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Rich Tea Review
I was delighted to find your website following yesterday's review in the Times and have read with much interest the varying views on the Rich Tea.
I will not comment on the taste of the Rich Tea as I know that this is a matter of personal preference. However, I would like to point out that the best way to enjoy Rich Tea is not to eat them but to feed them (whole) to ducks.
Rich Tea Review
Rich tea fingers. Why? What purpose have they? Structurally they are weaker than Rich Tea so that you have to bolster one with another one when you are dunking (back to back action) and they are as bland as normal Rich Tea. Do people have a preference for finger shaped biscuits in your experience? I can only imagine that people find it easier to stick a whole one in lengthways rather than a round one which may abraze the corners of your mouth as it enters (and scald with hot tea). I also find sponge fingers to have the same propensity to snap under tealogging (these are definitely best suited to making trifles where they have an amazing capacity to soak up booze).
Incidentally I once saw my uncle get a whole ginger nut stuck in his mouth as he tried to put it in face first rather than on its edge (if that makes sense). The whole family watched as my mum had to snap it by jabbing it with a knife - a very dangerous but highly amusing procedure.
|Nicey replies: Well we found that Rich tea fingers taste ever so slightly different to Round Rich teas, but I'm sure the reason for their existence has to do with dunking dynamics as you suggest.
As for Ginger Nuts its funny you should mention them because we have another planned tras-global biscuit head to involving that very species of biccy. Your uncle sounds like he deserves a Rocket Science icon for advancing the field of biscuit eating in a foolhardy and entertaining way.
Rich Tea Review
Just thought I'd take the time to say what a great site! It rocks. I particularly like the scanned in photos of biscuits, they're almost gratiuitous, like biscuit pornography, but I love them. They're great as desktop backgrounds - put them on tile though, not centre, or they look lonely...
Anyway, the reason I'm writing is - I have to protest! I normally regard your reviews of biscuits as the voice of an expert, and something to view with great respect. However, I must comment on your rich tea review. I agree that rich tea were, of course, designed for dunking, and any attempt to sully them with other ingredients such as cream, chocolate, jam etc. should definitely be avoided. However, I must digress over two points.
1.) The classic 'round' rich tea is far superior and always will be to fingers. Fingers, when dunked, risk complete tea saturation along an entire cross section of the biscuit, causing breakage and ultimately, unfortunate collapse into the tea leaf based beverage. The biscuit and the tea then become one sad mess, and it is useless to try to fight this process by attempting to retrieve the biscuit remant from the tea. The best plan of action is to throw the tea/biscuit mixture away and start again, preferably with a new ROUND biscuit. The round version is also, of course, far more aesthetically pleasing, although I realise that this is a matter of taste. There are also those of us who regard the decorations on the sides of the finger variant as 'overly fancy'. Enough said. I think most biscuit lovers would also argue that the ventilation holes in the fingers are unnecessarily dense, and probably put there more for show than function.
2.) The taste of rich tea is fantastic! Try to think of them not as dry, but 'crisp'. Not as bland but 'classic'. I hope you can see my point of view.
I would also like to mention the relationship between rich tea and builders. Builders biscuit of choice is the rich tea. They do seem to particularly enjoy dunking, but I suspect that maybe it goes deeper than that. Maybe the admire the construction of the rich tea? When my parents had their extension built in 1989 the builders would not start work until presented with a daily packet of rich tea and hot tetley. Other biscuits were left on the plate. Even Mrs Locke from no. 48 and a plate of cakes seemed secondary to the option of rich tea. They didn't do that good a job actually, but I'm sure you can't blame the rich tea for that.
I also have a quick question - in your review of wagon wheels you did not mention anything about the size of the biscuit in relation to other points in time. Many people I speak to believe that the size of a wagon wheel is inversely proportional with time (i.e. they used to be bigger) but it is hard for me to judge this myself as I have only just finished growing. This, of course, means that what I believe is a shrinking biscuit may in fact be an optical abboration caused by my relative size to the marshmellow based product. I would be most grateful if you could clear this matter up!
That's it anyway, keep up the good work.
p.s - The point about humility is certainly true.
|Nicey replies: Pete,
Thanks for those Rich Tea thoughts, your point about the builders is a particularly well made. Indeed there are some that think the finger too fancy, however in a side by side tasting we found them to be slightly tastier.
As far as Wagon Wheel size I tackle that classic point in the second paragraph.