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Thank you for your charming response. You've made me think that perhaps biscuits in space is a much-neglected research area that I should pursue. I'm attaching a picture of a 1959 Russian biscuit tin featuring Sputnik 1 for your enjoyment.
|Nicey replies: Alice,
That is a fantastic biscuit tin, you must be very proud. I tend to think about biscuits in space about 3 or 4 times a week at the moment, which I think is healthy. In our book (out in November) I thought about which would be the best biscuit for zero-g or micro-gravity situation. This is surely going to be an issue for the in flight catering on any future sub-orbital space planes. Inevitably I think its the fig roll.
Bahlsen Hit Review
|On the subject of Hit biscuits or their Prince Lu equivalent, I was working as a journalist in Afghanistan in 2003 and was forced to make the rather unpleasant road journey between the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar in the south and the capital Kabul. The road then was about 250 miles of dusty track through bandit country, taking 19 hours to negotiate. Luckily, at a roadside stall my translator|
and I were able to stock up on a few provisions, including a very welcome packet of Prince biscuits, which go down a treat when sampled in Afghan tea. I'm not saying they saved our lives, but when we were pulled over by two mean-looking men with AK-47 rifles who climbed in the back of our car demanding a lift, we offered them Princes and they tucked in gladly, and we lived to dunk another day.
Incidentally, tea and biscuits are very popular in Afghanistan. The biscuits are mostly home-made by
little in-shop bakeries. A particular favourite was a kind of minature cream horn filled with icing sugar.
|Nicey replies: Barry,
Thanks, lots of valuable information in that email for anybody planning a holiday or short break in Afghanistan.
I live in Indonesia, which has to be the world's second most tea-loving nation. They have invented Teh Botol, or tea in a bottle, which tastes like angels crying on your tongue. But where Indonesians really excel in tea and sit-downs is in the little snacks and cakes they make.
And the best place to get those is on Merpati Airlines, the domestic carrier. Along with your tea, they give you a little box with a cake (often of surprising colour- maybe even green or pink), a deep fried something (could be a spring roll) and a green chilli. Take a bite of chilli. It's hot. Take a bite of spring roll. Mmmm, now you're getting somewhere. Take a sip of tea. Perfection. Absolute perfection. Finish with the cake.
I had to mention this. These tea-at-altitude interludes play a large part in my life.
All the best to the wife,
PS I think you should have an aeroplane icon too.
|Nicey replies: Yes the case for an aeroplane icon is building. I don't think I can run to an 'Angels crying on your tounge' icon, however.|
Iced Gems Review
In Southeast Asia, the company Khong Guan still makes and sells iced Gem Biscuits very similar, in fact, virtually identical, to the ones that you describe as having eaten thirty years ago. They have sharp points, the icing colours are bright green, pink, yellow and white, and the base biscuit approximates the old Marie biscuit. Should you ever be in Singapore or Malaysia, they are easily obtainable in supermarkets and old-fashioned groceries, or provision stores as they are known here.
||Dear Nicey, |
It's been a while since we last corresponded, though I have of course been following the site diligently - my congratulations on the continued improvements and all the awards also.
I was intrigued by this week's poll regarding pies and tarts. I voted for the 'it depends what size they are' option, however, being more specific, I believe the depth of the article is really the distinguishing factor. My Mother makes a fantastic apple tart (made with Armagh Bramley's naturally) it is the size of a dinner plate, but only about a half-inch thick. In contrast, the related items purveyed by a certain Mr Kipling are most definitely apple pies being at least twice as deep (and also noticeably sweeter), albeit a lot smaller.
On different note, I am off home for a few days this weekend, so looking forward to stocking up on biscuits, decent chocolate and of course Tayto crisps !
My best compliments to The Wife, as ever.
Kathryn Hall, Indiana
|Nicey replies: Kathryn,
Good to hear from you again. The Wife's folks are here this week so we have our giant sack of Tayto cheese and onion crisps too.