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|Mrs Sarah Mint-Viscount
Kimberley and Chocolate Kimberley Review
|Dear Nicey (and Wifey, and NCOTAASD YMOS),|
As I listened to Today FM's Ray D'arcy Show this morning, I was getting very engrossed in the debate that raged - a debate on the nomenclature of that delicious little delicacy which is made by mixing Rice Krispies with melted chocolate, and dividing the mixture out into little paper cases to set.
Now, the many NCOTAASD enthusiasts who don't live in Ireland can't have heard the show, so they won't know that the debate in question raged between those who insist that the perennial party favourite made from chocolate and Rice Krispies should be called Rice Krispie Cakes, and those who are adamant that they are, and always must, be called Rice Krispie Buns.
Guest host Jenny Kelly was very calmly handling the situation, as well she might, for she is usually the producer of the Ray D'arcy show, and the show regularly broadcasts very important and controversial debates such as these. But calm as she was, there was no doubt that this debate was getting heated - the emails and texts sent in by listeners were becoming more terse and aggressive by the minute.
Even without hearing this show, your NCOTAASD readers will readily understand how my enjoyment of this debate rose to all new levels, when none other than your good self was suddenly introduced to weigh in with your expert opinion. But I must say I was deeply surprised by the opinion you gave. Stating that you would call them Rice Krispie Cakes was bad enough, but to assert that you had never even heard of them being called Rice Krispie buns? It was almost too much to bear. And then, to my delight and relief, Jenny announced that the result of the poll was in, and that a resounding majority of the voters, well over 70%, agreed with me in calling them Rice Krispie Buns. Phew! I wasn't crazy after all.
Now, the British and the Irish are usually in full agreement on the subject of Tea, Biscuits and Cakes (or Buns, as the case may be). We're both in favour of them. Lots of Them. Lots and lots of them. But as you had never even heard of Rice Krispie Buns being called buns, and as they are buns to the majority of listeners to one of Ireland's most popular radio shows, I can only conclude that here is an issue which divides these two islands more than the Irish Sea divides us, and perhaps even more than the Jacob's Kimberley divides us.
In light of this, I wonder if we on the Emerald Isle deserve our to have our own icon on the NCOTAASD feedback section, as the French, Canadians and Aussies already do? After all we are the only nation to which you have ascribed a national gene allowing enjoyment of a particular biscuit (the aforementioned Kimberley). A little shamrock, perhaps, which would sit so nicely with the other icons, and make my heart swell with pride!
Mrs Sarah Mint-Viscount
|Nicey replies: Well yes I came to much the same conclusions in the news item I posted after the interview. Anyhow you're right the time has come for a proper Ireland icon. I'm normally fairly reticent about dishing out icons based purely on geopolitical boundries but as you all seem to have this weird rice krispie bun thing going on over there in addition to Kimberleys I think you've finally earned it (its a pity you had to mention the others as protocol dictates that they need to go up too (Also the Welsh will be after me again (...oh you left out the Kiwis))).|
||Esteemed Mr Nicey:|
Yesterday I had a nice cup of coffee at a small place called The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ®. First of all, though, I had to explain to the nice young lady what "black coffee" is.
It was served in a not-nice styrofoam sort of cup thingy, on which was printed a message about how one could recycle the cardboard thingy which surrounded the cup thingy, to protect one's hands from the heat. And a lot of information about how they brought the finest coffee and tea to the USA (a foreign country on the other side of the Pacific Ocean) in 1963.
I'm not interested in how they brought the finest tea and coffee to the USA in 1963, and I'd rather drink my coffee (and tea) from a proper cup and saucer or mug. You know, the ceramic containers we use in civilized countries.
Nicely printed leaflets told me about buying coffee and tea in pounds, and ounces, and measuring it in fluid ounces, too. Alongside that, we have another nice American chain offering "footlong" and six inch long food. In this country, we haven't used pounds, ounces, fluid ounces, feet or inches since last century.
It seems that they also rush their fresh roasted coffee to their stores in a fleet of trucks. As the "store" I visited is in Australia, I wonder what sort of trucks can navigate the Pacific Ocean on a daily basis?
Perhaps these people think Australia is a colony of the USA? Do you have the same problem in Britain?
I remain, dear Sir, ever your 'umble
|Nicey replies: A Merry Christmas to you Mr Barratt,
Yes we too are treated to much the same sort of level of localisation. I think its terrific that the Americans still use feet and inches and pounds and pints etc. Imagine just how far the western world could have advanced if American scientists were allowed to work out their sums using nice sensible metric units which all behave themselves well in sums. Instead they are trying to work out how to send spaceships to Mars using a system of units based on the distance between Henry I's nose and his thumb. You have to admire them for that as it makes all their sums much more difficult and fiendishly complex. Perhaps the French could lend them their reference meter, a platinum/iridium bar exactly 1 meter long, and the Americans could try it out for a few days and see if they liked it. Actually maybe it's best if we got it off the French first and then lent it to the Americans. We could tell them that whilst it wasn't strictly ours we are allowed to have it at weekends, on account of inventing the word 'weekend'. Of course the French have borrowed that word off of us for years with out so much as a thank you. Still c'est la vie.
Apparently when the metric unit of length was described as the number of wavelengths of light from a coherent source the American's were delighted as now they could properly measure how long an inch really was. To be fair the Americans resolved to adopting the metric system in 1972 at some point in the future when they get round to it.
When visiting San Francisco a few years ago I thought it was odd how people were going out to buy coffee and then wandering around the streets with it in paper cups. What sort of place was it where people seemed unable to make coffee in their own home, and having bought it why wander around instead of drinking it? Compare this to France where in a farmhouse in deepest Perigord I was treated to black coffee made using a saucepan and a filter pot by a lovely old French lady Mdm Mouliner, and slices of homemade Walnut Gâteaux. The walnuts were from her own tree and the eggs from her chickens. A single small cup of the coffee provided about three days worth of caffeine. I maybe trying to make a point here, but given the late hour I'm not sure what it is.
I am delighted to be able to shed light on the whereabouts of the Mikado biscuit, or should I say 'biscuit' (spelt exactly the same, but said with un accent de Francaise).
On a recent trip to France, spoilt only by the French, and France, I chanced upon a packet of the afore mentioned Mikado (on special offer*) and splashed out a few Euro nuggets on a multi pack. Unlike Mr D & Ms Goldsmith I had never encountered such a biscuiting entity but was pleasantly surprised. They look like sparklers, but taste a lot nicer (you'd also be advised not to light a Mikado)
I do in fact have a small supply in a cupboard somewhere at home, so if Mr D and Ms Goldsmith would like to pop round this evening, I'll probably be in between 7 and 9, I would be delighted to crack open a pack. I'll leave a key under the mat. (Just notice you live in Australia Ms Goldsmith, you'd better get your skates on. Perhaps you could come in your 'Ute' ??)
(*They were amusingly on special offer, like many other items in France, as the manufacturers had made thousands of special World Cup packets with pictures of the 'successful' French Football team on, only to be knocked out instantly!!!)