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Vimto and Vanilla Thriller Jammie Dodgers Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey|
I was relaxing at home with my wife last night when she suddenly remembered a rather exciting biscuit purchase she'd made before. She'd been looking for plain chocolate digestives in Asda, she said, when she found some limited edition jammy dodgers which purported to include not only the standard jam but also custard. Intrigued, I went into the kitchen and retrieved the biscuits.
Unfortunately, the experience was far from magical. I wasn't expecting anything remotely resembling real custard, but hoped for at least a rhubarb-and-custard style dichotomy between the biscuit layers. It wasn't to be, though - the custard was stretchy and sticky like the jam, and tasted the same as well, leading me to believe that these weren't in fact jammy dodgers containing custard, merely jammy dodgers in which half of the jam had been artificially manipulated to look like custard.
Aside from this, the usual jammy dodger setbacks remained. The horizontal packaging style always leaves the jam/custard from the biscuits in the top layer stuck to the wrapper and unsalvageable. Why do they do this? I suspect it's to make the packet of biscuits seem larger - if they were stacked vertically in the normal fashion they'd never get away with only giving you twelve in the packet. Also the extreme stickiness of the filling prevented any meaningful enjoyment being extracted from separating the biscuits - they simply crumbled in my hands.
I know this isn't really feedback of the variety people normally send into you, I just thought it was important that you were made aware of this gimmicky, facile biscuit. I was going to send some in to you so you could test out their custard-ness for yourselves, but unfortunately I'd eaten all of them by the time I'd made up my mind. My wife wasn't too happy about that either.
|Nicey replies: Yes they sound almost identical to the Vanilla Thriller Jammie Dodgers we reviewed a while back. Definitely one of those occasions when something sounds much better on paper. I think Jammie Dodgers are only ever going to be two biscuits connected with a squirt of jammie glue. Much as we can imagine them morphing into a new higher form that has a layer of something else in there its never going to happen.
I'm glad you raised the rhubarb and custard point. Nanny Nicey has always said there should be a Rhubarb and Custard cream biscuit. Indeed a couple of years ago I was invited into the Sainsbury's mothership to talk about ideas for new biscuits and suggested this. It was very well received and they even got Fox's involved who did some brainstorming around the idea, with various classic British Puddings interpreted through the medium of biscuits being suggested, but it never proceeded further. It would be a terrific biscuit though.
||Evening, Nicey, I seem to be becoming a regular correspondent, which is a refelction on a brilliant website that gets down to life's real issues.|
Don't wish to hog this section, but I had to reply to Alison Debenham to reassure her she is not alone in the marmalade making industry. My wife Sheila and I took over our family marmalade manufacturing concession about ten years ago, when my mother, then aged 80, decided she'd had enough (of slicing up oranges, that is). We are about to go in search of Seville oranges, a quest not so easy in Finchley now as there is only one greengrocer left - last year I ended up paying half as much again for them in Waitrose. We usually make three batches, each using three pounds of fruit - there is always a demand from family & friends as the finished product is so superior to the commercial one. My favourite is Three Fruit, made from a combination of Sevilles, pink grapefruit and lemons, although I can't resist spiking a few jars of Seville with Bell's whiskey (for personal consumption). I have also found a recipe for rum and raisin marmalade, which we may give a try. I think that once you are used to the home made stuff, anything else is just not up to standard. We are also masochistic enough to make our own jams, wine, chutneys, and pickles. So no, Alison, you are not alone, you are not sad, you are helping to preserve a bit of old England, and long may you continue to do so.
Incidentally, a great and simple pudding can be made by making a sandwich of a McVities Jamaica Ginger Cake (that has preferably been left to mature for six months, they improve with age) - filling it with a liberal helping of marmalade of choice, wrap in foil and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Serve with lashings of (Bird's) custard.
And on the subject of custard, Nicey, you are raising an issue which seriously needs addressing. Sales are slumping - the British are not taking their custard seriously enough, and I don't understand why. Do you ever meet anyone who says "I don't like custard"? Proof enough, surely.