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).
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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!
Jacob's Orange Club Review
|Dear Nicey and crew|
Talking of family holidays and what might accompany you in your thermos flasks. My lasting memories of travelling to South Wales in the summertime in the 1960s always conjures up the road side stops, when you pulled into the lay-by (alongside a few other folk travelling to the seaside), opened up the boot, and Mum would produce loads of Tupperware boxes, filled with sandwiches, tomatoes, apples, Club biscuits (generally a bit sticky cos they'd melted), etc. We generally had a nice bit of Madeira cake too. It might have been the height of summer, but there was also a thermos or two of soup (one filled with cream of tomato and the other vegetable or minestrone (quite continental for us at the time!)). Grown ups of course had their thermos of tea - we youngsters had blackcurrant cordial. Fantastic!
PS: As I recall, our thermos flasks tended to have some kind of tartan pattern on the outside.
|Nicey replies: Yes our flask icon is intended to show some tartan action. Our new flask as seen in the last newsletter is one of those new fangled brushed metal ones but we do like it none the less. Which reminds me we really should write another newsletter.|
Weston's Wagon Wheels Review
|Hello again nicey and family,|
Just perused an email on your site about WWs and realised that here in the Great Southern Land you can buy lots of different types of wagon wheels viz standard WWs - one to a packet in regulation size (largest in the world now? - gotta love it) biscuit sized in packs of 12 in standard WW flavour, strawberry choc (ie they are pink on the outside and taste like it) and vanilla choc (they are white - what IS the purpose of white chocolate?) mini sized in double choc and jaffa
You can also buy Korean 'moon pies" by Lotte - they look like pregnant WWs and taste stange - no jam, funny oriental marsh mallow and a VW bug kind of profile.
Choc bikkies are out of control in this country - saw some Kahlua flavoured slices (a mint slice with Kahlua cream) and a Black Forest gateau flavoured slice as well. Too much
Wish I could get eccles cakes out here....sigh
|Nicey replies: Hi Monika,
Wow sounds like the WagonWheel has really wigged out since joining Arnotts.
|John E Noir
Malted Milk Review
I have to disagree with Mr Paul Daly. Malted Milk were never my favourite biscuit but have always done me well in a crisis. And this weekend they provided me with much amusement.
Some Friends and I were staying in Sedbergh in the Yorkshire Dales and were enjoying the excellent Howgill Fells, well maybe enjoying is too strong a word as it was mainly misty most of the time.
I have found that biscuits do not provide adequate sustenance on the hills and as Carl and Sue had provided a cake for their younger staff members, Adam and Julia. Me and 6 others managed to get a slice and as you can see I was lucky enough to get ¾’s of a cherry.
When we got back to the Hotel a nicecupofteaandasitdown was called for and I was elected to put the kettle on. The Hotel had thoughtfully provided some of those packets of three bickies. Mark elected to have coffee (the heathen) and chose to have the packet of bourbons. (he was welcome to them as they were the equally heathen 4:3 ratio shape not the 16:9 widescreen they should be) Dave had tea and the Digestives, which left me with the Malted Milk.
I tried a simple nibbled cowectomy on the first but lost patience and bit right through the thing. On the second I got my trusty Swiss army knife and made a more concerted attempt.
Unfortunately the cow lost a front leg and astute observers will notice that the structural integrity of the biscuit failed along a line through the D of MALTED round the cows “bum” and out through the ear of wheat at the bottom. By this time my tea was getting cold so I snaffled the remains and drank my tea.
However I still had one biscuit left so I tried again with the finest attachment on my swiss army knife I sloooooowly scratched round the cow.
This time the cow came away intact and although the front leg was still the hardest part it survived, although the crumbs that would have been its right front leg disintegrated, from the front it looks intact.
By the way is the shadowy line at the rear of the cow it’s tail or its other leg? I left the other cow (it's not a calf its just further away) as it was too indistinct a shape to bother with.
John E Noir
|Nicey replies: John,
I've always taken the pragmatic approach and consider the thing at the back of the cow to be its tail.
Once again your mail raises the interesting issue of exactly under what circumstances the Swiss Army would be mobilised. I've often thought that it would be some crisis that required the opening of thousands of economy tins of tomatoes and baked beans, with out those built in ring pull lids. Obviously conventional military hardware such tanks, attack helicopters or just straight forward guns, could get into the tins but they would probably spill most of the contents, requiring the Swiss to be called in. If the scenario was widened to include the sharpening of some small sticks, rewiring some 13 amp plugs and the removal of splinters then there really is only one choice.
|Mrs Ann Day
||Good afternoon Nicey,|
Love the site. Anything that keeps me off of eBay is a good thing!
Where do you sit on the subject of date slice? Is it a biscuit or a cake or something else? I have made loads of these as they go well at a cricket tea along with the jam and cream scones, chocolate cake and strong tea. I always know when to start brewing the tea....it's when my husband goes in to bat.
As an addition to my extensive cake repetoire I have invented the bakewell slice and the mincemeat and marzipan slice. Basically the same constrution as the date slice but filled with marzipan and mincemeat/jam of your choice. I especially like making them as my husband hates marzipan and I get to eat them all ;-)
On the subject of tea I have been to India on a number of occasions and they can't make tea worth a damn. what with the hot milk and boiling everything up together in a saucepan. What is it with Lipton's Yellow label tea? It seems to be all you can get in hotels. I've travelled extensively and the only hotel where it wasn't on the breakfast table was in The Dominican Republic where they served proper Twinings Breakfast tea.
|Nicey replies: Ann,
We had a discussion on this very topic not so long ago and agreed that 'slice' should be a recognised term deserving of its own circle in our mighty Venn Diagram of the baked goods world. It has the significant advantage of neatly solving the 'Flapjack dilemma' that has plagued cake biscuit taxonomy theory for years.
Of course the only problem in all of this is that I had just got the diagram looking very nice for the book and I'll have to redo it.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
I am just writing to get your opinion on where waffles fit within the Venn diagram of biscuits. Not the Tregroes waffles you reviewed some time back but ordinary waffles of the type that Americans pour maple syrup on.
Two of my colleagues have given up cakes, biscuits and chocolate for lent, but one of them is claiming that waffles are neither cake nor biscuit and are therefore safe to eat.
I would appreciate a swift reply on this matter as one of my colleagues has a brace of waffles hovering over the toaster as I type and I would hate to think that she was committing some sort of Lenten sin.
|Nicey replies: Hello Keith,
Well they are really not a million miles away from pancakes in their construction, as waffle batter is poured into waffle irons to make them. I would be tempted to treat them in a very similar way to our local Asda which places them in that space between bread and cakes which is occupied by such characters as the Malt loaf, the Lemon and raisin pancake and the Hot cross bun. Mind you on occasion its not unknown for them to leap out into the aisle in a small promotional fixture. Perhaps we need a small circle that overlaps with cakes and bread for things baked on hot surfaces, in which the waffle, crepe, flour tortilla and Welsh cake could all align themselves. I would put the waffle in the bit that overlaps with cakes as it sweet. As waffle scoffing colleague, she is clearly pulling a fast one, if she were truly serious and cared about what people thought she should switch to cream crackers.