||Dear Nicey |
Where have all the Fig Rolls gone?? Seems to be quite a desperate shortage here in Northamptonshire. My husband has spent hours staring at the shelves of biscuits in the vain hope that the figgy loveliness will be there. There's not even the tease of a empty space or label to give him the consolation that they haven't disappeared off the face of the earth.
Anyone know any supermarkets that are stocking them? In any make or form, he is getting quite desperate! Would give a man on a diet the will to continue!
|Nicey replies: The Fig Roll Crisis earlier this year is still having repercussions six months later. All cut and bake varieties seem to available, we have seen Jacobs, Crawfords and Bolands (Irish) in last few months. However the Burton's bake then cut ones which are supplied to most UK supermarkets as own brand don't seem to have restarted as yet.|
I would appreciate your assistance in settling this issue that has rumbled on for some time with my work colleagues. I would classify Cheddars as a biscuit, however work colleagues who view themselves as experts in this field seem to strongly disagree. The only other category that Cheddars could fall into is the cracker category but this feels all wrong to me. I note that comments on your website suggest that you can spot a biscuit if it can be dunked in tea, of course this would be inappropriate in respect of a Cheddar but I don't think categorisation in this case should hinge on this. Personally when talking about Cheddars, I think it reasonable to refer to them as "Cheddar biscuits" but would seek your views in order to settle the issue once and for all. What category do cheddars fall into?
|Nicey replies: Phil,
Thanks for getting us back on to a sensible topic. My personal call would to class the Cheddar as a savoury cracker, and not a biscuit. Given that its a savoury rather than a sweet product I feel happy with that. Also Cheddars would need some form of quarantine from other biscuits if placed in the same biscuit tin confinement to their packet. Other wise you might end up with cheesy custard creams or some other embarrassing problem.
Having said that a school friend of mine went through quite a big Cheddars phase where he would have a fig roll followed by 2 or 3 cheddar chasers. The two went together very well probably a bit like having fruit with your cheese board. So I would acknowledge the Cheddars ability to mix convivially with biscuits, perhaps more than any other cracker. I'm sure it could always hang about with those Hovis Digestives if it were feeling a bit left out, as they both share an interest in cheese.
Here in leafy Sheffield the Fig Roll crisis has been hitting hard. No major supermarket has any and only Sainsbury's has taken the sensible step of putting a little note on the shelf where the Fig Roll price ticket would usually be, explaining the 'industry-wide' shortage. I also note that unlike other retailers, they are leaving the gap on the shelf where the FR packs should be. I can only think that either they:
a) anticipate re-stocking in the near future and so don't want to waste time re-aligning the entire biscuit aisle to cover up the empty space
b) see it as a fitting mark of the gravity of the situation and are leaving the space out of respect and/or as an optimistic vigil. If health and safety regulations did not prevent it I'd pop a tea-light candle in the gap myself.
On the bright side a small newsagents on Glossop Road (near to 'New Roots') has a stock of Crawfords brand Fig Rolls- not my brand of choice but obviously we can't be fussy in these difficult times. I'm limiting myself to two packs at the moment but if there are any left on the way home this afternoon I might not be able to resist.
Finger's crossed that the Turkish Fig-Farmers will be back in business soon,
|Nicey replies: I managed to pick up a pack of Jacobs this morning so it looks like the cut then bake fig rolls are weathering the crisis for some reason. I'm very pleased to hear that you have got hold of some Crawfords as I had my doubts that they would keep on making them once Jacobs joined United Biscuits.|
McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
One theory which you have omitted to mention is that the mice running the biscuit machines have taken their annual holiday, or maybe gone on strike (after all no one else is satsified with a below-inflation pay rise, so why should they be?) The biscuit machine in Bagpuss was run by mice, and I won't have anyone telling me that iconic TV programmes from my childhood aren't true. Admittedly this machine made chocolate biscuits rather than fig rolls, but I'm sure the original design could be tweaked to produce whatever biscuit you wanted. Or the mice wanted, which could be a different thing entirely.
|Nicey replies: Good reasoned thinking, however, the mice in Bagpuss were a dodgy bunch and were not really making Chocolate Biscuits out of Butter Beans. They kept producing the same chocolate biscuit from round the back over and over again. They probably pinched this too. (I go into this in some depth in our book)
BTW Bagpuss has just won a poll or something You can see the mice in the picture. They look a bit shifty, I think its the eyes.
Been temping for a very nice firm of solicitors who put their staff’s cuppa needs at the heart of the operation. As such they have a seriously good brew station with as fine a mix of teas and coffees as you could imagine. I found a small sachet of Chai and report thusly: if you brew a really weak cup of black tea, dunked a ginger nut for not longer than disintegration, you would still get a better cuppa than the muck I drank. Ugh. Won’t be drinking another one I can tell you!
PS Why isn’t the fig crunch headline news?
|Nicey replies: Don't know why the Fig crisis isn't making the mainstream news. Maybe SKY would go with it if there was some kind of riot as a consequence of Fig Roll shortages. Given the scant coverage of the GingerNut / Morning Coffee crisis of 2006 I don't hold out much hope.|