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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 Ė the hot biscuit Ė but you get to enjoy the delightful juxtaposition of slightly crispy sugary coating and soft creamy innards.
Itís really quite hard to get it right though, and you may ruin a fair few biscuits before you get thereÖ
Dad's Cookies Review
I was an avid eater of Dads Cookies as a child in the 1950ís and until they went AWOL in the 70ís. Imagine my delight when I re-discovered them on a recent trip to Canada. I had intended to buy a load before coming back, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, and a distinct lack of time, it just didnít happen. I just read a write up that you guys did about them a couple of months back. However is there a grocery organisation, or indeed the company themselves, to whom I could write in order to obtain some more. Not just a packet, but a whole box will do for a start! ( my sister also remembers them and also wants some if we can get them into the UK). The tourist shop in Covent Garden sounds not the best move!
Any help very much appreciated,
|Nicey replies: Paul,
Really the shop in Covent Garden seems to cater for all those Canadians, Kiwis and South Africans who are resident in London and prepared to pay for some reminders of home. It's a bit like a horrendously expensive cornershop that sells tee shirts too. There is one in the next street that caters exclusively for Australians, and is a good place to get hold of exotic Tim Tams. Apart from this though we haven't come across another source of Dad's cookies in the UK.
|Before I retired from the biscuit industry over 10 years ago Digestives were, for very many years, consistently around 15% of the total branded and own-label sweet and semi-sweet biscuit market - a quite mind boggling proportion. I remember many debates about introducing new Digestive variants but we mostly remained to be convinced they would do any more than fragment the market.|
New biscuit products which settle in and survive with a steady market share have always been very few and far between and difficult to formulate. Presumably the up and coming marketing whizzes have recognised this and are now proliferating all these mutations of Digestives arguing that this is what the market needs whilst hoping to justify their existence by increasing sales volumes.
Does anyone know the proportion of the market occupied by the Digestive family now and how successful this strategy has been?
A bald, retired, biscuit basher
|Nicey replies: Hello John,
I'm sure many of the people who drop by the site once in a while would know the answer, however they might not wish to share it. The bewildering proliferation of Digestives in the last 18 months may well throw up a one or two long lasting additions to the family, time will tell.
Still I'm pleased to see some actual biscuit innovation activity around such a major brand to capture our attention, rather than just some marketing push that ropes in some obvious high profile media types. Even the biggest cash cows need the occasional spot of nurturing or else they eventually start to show signs of decline.
||Dear Nicey et al,|
On the subject of more people drinking coffee over tea, I think some blame must be lain on the office environment. Where I work, there isn't a kitchen, only vending machines. I can't get through the day without several hot drinks so I have to make due with this vile abomination - however, and this is my point, that even truely foul vending machine coffee tastes a damn sight better than the utterly disgusting and insipid liquid that tries to pass itself off as tea in these things!!
I have to make up my tea ration when I get home by drinking it out of a HUGE mug!
|Nicey replies: Excellent, I've just blown the dust off the vending machine icon.|