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I’ve just enjoyed a splendid biscuit, so, when I returned to my desk, I typed “Best Biscuit” into Google, as you do, and arrived at your most interesting site.
Like your recent correspondent (Julie Marlow), I am an expat living in Melbourne, and the biscuit that transported me today was an Arnott’s Chocolate Shortbread. Confusing I know, since it’s neither short, nor bread, but as we know nomenclature in the biscuit world is inconsistent at best (i.e. Jaffa Cakes). We really need an international naming convention to sort it out once and for all. Conforming biscuits could advertise the fact on their (cardboard) packets as in: HobNobs (Approved – Societe Internationale de Biscuit Nomenclature, Geneva). Anyway, I digress. The ACS is redolent of Dundee biscuits that I used to enjoy in the schoolyards of my youth, in darkest Sheffield. Extremely moreish, with a pleasingly doughy texture , and lots of clag. You’re picking clumps out of your molars for hours.
|Nicey replies: Good plan in the biscuit naming body, but I can't see its decisions being adhered to if its based in Geneva, as Swiss biscuits are mostly utterly woeful. Most of them would carve out a more useful living for themselves as packing material, given that they tend to be puffed up with air in some fashion, rather than being full of biscuity usefulness. I think I would be tempted to site it on the Isle of Man, which would make it handy for the British and Irish to thrash out the various issues we have in biscuit nomenclature. Actually there aren't too many but it would make a lovely long weekend for everybody and I haven't actually been there, only over it.
As for Dundee biscuits the unrest continues here as the authenticity of the ones produced by Cottage biscuits (see our missing in action section) was questioned by one meticulous correspondent. Never having had one I'm unable to comment.
|Sarah Campbell Kennedy
I am procrastinating writing an essay and so thought I should alert you to the Best Biscuit in the World, which you may have missed out on in your biscuitology experiments.
It is made by Arnotts, and is called a 'Kingston'. I found it in Australia and have yet been able to find/buy it online or in the UK, but it is probably the most amazing biscuit I have ever tasted. I only ate my first on a whim because I am from Kingston, but by god I am thankful for trying it.
Thought you should know. If you ever find where I can get them in the UK i'd be grateful... i'm saving up to return to Australia and get some more, but I am only a mere student and my biscuit-quest fund is limited.
|Nicey replies: They are actually made under licence by Arnotts and are their version of the South African biscuit the Romany Cream made by Bakers. We reviewed the originals some time ago.
You can get Kingstons in the Australian shop in London's Covent garden although they are loads of money.
Romany Creams Review
Just found your site and saw your review of Romany creams. I remember as a kid during the 60's, here in the UK, wolfing down packets of 'Gypsy Creams'. I can't remember who made them or what they were like and I don't know if they are still about. A Google search for 'Gypsy Creams' will yield some interesting results. Apparently they are the favourite biscuit of TV quizmaster Richard Whitely (channel Four's 'Countdown') and recipes for them abound. I suspect that Gypsy Creams are the non-PC equivalent of the South African 'Romany Creams'.
Regards, Jim Williams
|Nicey replies: Yep, we are up to speed with all of that including the dodgy Google search outcome. Typically when using Google to search for biscuit stuff it either brings up dubious stuff or our site. Interestingly Arnotts in Oz make Romany Creams under licence from Bakers, and call them Kingston. I picked up a pack a little while ago in the Australian shop in Covent Garden.|
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!!!)
Jacob's Mikado Review
|I too remember the Mikado biscuit. I used to longingly gaze at themwhen shopping with my mother who would never let me have them. They were at the echelon of biscuit poshness and I used to imagine grown ups laughing, drinking wine and delicately noshing at them.|
When I reached the age where I could decide what I wanted to buy in the biscuit department I finally bought a box. Excitedly, I didn't wait till I reached home, but scoffed them right there at the till - and boy they didn't disappoint.
I am greatly saddened that Mr D hasn't been able to find them as they are truly great. I can't really help though as I am in Australia where, yes, they do love Tim-Tams. I however think they are a poor, lighter imitation of a Penguin and am distinctly unimpressed.