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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
Wagon Wheel Review
|Please help, I am deeply concerned.|
As a life long devotee of the Burtons wagon wheel ( shameful and unsophisticated, I know- but we develop obsessions in life about which we have no choice), I have endured gradual and some times sudden alterations in packaging. I started with the predominantly yellow wax paper. Sold singly in, sweet-shops.
I have accepted the changes in size (maybe I imagined those, I'm a lot bigger than I was, and every-things relative).
The very quality of the biscuit-base has changed- the original was thicker, crumblier, and had a definite salty tang, which worked as a counterpoint to the overall sickly sweetness of the other ingredients.
Actually the original biscuit was way too crumbly to be sensibly portable, whether in a packed lunch or thrust into a blazer pocket to nestle against one's conkers; often upon opening one would find a handful of mixed crumbs, with only the marshmallow layer left intact.
The basic design however, has remained as constant as Blue Peter, the boat race, and dishonesty in public life.
Two discs of biscuit. Chocolate flavour candy approximation on the outside. Inside, a layer of slightly chewy marshmallow polymer, and a dob ( I believe that's the word) of red jam/jelly.
So, how does it come to pass that the 'new improved' Wagon Wheel comes with a squirt of chocolate sauce where the jam should be?
I had hoped that this was simply an alternative product, an offshoot, a homage. Such things are not unknown in the history of this confection
But no, I have searched my local supermarkets and can find only these impostors.
It's an affront to all that's decent and reliable in the World.
I'm all for peaceful coexistence. Some people might even like these pretentious Johnny-come-latelies with their fancy continental ways, and that's ok by me. But you simply can't replace the original with these things. This is not a wagon Wheel. A Wagon Wheel has jam in. This is a sneaky low-budget usurper!
Perhaps I over-estimate the power of your connections in the biscuit world, but then perhaps not. Whatever influence you may have, I implore you to bring it to bear; help me in my crusade for proper Wagon Wheels.
I'm all overcome with emotion now; I'll have to have a nice cup of tea. But what will I do for a biscuit?
|Nicey replies: Well I actually like the old and the new. Mind you I was a little concerned at the sweeping aside of the old, and its been a year now since the new ones have been with us, so it looks like the old ones have been retired for good. Wagon wheels have been taking a bit of a bashing in our biscuit vote which we kicked off yesterday, probably with most people who have voted them as yucky recalling the old classic one (I'll just add again that I thought the old ones were splendid). Therefore it was probably time for Burton's to act in order to protect the biscuit and stave off its decline. No doubt if enough new Wagon wheels are sold they'll find it in their power to build a few jammy ones, albeit using modern components.
I would urge anybody who's not tried the new Wagon Wheel to give it a go, you'll be very surprised by the new taste.
Coconut Cream Review
I was just reading your review of the Coconut Cream, and felt compelled to point out that while it is lamentable that there appears to be a demonstrable lack of cream in any real sense, it is possible to replicate the creamy biscuit/cake crossover experience. Put your Coconut Creams under the grill for a few moments; not only have you achieved the holy grail of encroaching-winter-tea-accompaniment-snacking – the hot biscuit – but you get to enjoy the delightful juxtaposition of slightly crispy sugary coating and soft creamy innards.
It’s really quite hard to get it right though, and you may ruin a fair few biscuits before you get there…