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Fig Roll Review
|I might be wrong but they seemed to be completely imperishable; their disdain for bacteria of all descriptions made them a winner in the household structured around a limited economy. I take the point about the space programme but wonder if their impenetrable brilliance didnít lend itself to a robust war time ration pack.|
Dipping them in tea had very little impact but softened them by a miniscule degree that proved to be of wondrous benefit to fig roll lovers with false teeth
My Nana used to buy them in bulk and treated them almost as if they were the biscuit equivalent of gold. I personally would rather have tried to eat solid gold; there was something musty about them that seemed to capture them in a time before vast biscuit choice led to the evolution of the average palate.
I respect them but could never digest them but long may they run
|After several trips to the UK, I grew to realize that my firm belief that Mulino Bianco made the best breakfast biscuits in the world was being seriously challenged by the chocolate HobNob. But, I've had to rearrange my priorities before - having grown to realize the superiority of overseas cookies vs the ones we have here in the USA. I was more than happy with the Stella Doro Swiss Fudge Cookie back in high school in the 70's, and moved on - as I'm sure so many others did, as well - to the Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano in the 1980's. It was during my first visits to Italy that I discovered the Pan di Stella Breakfast cookie and fell madly in love.|
Now, a cup of coffee just wouldn't seem complete without a handful of those crumbly, hazel- nutty delights on the side. But, tho' aware of the concept of afternoon tea, I still confined my snacking to morning-time.
But then - two things happened. I began to wean myself off the strong Italian coffee I'd been consuming, and gradually moved to drinking tea ... and I discovered that many tea "biscuits" had very little in common with my plain, dry perception of what a biscuit was. From Jacob's Ginger Biscuits to McVities Chocolate Covered Digestives, these were as far away from saltine crackers as I could have imagined. Then my good friend Pam in San Francisco introduced me to the Chocolate HobNob. Luckily, they were hard to get in the USA. Luckily, they were expensive. It didn't seem that they'd have a chance at knocking my beloved Mulino Biancos out of first place, as any time a visiting relative would fly over from Abruzzi they'd always know to bring several bags along with them. I was even starting to find a few stores in the Chicago area that stocked them ... all seemed safe.
And then, my local supermarket added some English products in a specialty section. Creamed Rice, Branston Pickle, Malt Vinegar - and, yes - several rows of McVitties biscuits.
Tho' still pricey enough to be considered a treat, I would treat myself - and stock up like crazy whenever I was lucky enough to take a trip over to Great Britain. But then - an amazing thing happened. My supermarket began to undergo a remodeling. Bins began to appear at the back of the store stocked with products they no longer intended to carry. Malteasers. HP Sauce. Lyon's Tea. Somehow, I had a feeling HobNobs would be next, if I could just remain vigilant enough. It took patience - and several visits. But one day I made my way to the back of the store & stumbled upon a sea of delicious blue cardboard tubes - Yes, Chocolate HobNobs!! And Chocolate Digestives, as well as Plain - plus Jacobs Ginger Biscuits, to boot. All for 69 cents each. Which is roughly 38 p, for you all. I abandoned all forms of self control & bought every package they had. Even tho' I'll actually be coming to London this fall, where I may - presumably - buy a few more packages of HobNobs. Because it is possible I could eat my way through the 25 tubes I have in the next 7 weeks. They're just that delicious.
Greg Di Loreto
|Nicey replies: Righty ho then. Maybe you want to let McVities know when you are coming over and they'll make a couple of thousand extra, which should take them 20-30 seconds.|
Kimberley and Chocolate Kimberley Review
I was interested to note the recent emails concerning our Russian cousins' drinking of tea with jam, and would like to tell Nicky Bramley about my Polish experience: one of the jams of choice which was added to tea in that fine country, by my unfine fellow-at-the-time, was rose jam. It had petals and everything (when I say 'everything' I exclude thorns and hips and leaves and stalks and roots). Rose jam is also a popular choice in Poland's famous doughnuts, which are merrily scoffed in a pre-Lenten fashion (a la pancakes), as is cheese. But that is another - and quite dangerous - matter. Imagine those petals floating up in your tea! Very pretty.
PS I am currently downing vats of tea (milked, not jammed) in order to rid my mouth of the unpleasant sensation of a Jacobs Kimberley. How can these atrocities be permitted in this day and age?
||Wow, Iíd love to know what type of jam is used in Russian tea.|
Strawberry? Lumps of strawberry hunkered at the bottom of the cup
Raspberry? A layer of pips to sieve through your teeth when you get to the bottom
Rhubarb? Stringy floaters
Blackcurrant? Little bouncy purple balls popping to the surface from time to time
Arenít other countries wonderful?
|Nicey replies: Yes it does raise many questions, doesn't it?|
I'm glad that you have decent jam at NCOTAASD HQ - this means you can try drinking tea Russian style. I lived in Russia a few years ago and when I first came across tea-with-jam, I thought "Yuck!" - until I tried it. It's easy to make - make ordinary black tea the way you like it best, then stir in a generous teaspoonful of good-quality, preferably home-made jam. Don't add milk, and obviously you won't need sugar.
Incidentally, the Russians don't always drink tea like this, just when they have people round for tea. The jam (in Russian, varenie) is provided in bowls and people also put it on slices of bread - and it's always home-made and extremely nice.
I do hope you like this new tea-drinking experience. I'm going to go and eat some biscuits now.
|Nicey replies: That is so much more impressive than fruit tea.|