Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
To help you work out what is what, are now little icons to help you see biscuit related themes. And now you can see at a glance which are the most contested subjects via this graph (requires Flash 6.0 plugin).
Please keep your mails coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like, you can use this search thingy to find stuff that matches with any of the icons you pick, or use the fantastic free text search, Yay!
|Hello, whilst sitting at my desk today I was munching on a variety of biscuits when my colleague whipped out his copy of nice cup of tea and a sit down and proceeded to read the sections about the various biscuits. What I read was extremely accurate and showed a great insight into the world of biscuit eating. However, my Happy Shopper Bourbon biscuit didn't match the required stated dimensions. As opposed to the 61mm x 31mm, my biscuit measured 61mm x 29mm. it was the same throughout the pack. Just thought I should let you know!|
|Nicey replies: Well that's a better effort from Happy Shopper, the last lot we tried were completely out of spec and tasted that way too.
|I was trying to make a bourbon cream person, but it turned into bourbon cream jenga instead.|
You are the only person I can think of who might appreciate it's beauty.
|Nicey replies: Lovely work Ms Fish.
Actually if you've ever wondered how the bourbon pictured on our site met its end I fed it to one the younger members of staff.
Was just wondering if you'd seen this Super Bourbon?
|Nicey replies: No we hadn't, that's a lot of fun for 27 pence pack of Bourbons. We once had a picture of a Super Oreo sent to us which frankly looked horrific.
I was reading David Blaxill's comments on 'flask tea' and it bought back memories of the boot of my Grandparent's Morris Minor in the 70s/80s. It was used to house tea-making equipment which was carried at all times. They had a camping gaz 'bluet' stove, kettle, 'unbreakable' cups (how we laughed on the numerous occasions when my dad managed to break one) teabags, sugar and 'Five Pints' powdered milk. Also biscuits, which usually included gingernuts, gypsy creams and bourbons (these last were exclusively for consumption by the dog).
The whole caboodle was referred to as 'The Makings' and no day out was complete without a stop in a layby where my Nan would brew up, seemingly unaware of the thunder of lorries whizzing past, while me and my sister sought shelter in the back of the car and keenly anticipated licking the filling out of the gypsy creams. Happy days....
Claire (who has just finished a Soreen 'Go' Bar, and wonders where it would sit on the Venn diagram of biscuits.
|Nicey replies: How I love an excuse to get out the flask icon. My Dad used to make tea at work (the Royal Mint at Llantristant) using Five Pints dried milk. I remember it came in a plastic bottle that looked like a proper glass milk bottle.
Actually Wifey and I were out for a nice healthy bike ride earlier and not only did we see a couple of Red phone boxes but I also spied two genuine bottles of milk at the end of somebody's drive and had to pull over to admire them.
As for Soreen Go bars I've not had one but hope they are related to Soreen Malt loaf in some way. Hoorah for malt loaf especially with butter on it.
|Dr Greg James
I note that you have included an interesting diagram on your website which shows a simplistic taxonomy of biscuits. I have been interested in the classification of biscuits ever since a throwaway (in her eyes) comment by the wife that a bourbon "is basically just a chocolate custard cream". Obviously this madness made me splutter out my tea. However I had no scientific proof to argue my case. My wife had clearly thought "same sandwich morphology ergo same essential biscuit". Since this horrendous episode I have been labouring to produce a rigorous and logical biscuit taxonomy. I have based my classification on three variables (or dimensions): 1. substance, including flavour if it is an essential component of the substance (i.e. a bourbon is made of "chocolate biscuit", whereas a chocolate digestive is "plain digestive" with the chocolate coating classified as an extra [see 3]); 2. morphology (e.g. disc, rectangular, sandwich); 3. extras (e.g. raisins, chocolate coating, jam filling). However this "3-dimension" approach, whilst giving a framework for the accurate description of most biscuits, is slightly long winded and lacks a natural "feel" for the inherent differences between, say, the aforementioned bourbon and custard cream. Does anyone else have a decent and reliable classification for biscuits? How does this fare when differentiating biscuits from cakes and chocolate bars? I tend to use the simple "if packed and/or purchasable as individual items it is unlikely to be a true biscuit" rule of thumb. Any comments?
Dr Greg James
|Nicey replies: Dr Greg,
There is of course a much bigger Venn diagram in our book. However, the custard cream and bourbon both find themselves in the sandwich biscuit section. The answer to your particular issue is that of course a bourbon isn't a chocolate custard cream or else it would look like one which it doesn't (your second morphology point), also Bourbons should have some little sugar crystals in the upper surface which counts as extras.
A much more compelling argument can be made for the Penguin being a chocolate covered bourbon, although it isn't.
The fact that recently in the last two weeks we've seen biscuit classification taught as an exercise to undergraduates at Bristol University shows that this isn't a trivial matter.
As a Dr you should also know that this is the kind of comment made by wives to husbands designed to elicit a response. Wifey will frequently taunt me with her views on Jaffa Cakes, such as the time we were This Morning with Fern and Philip.