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||Until now I've been a failure as a parent. Both our kids have avoided any tea or coffee intake, in fact the only hot drink they'll touch is hot chocolate. This is probably due to my tendency to consume huge mugs of industrial strength Assam, with very little milk and certainly no sugar. My own introduction to tea was by my grandfather who served me tiny little bone china cups full of very sweet milky glengettie, and let me drink it from the saucer or teaspoon if it was too hot. (I also shared the saucer with his collie dog, Bob, but that's another story).|
Anyway, while on holiday our youngest (7) took part in a tasting at the Auray branch of the LeClerc supermarket chain (lack of French is no obstacle to a lad who can talk for Wales and doesn't care if anyone's listening). He was much taken with the Lipton Ice Tea Peche
Thankfully we can get a version of this at home, so he's very happy. My questions are:
1. Does this count, in any way, as tea drinking in the 'real' sense?
2. How can I encourage it to evolve into a proper tea habit without resorting to too much sugar?
(Much more cheerful this week, thanks!)
|Nicey replies: Hello Sue,
Glad you have bucked up a bit this week.
I remember my first visit to a LeClerc (indeed the first French Supermarket I went too), must have been about 15 years ago now. Despite only being a small one it still sold cement mixers along with the more obvious groceries. For added rustic charm a small flock of sparrows were coming in through a gap in the roof and making off with some goods placed at the top of the shelves. I'm guessing it was somewhere near Montreuil just south of Boulogne.
Anyhow sorry to bring you down in your hour of triumph but French peach flavoured Iced tea fails on at least three counts. Still the fact that the boy is showing willingness to try other beverages is a good thing in general. We work on the principle here that certain selected items such as special forms of cake (one's that we made a bit of a fuss about baking) can only be consumed with tea. This works some of the time but is in no way fool proof.
For some reason the chefs where I work insist on calling Custard "English Sauce" whenever they put it onto the menu! Is this some strange EU directive that means its not allowed to be called Custard unless it comes from the Custardy region of France or Germany or where ever? Whatever the reason, I can report that it tastes just the same. Maybe we need a capaign to Save Our Custard!
On a different point, my childhood favorite desert was Banana Custard, which my brother and I used to make by pouring a generous helping of custard over a sliced banana. Delicious!
|Nicey replies: Bananas and Custard are a proper pudding. The younger members of staff and myself often tuck into a bowl.|
Abricot Barquettes Review
Great to see one of my childhood favourites being reviewed on your site. I have many a fond memory of the 'boat biscuits from France'. Please note however that it's best to eat all the sponge first, saving the jam/centre for that special last bite. I prefer the strawberry ones to apricot, and you can also get chocolate ones now, taste like nutella, yummy.
||I recently visited the French resort of Nice and was shocked to find that the liberator of Italy - Garibaldi - was born there. One town associated with two biscuits - is this a record.|
Also - Nice biscuits are generally nasty - is this the same attitude to naming that means that any country with the word "Democratic" in its name is not? Similarly, Fig Rolls don't (roll) and neither do Jammy Dodgers (dodge). How many other misleading biscuits are there? Should something be done to prevent confusion?
||Dear Nicey, |
I was recently recommended your page by a tea-drinking, biscuit eating friend and have found it to be most interesting, informative and entertaining. However, I am shocked that you have not yet reviewed the mighty and legendary 'Club' biscuits. These biscuits are great for many reasons: not only did they have the best and most catchy TV Biscuit-Ad Theme Tune in the world ("If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our club!"), but they also came in a variety of flavours which was an excellent marketing technique as you got a certain feeling that for some reason you had to 'collect' them all! I remember the mint variety and the fruit variety (with raisins - which were somewhat softer and jucier than the others), there was also a milk variety which I never tried and therefore still perplexes me. There was also a choc hazlenut variety released a number of years after club's first appearance and they may have been released under a slightly different name, such as 'Club de Luxe' or similar, I'm not entirely sure. Anyhow, these handy-sized miniature snacks were just great to find tucked away inside your Stars Wars lunch box at primary school (remember those? - with matching flasks - 'do not sip hot drinks through spout' - excellent!) alongside your beef paste butties. They make a refreshing change from the ever-shrinking Wagonwheel any day! AND... they really did have a LOT of chocolate on them - you could bite off each end, without your teeth penetrating the biscuit, and end up with a thick slab of pure chocolate in your mouth - Bliss! Please review them!
|Nicey replies: You've hit a raw nerve there Mr Webb. Indeed Club biscuits were once as you described them, their very reputation built on the amount of chocolate they carried on their exterior. My favorite was the orange Club which I would have with a cup of tea in my student common room circa 1982-1985. However, you obviously haven't had one of late or you would be as distressed as I am about the state they are now in. They no longer have a lot of chocolate on them!!! The French (Danone) took over Jacobs biscuits and the new Euro club is a sad shadow of its former glory. They are now longer flatter and with a thin film of chocolate over them. I have only seen Orange club biscuits, I don't know if they have dropped fruit and mint altogether. I can only guess at the anguish and trauma for the blokes at Jacobs when their life's work was turned into a travesty of its former self. This is why I haven't been able to bring my self to review Club biscuits.|