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|I've just stumbled across your website whilst searching for the elusive Lincoln biscuit that I miss so much but the reason behind this e-mail is to inform you of the stunning biscuit by Fox's called Malted Milk Creams. They are what the title says, two malted milk biscuits (cow, grass and all) sandwiched together by a nice layer of cream. They are so fantastic and unfortunately quite hard to find. I can only seem to get them every now and then in my local Morrsions and as far as Lincoln biscuits go I can't get them anywhere! Have they stopped doing the Lincoln biscuits?|
|Nicey replies: Yes the noble Lincolns are on their way out, although still listed on McVities web site as current product. It was announced last year that they would be discontinued in Spring 2007.
The demise of the Lincoln can be attributed to the River Eden in Cumbria, and Tescos and the others. The river burst its banks back in January 2005 and flooded United Biscuits historic factory in Carlisle causing biscuit manufacturing havoc. Many biscuits suffered including the Gingernut, Bourbon and Morning Coffee. It wasn't clear for a long time if the factory would actually fully repoen, or whether UB would take this as an opportunity to relocate.
By the time the Lincoln was back in production many large supermarkets had assumed it had gone for good and taken it out of their scheme of things. This is the kiss of death it would seem for most UB biscuits, which seem unable to survive unless they are serving a huge market place. Having said that we stopped close to Carlisle on our way to Ireland a few weeks back and in a local Spar bought a pack of Crawfords Fig Rolls. I have never seen these in a major UK supermarket and yet UB manage to keep making them without the patronage of Mr Tesco.
As for your cream filled Malted Milks they sound very useful. Fox's acquired Elkes biscuits in Uttoxeter some years ago who seem to specialise in Malted Milks and Custard Creams so I wouldn't mind betting they emanate from there.
|Hello again, Nicey|
Well....what a turnup for the books! Further to my recent communication regarding the forthcoming demise of the Lincoln, I spotted a pack...in, of all places, Sainsburys in Godalming! There it was, sat all alone in about half a foot of shelf space...so I grabbed it! When I asked Customer Services about their stocks, they did seem to think that they may be getting more in but they couldn't guarantee anything.
A close examination of the pack revealed a BBE date of April 07, so it would appear that these biscuits have a potential shelf life of around 4 months. My plan then, is to buy up some reserves as and when I can and try to preserve them in edible condition for as long as possible. Your good self being, I presume, an expert on such matters - what advice can you give me for storage of biscuits in the best possible condition? My thoughts are an airtight biscuit tin with a sack of silica gel (several of which I shall, no doubt, find amongst electronic products under the Christmas tree this year!).
I remember my Granny, sadly departed from this life now, having a rather nice copper-coloured biscuit tin with a silica gel insert in the lid...every few weeks this would be popped in the oven to refresh it. This kept her biscuits in fine fettle and there was always something very special about being allowed 'something from the tin, Pet'. As the lid popped off the tin, the little puff of 'biscuity aroma' was a joy to inhale. My brother and I often fought over who would get first whiff. What with this and her saving up all the cards from the PG Tips (we only visited a couple of times a year due to distance), or Monkey Tea as it was known, stays with Granny were something special.
To this day, the smell of a well loved and regularly used biscuit tin still evokes happy childhood memories of Granny's kitchen...memories enhanced by closing my eyes and indulging in a little dunking session with a good cuppa and of course, a Lincoln!
Cheers Nicey, and my best regards to you and Wifey this Yuletide season.
|Nicey replies: Hello again Mike,
Yes its quite common to find 4-5 month BBE dates on biscuits when one actually has cause to take notice. It is in the nature of NCOTAASD's mission to have to sample biscuits which are very close to or have actually passed their BBE date. The simple truth is the fresher they are the better, and particularly for shortcake biscuits like the Lincoln which seem to hold up the least well compared such things as Garibaldis and Gingernuts.
