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|Hi there Nicey,|
I love the site and I love the book, too.
Biscuits remain a real constant in life. They say that “Nothing is certain but death and taxes”. I amended that to include the size of Bourbons. I took great reassurance that, the world over, bourbons are the same. People may come in different shapes, sizes, colours; but wherever one happens to find oneself, one can be assured that a Bourbon is a Bourbon. Believe me, I know these things: been a lot of places, ate a lot of biscuits.
Not so, yesterday. I was in Lewes at a conference, and at tea-break eagerly made my way to the catering table, where I knew the biscuits would be waiting. I was very pleased to see bourbons and custard creams (the “Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder” of the biscuit world) side by side on the plate. These two are my perennial favourites, and with them I have toasted the good times; coasted through the mediocre times; and taken refuge during the bad.
However, I was reduced to a quivering wreck when I immediately noticed something wrong with the bourbon. It was a maverick; a loose cannon. Not the regulation 10 hole, 61 x 30mm specification; this one had 8 holes and was a different size and shape. If I was forced to guess the size would say it was in the region of 45 x 40mm – in other words, shorter and fatter. A lightning-speed inspection of its colleagues confirmed that they were all like that
I am not a “biscuit nazi”: on the contrary I consider myself to be a very tolerant, patient and inclusive individual (pink wafers aside). However some things are clearly necessary in order for reality as we know it to continue. The size and shape of bourbons is one of these things.
Can you imagine the effect it had on me? I was left questioning the nature of the universe itself. This sent me into an existential crisis and a state of confusion and near panic.
I took this up with the catering staff, and asked them how this abomination could be allowed. They – and my colleagues – all advised me to “get out more”. Clearly their priorities are different to mine. How, and why, could I get out more? How do I know the sky isn’t going to fall down? Gravity might stop. The world might explode. Who knows? Change the shape of the Bourbon and change the world.
I took some comfort in knowing that Lewes now has its own currency. Maybe these people want to have their own type of bourbon too.
I also took some comfort in your website, and in particular David Harman’s appraisal of the situation in the feedback on your bourbon review. It is good to know that there are like-minded individuals out there. Maybe we could form some sort of silent minority?
|Nicey replies: Greg,
Sorry to hear of your run in with the dud non-standard Bourbons. My last run-in with said dodgy biscuits was at a theatrical event entitled 'three men and a bourbon', which Wifey and I travelled down to London to see. The cast passed round a packet of Happy Shopper Bourbons hurriedly purchased some thirty minutes earlier, prior to their performance. This of course created an awkward and uncomfortable atmosphere amongst the modest audience, (well I thought so) and personally lasted till at least Letchworth Garden City on the train home.
|Hello Nicey, wifey and YMOS|
I thought I would email you and ask you if it was perhaps time that Hiromi Miura had her own little icon?? All she gets is the little globe by the looks of things. It would be nice to be able to search for her under a little icon of her own – perhaps a lightening bolt to complement her love of black thunder biscuits and also to represent her dynamism.
Also I have a helpful tip for the fellow Aussie who will be visiting the UK soon – I would recommend he try a bourbon biscuit. He would need to look up the proper etiquette of eating one as we don’t have them over here (I have searched but to no avail) but they are really ultra yummy. Especially dipped in tea.
Thanks and kind regards
Great site as usual
|Nicey replies: Right that's a new icon for Hiromi then, or any other Korean based Japanese UK biscuit aficionados with a liking for Black Thunders that write to us.
In time honoured NCOTAASD fashion, here is a hearty Hoorah! for the new icon (I had to animate it and everything).
|I have never seen a Nice Cream before and I had a quick look on your site to see if it was something you had reported.|
The Nice were revealed in a Tesco triple-pack alongside a packet of Custard Creams and a pack of Malted Milk.
I am not a fan of the Nice biscuit as I don't like desiccated coconut, I dislike the flavour and the way the little bits stick in the teeth. However, in the name of research I had to have a taste. The biscuit was familiar, and unpleasant, but the cream was difficult to place, soft and fluffy but not very coconutty which was a relief.
I am not adverse to a little experimentation and I am sure Nice fans will be delighted with the innovation. However, this is the second time in a week that I have experienced the phenomenon of biscuits changing shape for the convenience of packaging. The Nice was reduced to the proportions of a Custard Cream to suit the packaging- again I'm not too upset about the fate of the Nice. However, last week I experienced the same shape tampering with the Bourbon Cream which was most unwelcome. The bourbons in question lasted way longer than usual simply because people were not happy with the shape.
I have attached a photo of the Nice Cream.
PS I have been a huge fan of the site for a while now and finally, after some serious hinting, I have the book (a valentines present- paperback so I clearly under performed this year) and mug (a birthday present from work). Keep up the good work.
|Nicey replies: Hi Will,
I like the moody backlighting on that Nice-cream. Although I think it might have a case of small dog/man syndrome making up for its small size by being all fighty and short tempered. Notice its rudimentary attempts at bearing its name, a bit like a home made tattoo. Also its sugar crystals are a bit sparse and haphazard like most of them have been knocked off in a fight with a bigger biscuit, possibly those malted milks.
|No doubt you are already aware of the fact that there are biscuits currently on display in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. If not I attach a nice view of Canary Wharf. |
|Nicey replies: Yes the YMOS have been bringing all their artistic masterpieces created over the last year back to NCOTAASD HQ this week in advance of the summer holidays. I'm sure most them are up to the the obviously high standards of the Tate Modern. Although the artist here seems to have scraped some of the chocolate cream out of the Viennese fingers of the surrounding buildings, causing them to lean a bit.
Also I would like to see little post-it notes on it pointing out where Alan Sugar has his pretend office and where the Daleks fought the Cybermen.
|Hello Nicey, I recently found your site whilst looking for information about Crawford's Bourbons which, in my mind, are the only Bourbons worth eating. I was most disappointed as a teenager to discover that they were slowly but surely disappearing from supermarket shelves to be replaced by inferior "own-make" versions. After this awful state of affairs had spread across all the local supermerkets I made do with the occasional sightings of the original and best Bourbons in hotel rooms across the country where they lived on in handy 3 biscuit packs, nearly jumping for joy everytime the biscuit gods smiled on me and left me a packet in my room.|
So imagine my complete and utter delight when browsing the shelves of the office shop last month I spotted packets of Crawford's Bourbons adorning said shelves. I immediately grabbed a packet (and paid for them, am not a theif you know!) and rushed back to my desk with a cup of Earl Grey tea. I had every intention of making them last at least a week, but they were all gone in less than an hour. An hour of chocolatey biscuit heaven. I have since bought further packets which have managed to last at least a day, and have asked the nice lady in the shop to make sure they keeping stocking them for as long as they are still being made.
Yours in chocolatey heaven
|Nicey replies: The Travel Inn in Guildford was particularly replete with Crawford's 3 packs of Bourbons as this photo I took at the time reveals.
The YMOS and I were guilty of raiding a few more packs off the maids trolley too.