Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
To help you work out what is what, are now little icons to help you see biscuit related themes. And now you can see at a glance which are the most contested subjects via this graph (requires Flash 6.0 plugin).
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If you like, you can use this search thingy to find stuff that matches with any of the icons you pick, or use the fantastic free text search, Yay!
||Fig rolls used to frighten me but last week at Carrefour Paris I decided on impulse to add a packet of Boland's of Ireland Fig Rolls to my cart, along with one of Crawford's Garibaldi and McVities Digestive. Yes, English biscuits in France but one do tire of all-butter 'grandmère biscuits eventually. The fig rolls, once we opened and took our first sceptical bite, was enjoyed with great enthusiasm; we had to restrain ourselves from finishing the entire pack at a go but this morning I scoffed the rest. It looks very much like the Jacobs version, maybe it's the same thing. The filling to biscuit ratio is good for me, we're getting some Fugola to compare later.|
|Nicey replies: Bolands are a brand of Jacobs, being like Crawfords to McVities. We had a pack of those several years ago now and were rather stunned / appalled to see whale oil listed as an ingredient.|
||Long live the fig roll I say. I am currently tucking into a 'bag' of these delicious treats by Barilla, under the brand 'Passioni Italiane - Fico' but translations aside, they are without doubt, fig rolls, and tastly too. Small I admit, but very 'figgy', with a soft texture.|
Do you know of this brand?
One other point from your site. I would like stand firmly on the side of the pink wafer. I have fond memories as a child of these melt in the mouth biscuit wafers. I admit, each to his own, and me, occationally to my pink wafers.
Simon Bartle, UK, in Paris
|Nicey replies: Yes we have heard of Barrila via the Parvesi Ringo, but we have yet to sample their Fig Rolls.|
Your fascinating site reminded me of a biscuit-related enigma which has haunted me since childhood days: the phrase "ship's biscuit". Despite this strikingly anomalous use of the singular, I have always liked to picture generously plural stocks of biscuits stowed in tins, or possibly crates, deep in the hold. Fig rolls would be a healthy choice for a long voyage, although perhaps custard creams might be more comforting. Garibaldi would fit the bill too. Somehow, the more effete chocolate varieties seem ill-suited to a life of rum, sodomy and the lash.
But what exactly was ship's biscuit? Since I am too bone idle to go away and research the whole thing on Google, I wondered what light you might be able to cast on the world of tea-time confectionery in a historical maritime setting.
|Nicey replies: Mary,
A ships biscuit is in fact the ancestral biscuit from which all others sprang and even gave rise to the very word 'biscuit'. As we mention from time to time biscuit comes from two french words 'bis' for twice 'cuit' for cooked. They were so named because biscuit were baked twice a first quick bake to cook then biscuit then a long slow drying bake to preserve it for use as ships rations. Made from simply flour, salt and water, they are not something you want to dunk into your cuppa. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a ships biscuit earlier in the year although I had to give it back to its owner. It really wasn't very appetising and looked uncannily like one of those fake doggy turd things. The biscuits are as hard and rock, and it was not uncommon for sailors to break their teeth on them.
||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?
||Hello there, |
I'm an experienced figroll consumer, often having 4 a day, in addition to other biscuits.
However, there's something about figrolls that confuses and worries me.
Normally, a biscuit goes soft when left out of it's protecting biscuit tin. Instead, figrolls go hard!
Why is this?
Hope you can answer this problem I'm having
University of Cambridge
|Nicey replies: Don't be confused and worried. The high moisture content of the fig paste contributes to the crusts soft nature, and on exposure to the air this tends to dry out. Now there are some who would say that this makes the fig roll a cake, which it clearly isn't, and if nothing else it proves that there are always exceptions to the rule. Also if you are ever in France try out the Figolu. This mini fig roll does not have the required bulk to maintain its correct moisture content and so appears to have already gone stale by the time it gets put into its pack. |