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Fig Roll Review
I appeared today on Jason manfords show for the dunk off challenge with my gingernut. Which I know is a biscuit. However, Rob came along with his Fig Roll – and won. Please do not think that I am a poor looser. I have been looking into The Fig Roll and it would seem, that, it is pastry and not biscuit, the tester being that when a biscuit goes off it goes soft and a pastry goes hard and like Jaffa Cakes they are cake and not biscuit as the pastry goes off and goes hard as do fig biscuits.
I would like to know your opinion on this and I’m sure Jason will raise it with you tomorrow when you are on the show.
|Nicey replies: Sara,
Right first off I'm not sure what the biscuits are being subjected to, but if its just a straight forward see how long they can be dunked for then that's fairly meaningless. I can think of a two biscuits that could be immersed in boiling hot tea and shrug it off as if it had never happened, but I'll keep that to myself until I've been on the show.
As for the stale thing we have to debunk that on a regular basis, as it is riddled with exceptions. Indeed the preceding message I've just posted about the Irish Kimberley shows that they have to go stale rendering them hard before non Irish people trust them. It won't do to be sniping at the Fig Roll and trying to make out that it's not a biscuit but is a cake that somehow took a wrong turn and ended up in a biscuit packet. It's actually the filling of the fig roll that gives it a resilience against the hot tea rather than its pastry outer. Feel free to debate the nature of the Fig Roll at length but be aware that French have one that starts off crunchy and goes soft when stale, which we covered in our FigFest.
As for ginger nuts I think that was a good plan, If you had gone in with a Griffins one from New Zealand you might have won.
Fig Roll Review
|I might be wrong but they seemed to be completely imperishable; their disdain for bacteria of all descriptions made them a winner in the household structured around a limited economy. I take the point about the space programme but wonder if their impenetrable brilliance didn’t lend itself to a robust war time ration pack.|
Dipping them in tea had very little impact but softened them by a miniscule degree that proved to be of wondrous benefit to fig roll lovers with false teeth
My Nana used to buy them in bulk and treated them almost as if they were the biscuit equivalent of gold. I personally would rather have tried to eat solid gold; there was something musty about them that seemed to capture them in a time before vast biscuit choice led to the evolution of the average palate.
I respect them but could never digest them but long may they run
Fig Roll Review
|I'm fairly new to your site, shame on me, so I may have missed out on previous raging debates about fig rolls. Now, I'm quite partial to a cup of tea and a biscuit or two, but am I the only person in the world who thinks that fig rolls are vile? There are very few foody things that I actively dislike, and I like both figs and sponge, but put the two together and yuk! Plonk a pack down in the office and everyone descends on them like a pack of starving dingoes on a fat baby, but even the smell is enough to make my guts do a handstand. Am I alone? Do I need therapy?|
|Nicey replies: The crust on a fig roll is a really more of a sweet pastry than a sponge, unless on the American Fig Newton which is more like sponge that has been battered flat. Don't feel bad about not liking them, think of it as your gift to those of us who love them.|
|Bob in Tokyo
Fig Roll Review
|Dear Mr. Nicey, I stumbled across your "site" moments ago when I did a "google" search for Lyons Fig Rolls, and I discovered the "internet" does indeed have a useful function for those inclined to a "modern" lifestyle. That the correspondent from Niigata found said fig rolls in her local supermarket is astounding, as the best I have ever been able to locate in Tokyo (my domicile for the past decade) has been the Jacobs "closed end" variety. I am heartened by the news. My chidhood favourite (and still now, come to think of it) was the open-ended, non-striated-casing type (by Burtons, was it not?) since these lent themselves best to "peeling" or "nibbling" of the casing before plunging into the lushious, fragrant core. Oh my!.....did anyone else get a cerebral rush like I just did? Eleanor might be pleased to know that if there is a branch of the Daimaru "Peacock" supermarket chain in Niigata she should be able to get Waitrose organic "Oaten" biscuits (a classic, fibre-rich, buttery, oat-crunch type - and a damn fine dunker!) along with a few other Waitrose top-end biscuit varieties and other British products (HP sauce, Original and Fruity!) hard to get at a reasonable price in Japan.|
Anyway, I digress. My reason for this contribution is the query from Brian about Grantham gingerbread biscuits, a memory from his childhood in Newark on Trent. I can assure everyone in the biscuit-concerned world that this variety of biscuit is alive and well, and exactly, and delicious, as described. My mum used to make them (God bless her - she sends me Marks 'n' Sparks Extra Strong to keep me functional). Being Manchester folk, I'm not sure where she got the recipe, or even if it's actually an East-Midlands thing, despite the name. If it is, it's surely the best thing ever to come out of Grantham (oops...should I have said that?). I'll post the recipe as soon as I can get it from Mum.
Other matters (1): Taylor's Yorkshire for "a crucial hit" - life affirming on a hungover morning. And, does Co-op "99", an old favourite of mine, still exist?
Other matters (2): It would be useful to have a contribution date for each correspondence or article on the "site". I have qualms, occasionally, about being out of date.
Cheerio, Bob in Tokyo.
P.S. Returning to fig rolls....open-ended, smooth casing is the best. I defy you to disagree.
|Nicey replies: Bob,
It gives me a warm feeling to know that we are helping people across the world to locate proper biscuits. Hoorah, for the wonder of the interweb.
Your point about the contribution date is a good one, I'll see what I can do.
As to fig roll preferences, I think I nailed my colours to the mast in the original review.