I think you are probably doing about all you can possibly do. Excluding moisture, light and extremes of heat are about the best one could hope for. Maybe a protective atmosphere of pure nitrogen gas (as in crisp packets) if you have any compressed nitrogen and hermetically sealing vessels with valves to hand. Even with all of this the biscuits will still go off caused by inevitable and irreversible chemical changes. Indeed one of the arguments that kept biscuit manufacturers using hydrogenated fats for so long was that they prolonged the shelf life of the product.
These modern twilight Lincolns will have none of that. Devoid of hydrogenated fat, the last of a great and majestic dynasty of patterned shortcake biscuits. Like the giant Sauropods at the end of the Cretaceous Period 65 Million years ago, going about their business on the shelves of Sainsbury's unaware that they are about to be wiped out by the dispassionate comet of de-listing.
Perhaps they'll continue to find a place in that great seasonal biscuit assortment the Family Circle selection tin, (only its a plastic box nowadays) along side the Gypsy Cream
Just a quick one. I was perusing my local supermarket shelves just the other day, and from out of (apparently) nowhere, a thought popped into my head...Lincoln biscuits!
I remember these from my childhood, not for any particular reason other than they regularly appeared in the selection of biscuits lurking in the larder after me Mam had been shopping! I made a concerted effort to look for some in Sainsburys and Tescos but to no avail. The whereabouts of said comestible began bugging me so today (06/12/2006) I phoned the McVities Customer Careline for help.
I was informed by a very helpful young lady that the one factory manufacturing Lincolns suffered major flood damage a couple of years back, and that since then production had been moved to another plant but on a much smaller scale. Between the flood and the new production, major chains were unable to order these biscuits in 'mass' quantities, so took this product off their shelf-plan. When production in limited amounts resumed, major stores were no longer willing to introduce what they saw as a discontinued product - shelf layouts being very carefully planned months in advance.
I was advised that the biscuit IS still manufactured, but is only likely to be found in smaller independent corner shops or the smaller food chains. The bad news is that, according to McVities, they will be 'delisted' from their portfolio in early 2007.
If you can find a pack of Lincolns, and enjoy a 'dotty moment'....grab them while you can, for they will vanish in the next couple of months.
I urge Lincoln fans througout the UK to write to McVities and urge them to reconsider their decision to stop production and to pester their local corner shops to stock these icons of the British tea-break!
|Nicey replies: Mike,
Thanks for passing this on. Will this torment ever cease? I imagine that McVities moved production from flood stricken Carlise to their newly acquired Jacobs factories in Liverpool. Once again an object lesson in the extraordinary power of the large supermarket chains dealing with large manufacturers to actually snuff out products.
My working week is shared between the delighful town of Reading, and Moorgate in the City. A little too much Reading if you ask me, but that’s another story.
Anyways, having seen Chris Hollis’ post about the stash of Plain Chocolate Hob Nobs in EC2 and being fortunate enough that today was one of my Moorgate days, I raced down to find the aforementioned sweetshop. Sitting proud upon the shelf were eight tubes of Plain Chocolate Hob Nobs (best before 28/04/07). I bagged two of them at £1.40 a pop – the temptation to snaffle the lot did pass my mind but I felt I should leave a few for other fellow PCHN (I agree – the correct acronym) hunters.
£1.40 might seem a lot, but it’s cheaper than getting your friends in Melbourne to pick them up for you which is something I was seriously contemplating.
Another invaluable service has been provided by your excellent website.
I thank you.
||Nicey, me old dunking chum....|
As a true officionado of the plain chocolate Hob Nob, my world has litterly been torn apart since hearing of my oaty little friends' sad demise. Imagine then, my beaming face, when chancing upon what must be one of the last batches left within the square mile.
A quality sweet shop by my office selling Plain Chocolate Hob Nobs (Or PCHN's to true worshippers) albeit in the rather unsatifactory tube rather than the perfectly servicable wrapper.
Being London, paid a fortune..... but this is a sellers' market!
Keep up the good work on the web-site.
If any London readers want to nip in there quick, the shop is just by Moorgate Tube, near the Chemist. Top shelf (ahem) by the tea bags.