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Café Noir Review
I stumbled across your web site whilst googling for "Fox's Chocolate Creations" and was immediately hooked. As a Brit who has been living in that biscuit wasteland known as Canada for the last 10 years I have to admit that it made me feel quite homesick.
I wonder if you could help me identify a biscuit that I remember from my early childhood which has almost certainly been discontinued now. During the late 60s/early 70s I looked forward to visits to my Grandparents' house where the class of biscuit was always a cut above that served up in our own household. Cafe Noir was often on offer, but there was also another biscuit (most probably made by the same company as Cafe Noir). It was an rectangular iced biscuit, but the interesting aspect of it was that the icing on the top was in 3 different coloured stripes (one pink, one pale yellow and one brown). An odd combination of colours you may think, and indeed, it was an odd combination of flavours too. The brown icing was definitely coffee flavoured and I imagine the pink was strawberry (though I can't remember for sure). The pale yellow icing must have been lemon I guess, since I don't remember it being anything as exotic as banana or pineapple. As the coffee flavour was my favourite, (Yes - I am one of those strange people who always ate the coffee creams out of the boxes of Milk Tray first) I always consumed the biscuit by nibbling along it's length and getting rid of the pink icing first, then the yellow, until I was left with a long thin strip that just had the coffee icing on it. Yum!
Anyway, I would be most appreciative if you, or some of your readers could jog my memory for me and remind me what this biscuit was called.
On the subject of other biscuits that have probably been discontinued, another childhood favourite was sports biscuits. These had a stick figure embossed on them in some sporting stance, often the stick figure was holding a ball or a golf club or some other piece of sporting equipment. Am I imagining it or do I also recall an iced version called iced sports? The stick figure bore a strong resemblance to those on some of the playbox biscuits. So perhaps they were made by the same company.
|Nicey replies: Hello Ruth,
Our next door neighbour is Canadian, and feels he is living in an Ice Hockey wasteland, so may be that goes some way to restoring balance in the universe. Anyhow many many iced biscuits have fallen by the way side and are perhaps the Sauropods of the paleolithic biscuit world. I say perhaps as the existence of the Cafe Noir however a specialised a beast it may be would need us to have a Brontosaurus or Diplodocus knocking about some place (maybe the Congo)
Anyhow back to my point, there used to loads of them and they were all fairly similar and now they all gone. Titans of a bye gone age, now just the Party Ring and Cafe Noir grace our supermarket shelves.
However the Sports biscuit is very much still alive and kicking although it has suffered terribly in that all its little sports people are no longer proper stickmen and have plumped up to at least sausage men. Foxs who you mentioned at the start of you mail make them and used to make them too for M&S, which is where you may have seen some iced ones. I spoke to a nice lady at Foxs just before the stick men were put out to pasture who said that they were up to something with their Sports biscuits but wouldn't elaborate. I think she knew we wouldn't be impressed. Playbox biscuits were made by Peek Frean, and I would instinctively attribute many bygone Iced biscuits to Peek Frean and Huntly and Palmers, although this is pure guess work.