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Strawberry Newton Review
|Hello, you lovely Brits. Your wonderfully amusing and informative Web site inspired me and a friend (we're Americans) to hoard biscuits on our recent visit to London. We traipsed from store to store looking for biscuits. It turned out that the best selection was a block from our hotel in the West End. A cubby of a store called Food City on the Strand had about two dozens types of biscuits, which we obligingly purchased. (The storekeeper thought us odd.) Then friend and I ventured from store to store to supplement our purchases. Back home, I've just broken into my cookie, er biscuit, stash. Now I'm tempted to eat them all by myself, instead of sharing them with my lovely co-workers, as I'd planned. Sigh. This just means I will have to return to London for more biscuits. If anyone has suggestions on which London stores have the widest biscuit selections, I would appreciate knowing for my next trip. This go-around, friend and I each left with carry-ons full of biscuits. The bellhop tried to carry my biscuit bag, but I yelped and grabbed it back. I didn't want my stash reduced to crumbs. Now I'm enjoying my biscuits with a nice cuppa. Oh joy.|
Biscuitly yours from the Silicon Valley,
|Nicey replies: Hello Maggie,
Just off off the Strand is a small Sainsburys supermarket, and just across the other side is a small Tesco's Express. Either of these would be a useful biscuit top up spot. The nearest Marks and Spencers is just up above the Strand opposite Covent Garden Tube Station. If you clean out those three you'll need to charter your own plane to get the biscuits back to California.
Last time I was in Silicon Valley I had to eat Strawberry Newtons, purchased in down town San José.
I have just landed my aircraft this morning after a long flight back from Johannesburg. Many hours had to be whiled away as we covered the 5000 miles between South Africa and London... plenty of time for a nice cup of tea and we are always sitting down!
Lo and behold, one of the cabin crew passed me a little individually wrapped biscuit with one of my many cups of tea and, being a dunker, I gave it a go. This was probably the best dunking biscuit I have ever tried and that covers a lot of ground. Quick to take up the moisture but firm enough to keep in one piece the result was a soft and delightful texture. The flavour was a lovely combination of wheat and oats with a strong coconut aftertaste and not spoiled by the altitude.
The biscuit is a Biscotti home baked Italian wonder produced by Biscotti, 21 King St, Duncanville, South Africa. On a rating of 1 to 10 this has to be a 9.7 and I am renown as being a hard marker. If you or anyone in your ken knows where I might get these marvels in the UK I would be forever grateful as it may be weeks before I get back to Jo'burg.
Thank you for your charming response. You've made me think that perhaps biscuits in space is a much-neglected research area that I should pursue. I'm attaching a picture of a 1959 Russian biscuit tin featuring Sputnik 1 for your enjoyment.
|Nicey replies: Alice,
That is a fantastic biscuit tin, you must be very proud. I tend to think about biscuits in space about 3 or 4 times a week at the moment, which I think is healthy. In our book (out in November) I thought about which would be the best biscuit for zero-g or micro-gravity situation. This is surely going to be an issue for the in flight catering on any future sub-orbital space planes. Inevitably I think its the fig roll.
I live in Indonesia, which has to be the world's second most tea-loving nation. They have invented Teh Botol, or tea in a bottle, which tastes like angels crying on your tongue. But where Indonesians really excel in tea and sit-downs is in the little snacks and cakes they make.
And the best place to get those is on Merpati Airlines, the domestic carrier. Along with your tea, they give you a little box with a cake (often of surprising colour- maybe even green or pink), a deep fried something (could be a spring roll) and a green chilli. Take a bite of chilli. It's hot. Take a bite of spring roll. Mmmm, now you're getting somewhere. Take a sip of tea. Perfection. Absolute perfection. Finish with the cake.
I had to mention this. These tea-at-altitude interludes play a large part in my life.
All the best to the wife,
PS I think you should have an aeroplane icon too.
|Nicey replies: Yes the case for an aeroplane icon is building. I don't think I can run to an 'Angels crying on your tounge' icon, however.|