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Wagon Wheel

Sunday 19 May 2002

Wagon Wheels, another biscuit based wonder from that unique biscuit maker Burtons.

Wagon wheels create an instant sense of nostalgia, and yearning for days gone by, in all seasoned biscuit fans, due to the fact that they used to be bigger, much bigger, and thicker. The reduction in size of the Wagon wheel maybe due to our childhood memories recalling a biscuit that was relatively larger compared to us. However, this phenomena does not occur with other large diameter biscuits such as the digestive, so we are left to wonder at the reasons for a mysterious plot to reduce their size. They also used to come in boxes of four with a brown plastic tray thing keeping them in order.

There is much to commend the Wagon Wheel, and even its weaknesses endear it to us, like an old well loved pet dog who whose gone all mental and chases cars, dispite being run over from time to time, I expect. For instance its chocolate flavoured coating, now what's that all about? It gives Wagon Wheels a strange grey vinyl silk sheen, and forms a tortured mass of ripplely bumps on the surface, almost like its not meant to be there at all and has managed to adhere to the surface despite the odds. As for what it tastes like compared to chocolate, who knows? there isn't enough of it to make an informed opinion.

Now on the marshmallow center, what do we know of that? Well it is believed to contain the Wagon Wheels small quantity of gelatin, a useful fact if you want to ward off any vegetarians who are making advances to your biscuits. Other than that it would seem that its main role is to provide an interesting structural layer, allowing both biscuit layers a degree of independent horizontal movement once the flimsy chocolate seal has been compromised. As for what it tastes like again, I doubt if any body knows for sure.

And finally the two biscuit layers themselves. Well your guess is as good as mine, as to what is happening there. They seem to be a bit like an ultra thin shortcake biscuit that has gone stale. Maybe.

However, put all of these odd things together, as Burton's have, and you get the compelling whole that is the Wagon Wheel. Apparently according to the pack this is "A taste for adventure".

Regular guest biscuit reviewer Phil has also reviewed the Wagon Wheel so go check it out if you want a second opinion

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All Butter

Sunday 12 May 2002

So the first thing that you notice about an 'all butter' biscuit is that its not all butter. If it were, it would indeed, be butter, and therefore be a bit greasy for a biscuit.

The All butter biscuit derives it name from the fact that its fat content is derived from butter alone. Thats got to be good, butter is good wholesome stuff, and as such doesn't need loads of wonky stuff mixed in with it in order to make biscuits. As such All Butter biscuits have a very nice flavour, and you can easily imagine that these were baked specially for you by your Auntie or some skilled biscuit making aquaintance.

The biscuit shown here is a Waitrose All Butter biscuit, and therefore takes itself quite seriously, being a biscuit member of the John Lewis partnership. Its not about to be muck you around, oh no. It says I have 25% butter by wieght, and it does. Complete fat composition piece of mind.



Sunday 5 May 2002

I fear I am going to upset some of you, but I have an opinion of the Bourbon biscuit, some what similar to that of Jennifer Lopez. Both are when described sound lovely and are greatly admired. However I find my self somewhat underwhelmed. I often feel that I'm missing the point with the Bourbon biscuit and by rights should like it a lot more than I do. However, I find that Iwill frequently pass it over , frequenting as it does biscuit assortments, in favor of biscuits with apparently lesser charms. I can quite imagine that some people think that this is about as good as it gets, I'm just not one of them. None the less I still have a great deal of respect for the Bourbon, being as it were one the elder statesmen of the biscuit tin, and showing the Johnny come lately biscuits a thing or two about biscuit design.

The one shown here is a Crawfords Bourbon, also well known for their Custard Creams. As you can see these bourbons have excellent embossing and the regulation ten holes, and you can clearly make out the little sugar crystals embedded in it.

There is good sport to had breaking Bourbons apart to get at their chocolate cream filling, with points being scored for precision and full marks going to complete removal of the cream as a single entity.

Bourbons are also reassuringly uniform in size regardless of the manufacturer. Perhaps Bourbon biscuits could form the basis of an SI unit of measurement, with biscuits being measured in Bourbons e.g. the digestive has a diameter of 1.13 bourbons, or that ocean liner is 7.6 kilobourbons long, or wavelength of light emitted by that Argon/Krypton laser is 46.1 nanobourbons. I'm sure you see what I'm getting at.

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