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Sunday 2 Jun 2002

Technically the Lincoln is a short dough biscuit, and belongs to the larger family of shortcake biscuits. Its a very serviceable biscuit, not so nice that you would want to eat a truck load, but not so bland that you can't cheerfully tuck several away in a session.

What is really exciting about the Lincoln is the pattern of dots on the top. Now it appears that the pattern of dots can take two forms, concentric circles as shown on the McVities one here, or a tightly packed pattern a bit like the pattern formed by the ends of pipes which have been stacked up. So what are the dots for? I like to think that they give the Lincoln superior traction affording the eater a great non slip grip. As is their custom, McVities have also tried to emboss the word 'Lincoln' on to the biscuit, which shouldn't be necessary, given the distinctive dots. However, the Lincoln refuses to embossed even by the mighty McVities, I had to go through a whole pack to get this one and its writing is iffy to say the least.

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Jam Sandwich Creams

Sunday 26 May 2002

I'm joined for this weeks nice sit down and biscuit review, by biscuit enthusiast Mandy. She's helping me review the much revered Jam Sandwich Cream.

Now lets get the confusion cleared up once and for all these are not Jammie Dodgers. Jammie Dodgers are a brand by Burton's biscuits, these are an example of the generic Jam and Cream Sandwich biscuit. Now normally such biscuits are to found in assortment packs with their numbers strictly regulated to single figures, making them highly prized. So its a boon to biscuit lovers to know that you can get packs of 15 of them from Sainsburys.

The first thing that strikes you about these biscuits is their relatively small diameter, so straight away you know that you'll need at least 3 just to get the measure of them. That said these biscuits are very engaging inviting the eater to toy with them rather than just scoffing them down. Sticking both halfs of the biscuit together is a team effort between the jam and cream, with the jam occupying the bit below the hole.

Separating the two halfs is trivial as the jam is quite pliable, being made from actual raspberries, unlike its cousin the Jammie Dodger. Pulling the biscuits gently apart creates a small well in the jam, a bit like one of those visualisations of the gravity field around a black hole. Mandy comments that "Its nice to eat all the edge off and save the jammy bit to the end".

The sugar crystals on top of the jam create an air of opulence as do the refined biscuit graphics with the underside bearing a passing resemblance to a sunflower. All very elegant.

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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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