but I just can't find it; or possibly no-one cared very much for them, and so erased the memories... but I know they existed. I have strong memories of me and my sister melting the sickly coating in front of a two-bar heater, risking scorched fingertips in the process, to lick off the molten goodness. Oh…such pleasure! I think we are talking circa 1975 here. No surprises that it went out of production, I suspect that even for the hardened sweet-tooth, too much Caramac can cause untold dental aching.
Yours, in biscuits,
|Nicey replies: Mark,
Yes these Caramac Digestives have been mentioned to me once or twice. I never had them, although the odd Caramac itself used to come briefly into my possession. I could never really understand why they were always so thin, surely there would have been a market for a Caramac built along similar lines as a family bar of Cadbury's milk. As for the biscuits, if they really were carrying a payload of genuine Caramac then they would have been something to do with Rowntree - Mackintosh, who were of course taken over by Nestlé in the mid 1980s.
Ginger Nut Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey|
First of all let me say how much I enjoyed the book. Your analysis was trenchant, your observations acute, but above all the whole experience was vastly comforting. I have just one question: in your section on ginger nuts you do not mention one aspect which to me has been very obvious - namely, that over the years, the "crunch levels", as I'm told they in the trade call them, have been drastically lowered. When I was a child you could nearly break a tooth on a ginger nut, whereas nowadays they bite quite easily. My theory is that they are worried about people suing for dentists' bills. What do you think?
Also, when in Rome recently I ordered some tea with milk and was brought some mint tea with hot milk added!
Incidentally I think everyone should stop slagging off Earl Grey. If you find it too weak by itself it makes
a lovely cuppa mixed with ordinary at a ratio of about 1:4.
PS Why doesn't wifey say very much?
|Nicey replies: Liz,
Yes you may indeed have a point there, although I think the status quo has remained static for some time now on that front. Certainly I recall that many own many supermarket own label gingernuts were much much harder that McVities. Today they are simply a bit harder.
I don't think those who avoid Earl Grey are objecting to it's strength, rather, its bergamot oil.
Trust me Wifey says loads, but not always on this website.
McVities Light Range Review
|Hi Nicey & all at NCOTAASD,|
Excellent review about all those new "Light" bikkies and nice to see you are willing to get down and dirty with some technical details when the occasion calls for it.
Down here in Oz we have had outbreaks of so-called "Lite" things generally (not just biscuits) from time to time. Usually they have somewhat reduced fat content, but to compensate they tend to crank up the sugar content to rather frightening levels. Oh, and they might also take the opportunity to emphasise the word "Natural" on the packaging in connection with this.
You gave an admirable commentary on the fat aspect of the McVities range but remained curiously silent on their sugar content. As it will probably be some time before we get to see any of the new McVities range, if at all, can you satisfy my curiosity and comment on this?
Keep up the good work!
|Nicey replies: Hello Brian,
Thankfully they didn't appear to ramp up the sugar, which as you point out is often the case in low fat recipes. One thing to bear in mind especially with the Digestive is that the standard biscuit is actually has a far higher fat content than most people suspect. So there is plenty of room for manoeuvre.