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I'm wondering if anyone can help me with information regarding the birth of the digestive biscuit. Growing up on the southside of Edinburgh I was always told that Robert Middlemass invented it in his quaint biscuit factory on Causewayside (now long gone along with the lovely aroma). All the written history i have seen suggests its creator was Alexander Grant of McVitie & Price down in Rose St., which may be true, but as history is always writen by the victors i am naturally a little suspicious.
|Nicey replies: It seems that you have more local information on this than us, who as you have keenly observed are reading from the history books so to speak. I'm perfectly prepared to keep an open mind on such matters.|
Just to update you and any of your NY readers who might be craving the mighty Digestive...
I did find another place that not only had Digestives, Jaffa Cakes, and Birds Custard (in tins and powder form), but also tins of rhubarb and a goodly selection of fresh English sausages. So you're catered for through the whole meal!
Myers of Keswick is the place, and is at 634 Hudson St, NY 10014.
Yes it's a shade pricey, but after a drought of Digestives for the last months, it was worth the extra few bucks.
|Nicey replies: Thanks Neil,
Yes that place looks like a life saver, thanks for passing it on.
|Having conducted a rather interesting experiment with a digestive biscuit we thought you would be very excited at the results and therefore would like to share it with you.|
We came across this exciting find rather by accident in Waitrose Dorking. My colleague Liz and I were purchasing some digestive biscuits for later this pm and a jar of mayonnaise for lunch time to go with our cheese toasties. At the checkout, with just the digestives and mayonnaise, we were telling the checkout lady how we were going to enjoy mayonnaise digestives for lunch - a passaway comment from one of us about dunking them in tea then followed. To our amazement the checkout lady considered the prospect of this exciting new creation until she realised (because we were laughing) that we were indeed joking.
However, on walking back to the office Liz and I decided that we should in fact carry out this experiment and to our complete surprise found out that it works wonderfully well. However I should state - for safety reasons, that you MUST dunk the biscuit prior to dipping in the mayonnaise or risk horrendously ruining the sacred tea.
I would urge your community to try out our newly patented recipe!
Since conducting this experiment we have now decided to pursue further combinations of digestives, tea and other unlikely partners. I will keep you informed.
Liz & Me
|Hi there, brilliant site which really cheers me up.|
Re Digestives. A friend of mine has been seriously ill this year and had to spend long periods in bed in hospital, with consequential problems in the downstairs department – problems in keeping her insides smoothly flowing. Despite my offering healthy alternatives, she found that what really did work best were Digestives, whereupon we found that that is what they were developed for and why they have that name. A cup of cocoa at night and a couple of Digestives did the trick and she awoke in regular order. However, the best ones were Doves’ organic digestives. Not so much I think because they are organic as because they are less fatty and sugary and there is more to get your teeth into and for your insides to grip onto.
You call Hobnobs “classics” but really they have not been going that long compared with Digestives and any fool can tell that they are just bits held together with sugar. They are less substantial and cannot satisfy the inner woman.
Ps she had to supply and make her own cocoa and supply her own biscuits – all while on chemotherapy!- but my father in hospital in Wales got his as part of the service. Apparently the staff in both hospitals know full well that biscuits and cocoa help you sleep at night but only the Welsh had the budget for food; in London they could only prescribe sleeping pills to do the same job! Imagine!
|Nicey replies: Hello Norma,
Thank you for this heart warming tale of dietary fibre.
I think I called the HobNob an instant classic, meaning that since its launch it straight away acquired the stature of a much more mature biscuit. Its recent low fat incarnation is a very different beast and I think they might give your Dove's Farm Organic Digestives a run for their money in the roughage department.
Further to recent correspondence regarding the whole "biscuits as weapons" thing I would like to introduce the idea of "biscuits as eductional tools". As part of our training we are required to have a basic understanding of materials and mechanics. For the most part it is very basic ( i.e non-existant ) so we have regular teaching sesions which attempt to address this. A few years ago a nice lady who is a world reknowned expert in material science came to teach us for an afternoon. She clearly realised that she was trying to educate morons and had tailored her talk accordingly. She was using examples of everyday items to illustrate various points and it seemed quite easy when she explained it. Well, we all seemed to be grasping it so she moved on to the concepts of brittleness and surface hardness. She demonstrated ductility by bending a plastic ruler which we could all understand and then she passed round a packet of McVities digestive biscuits (which instantly increased her popularity) and invited us to break them in half thereby demonstrating that they do not bend much before breaking because they are brittle. Then she asked us to run our fingernail down the surface and observe the resulting scratch. Thus the concept of surface hardness and the production of asperities by 3rd body wear was easily explained to 20 or so trainee orthopaedic surgeons who are well known for being thick.
Naturally I felt you would wish to know of this example of biscuits contributing to the greater good of man and increasing the sum of human knowledge. It occurs to me now that it would be useful to conduct a trial of various biscuits to compare surface properties starting with the addition of chocolate to the digestive........ And if you are going to have an icon for "biscuits as weapons" do you think we could have one for "biscuits as educational tools"?
I am deeply grateful for the top tip on the mint chocolate digestives, by the way. I think they would be the starting point for any educational research I would try.