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On the subject of fruit and herb 'teas'. The French have a separate words for them - they are "tisane"s - pronounced "tizan".
Why don't we adopt this? It'll save all the argy bargey from us real tea drinkers.
Now, decaff. is quite another problem.
|Nicey replies: Morning Sue,
Yes I've seen that written on French Herbal teas but due to lack of interest, hadn't taken it onboard. It sounds like an excellent plan, not only does it give them their own rather daft name but it associates them with the French which historically has is always handy if you are looking to blame somebody for something.
Reading some of Wifey's thoughts (in the book) regarding her attempts to drink some weird fruity stuff when she was pregnant it reminded me of something I get really wound up about. "Fruit tea drinkers". Calling something that does not contain any actual tea leaves, tea. It's been covered before I know (handy search feature), but it's gotten worse. The other day a work colleague brought in some root ginger. You may not want to read on at this point. He then crushed the ginger added hot water and called it Ginger Tea. You know me, I didn't duck the issue and confronted him head on. It turns out that these "Fruit Tea" people are not so passionate in their defence of tea slander as I am in trying to eliminate it. I let it lie after we'd agreed on the term "Hot Drink Infusion". A very wishy washy generic term but importantly for me lacking in the word tea. So i'd just like to make a plea to anyone who encounters this issue. Don't ignore the problem, it is already way out of hand. Confront and educate.
|Nicey replies: Jim,
Very timely, as I suspect I might get asked about that on the Paul O'Grady show this afternoon. I'm with you, if it hasn't got tea in it then what's it doing calling its self tea. I'm a reasonable man if there is some tea in there then thats OK, otherwise 'hot drink infusion' as you suggest would seem fine.
|Julie Marlow and Mal Bryning
||Dear Nicey and Wifey.|
We’re in serious trouble. I’m working in Jamaica for six months, from Australia, and loose leaf standard issue tea can’t be bought for love nor money. There’s tea bags, good old Tetley’s (normal and British Blend), which is a relief, and we took the precaution of bringing a stock of Twinings Irish Breakfast tea bags, imagining these would tide us over till we got a packet of good small tipped leaf. Alas, there’s plenty of other kinds of leaf here, but NO TEA. Or not so as we’ve found, but we’ve scoured the malls and supermarkets of Kingston to no avail. Can any kind Jamaican soul out there please advise??
I must say though that a nice cup of Blue Mountain coffee and a slice of rum cake goes down very nicely at teatime as a substitute.
Looking forward to your book,
Yours, Julie Marlow and Mal Bryning
Frustrated tea drinkers of Jamaica
I thought I would reply to Alison Debenham's email about Tottenham cake from the lovely Greggs bakery... I actually live a stones throw from Tottenham and close to White Heart Lane so am also from a Spurs family. Greggs bakers have been in our area for years and I and my siblings (all big fans of most cakes and biscuits) discovered Tottenham cake when we were kids. I have to say I love the stuff, true it is just plain sponge and icing, but there's just something about it, plus the fact that it comes in really decent sized big slabs, hurrah! Anyway, given that the pinkness of the icing clearly jars with the the traditional Spurs colours of blue and white we also wondered where the cake got its name. So a bit of investigation led us to that font of all local knowledge, my nan, may she rest in peace. She told us that the cake had nothing to do with football at all. In fact, it was related to, believe it or not, waste disposal in London. In the 'old days' when people kept pigs and chickens etc as part of the household (around the WW2 period I think) there was obviously a need to feed the animals. According to my nan, they were fed on a diet of leftovers that came from restaurants all over London. These scraps were put in bags taken to somewhere in the Tottenham area which people could then buy for feed, hence 'tottenham cake'. So the original tottenham cake was basically food waste and pig fodder, how that relates to the Greggs incarnation of the porcine delicacy (maybe that explains the pink...?) or what it says about the ingredients that go into it I don't know!
Yours (still lovin the site, can't wait for the book!)
|Nicey replies: Hi Vicky,
I think I follow that, but it does imply that the term 'Tottenham cake', is a bit derogatory. This also implies that the iced sponge was a bit useless and picked up this name as some kind of put down. Perhaps there is a bit more light left to shed on this matter still.
Caxton Pink'n'Whites Review
|Hello again Nicey and Staff|
Yes, I saw the article about Eccles Cakes. Unfortunately, we have TWO of the said Greggs stores here in Sunny St Albans, on opposite sides of the main shopping street. They are the sort of cake/sandwich shop that my mother would have pronounced as "selling septic cakes" (she meant the sort filled with that rather nasty artificial cream). They are cheap and not very cheerful. They even sell something called "Tottenham cake", which as a Spurs family, interested us. I suppose it's to compete with Chelsea Buns, but since it's just a square of plain sponge with a lurid sickly pink icing, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the football club. When I asked a member of staff why they were so-called, they mumbled "dunno", so I'm none the wiser.
Maybe we should arrange a campaign to Save the Eccles Cake, starting right now!
Best wishes to all. Must go now, to put on the kettle for the Return Home from School Cup of Tea and Sit Down (with Caxtons Pink and White Wafers) of the younger daughter.