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||Sorry to contradict your obviously vast knowledge of tea/biscuit affairs but their is a slight error about one foodstuff's categorization. Recently there was a legal disbute about whether a jaffa cake was a biscuit or a cake. The 'tax man' told the good people of mcvitees that as the jaffa was clearly a cake they would need to pay more V.A.T. For the sake of not having to pay extra the case was brought to court by Mcvitees to permentaly brand the jaffa as a lower V.A.T foodstuff (a biscuit). The case was eventually settled classifying jaffa cakes as a biscuit and therefore mcvitees had to pay less. Im sorry i dont know how they achieved this in court but i got the jist of the case from a freind who is currently studying law.|
|Nicey replies: Sorry but you or your friend have that almost completely backwards.
Perhaps you might want to refer to either our book or the proceedings of the 1991 VAT tribunal case 6344, as we did.
Yours even more Sincerely
Long time no speak. I've just been on a month long road trip in the States and I have to say that the tea situation is very grave across the pond. I was subject to a near disaster while taking breakfast in Washington DC and this was down to the classification of teas on the menu. I ordered some eggs, home fries and a tea. What could possibly go wrong? I was presented with a glass of Ice Tea. Silly me for not ordering "Hot Tea". The chaos didn't end there. I was then given a list of teas to choose from. "Have you got any normal tea?" I asked. "No".
I had to resort to Earl Grey.
This experience made me resort to going to the supermarket to buy some tea bags. (Yes, I know I should have taken some PG over with me but I forgot). The only normal tea they had was Twinings, drinkable so it had to do. They also had Tetleys but only decaffinated as well as a multitude of different fruit, colour, herb, twig, bark, mud and other "teas" as they call them.
Now i'm back in the UK and spent the first two days back getting my fix of reliable old PG Tips. I've been averaging about 9 cups a day since i've got back (a good 3 or 4 more than before). I'm hoping to cut back slightly as i'm sure it's not good to drink that much.
There are a lot of good things about the States, but tea is not one of them.
|Nicey replies: Hello Jim,
Good to hear from you. There is a certain book with your name in the acknowledgements that opens with a chapter on this self same dire scenario. We'll have an extra cuppa here at NCOTAASD HQ to show our support at what must be a very difficult time for you.
I have been a regular visitor to your site for some time now, and it has, in fact, opened my eyes once more to the merits of biscuits. During my rebellious teenage years I shunned biscuits in favour of chocolate, but have now come back to reliable childhood biscuits (albeit still preferring chocolate biscuits over most others). There is something else I have been mulling over, however, and that is the correct classification of types of tea. In my head, I subdivide tea into a progressive scale of: (1) Real tea (Black, preferably Lyons in pyramid bags); (2) Green tea (acceptable as a supplementary cuppa); (3) Herbal teas (count as medicinal and are acceptable for such use); and (4) Fruit teas (not really tea at all and should belong in the "warm squash" category of drinks). Now, however, I have started drinking Redbush tea, and am unsure where it should go. In with green where it doesn't really belong? With black teas, where it has a claim based on similarity of colour and tea-style? Or does it require a new category?
I would very much appreciate some help in solving this problem, and perhaps in comparing tea-classification methods with other tea-drinkers.
Yours guiltily (I'm cheating on you with a cup of coffee)
|Nicey replies: Jane,
I think your classification system is overly complex. You simply need to divide everything into proper tea (like your number 1), and not proper tea. Now the Redbush stuff simply is classified as 'not proper tea' which seems fair.
Could you and your team help me with a panic that I am having. I recently visited the biscuit review section and was reminded of the joys of the abernethy biscuit. These were the biscuits of my childhood (along with the Simmers chocolate chip ginger) as at this time the simmers factory was based in Hatton in Aberdeenshire, a mere stone throw from where I grew up and my parents had the worthy idea of supporting local businesses through eating biscuits.
Sadly, even my sisters and my dedicated biscuit eating efforts were not enough and in the early 90s Simmers were bought over by united biscuits and many varieties such as the chocolate ginger and the oatmeal and fruit were to disappear. The only contact that I had with simmers biscuits after this was the occasional packet of Scots Abernethy biscuits, which were always enjoyed - however in my youth I was seduced by more glamarous but less worthy fast and loose chocolate-chunk-extra-nuts-limited-edition-super-duper biscuits. After reading your site I went on a fairly single minded mission to the supermarkets of Aberdeen to try and find a packet of Abernethys and have been unable to find any. Please tell me that they have not joined the ranks of 'late great' biscuits -as I will always feel that it is my own fault for having not been loyal to what I know and love and instead been a bit of a biscuit tart .
Yours with a very guilty conscience,
|Nicey replies: Camilla,
I'm not aware of any problems befalling the Abernethy, Sainsbury's in fact started doing their own label version not so long ago. I think I have seen them recently in Tesco's and Waitrose too.
Ginger Nut Review
Reading about the "break a gingernut into 3 and get a wish" story, I thought it would be worth setting up a trial. Having bought a double pack on Monday, I was confident of sufficient supplies to make a statistically valid sample. I have just made some tea and gone to open the biscuit tin. Empty!
So, the answer is, I have made a wish, and the wish is: "I wish I had some gingernuts", even pre broken.
Ben Harding, Dover