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Griffins Chocolate Chippies

Thursday 21 Nov 2002

In the second of our New Zealand biscuit reviews, (thanks to Fraser of blogjam), we are looking at another Kiwi wonder biscuit the Chocolate Chippie. Unfortunately, because TheWife threw the packet wrapper away, the younger members of staff have scoffed most of them and the Griffins website is under construction, this review will be quite short on facts.

We were immediately impressed with how hard the biscuits are, in fact they would easily give a ginger nut a good fight. Mind you, when talking to a handy Kiwi today, he insisted that Griffins Ginger Nuts are way harder. Once the initial shock of the extra durable biscuit construction has passed then the biscuits flavour can be appreciated. They have a malty sweetness and the chocolate chips provide a mild chocolately under pinning. All very pleasant indeed.

So why are they so hard? Well they seem to be aimed fairly and squarely at kids, with a big bear mascot sort of guy on the packet, and being fortified with iron, could that be it? Are they made of iron? Or could it be that the Kiwis want their kids to eat rugged food so that they grow up tough and are able to stuff the rest of the world at Rugby. That is my preferred explanation.

The one useful statistic that we found on the Griffins site is that they produce 1,603,272 single packs of biscuits a year. At this rate its going to take them 175 years to reach the moon based on a biscuit diameter of 65mm. Still their biscuit space bridge will be highly durable due probably to its iron content.

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Thin Arrowroot

Monday 11 Nov 2002

Yet again this week we have elected to review another dry tasteless dull excuse for a biscuit, the Thin Arrowroot.

Baked by Crawfords the 'B' team of the United Biscuits empire with McVities being their 'A' team. However, Crawfords do produce a great many reference standard biscuits, particularly the Custard Cream and the Bourbon, and we frequently see Crawfords biscuits at the very sharp end of the biscuit world such as those little packs that you get in hotels or railway cafés. With the Thin Arrowroot Crawfords set the standard.

So what are the burning issues with a thin Arrowroot? Well, why are they thin, and what an earth is Arrowroot? Well the answer to the first lies in the second. Arrowroot, is a starchy powder obtained from the rhizomes of the Arrowroot plant, typically grown in places like the West Indies. Typical uses for Arrowroot are to make sort of gloopy fruit slop for desserts and the like, as it works a bit like cornflour. Adding Arrowroot to biscuits, seems to work a bit like adding cement or perhaps plaster of paris. Thin Arrowroots contain 2 percent arrowroot and this appears to be enough to make them a bit like a really hard dry and generally hostile Rich Tea.

In fact we were mostly impressed with the structural properties of the biscuit rather than what it tasted like. For instance the resonant frequencies possesed by the biscuit, produced a higher note when dropped in comparison to a similar sized Rich Tea. Yes, when faced with a biscuit like the thin Arrowroot, one is forced to consider what sound it makes in a vain attempt to find something nice to say about it. It therefore seems like that such a thing as a 'Thick Arrowroot' whilst technically feasible would be too much for the average consumers dental facilities, although they would probably make load bearing walls.

As result of this high level of structural integrity, the writing on top of the biscuits is fantastically detailed, as if engraved onto metal. Unfortunately they taste pretty awful.

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Fox's Butter Tea

Tuesday 5 Nov 2002

Just recently we have had an awful lot of Rich Tea to get through. A nice man from Burton's foods wanted our opinion on some of their Rich Tea, and those which they make for various supermarket chains. The whole exercise was very informative and we feel we have a much better grasp of the genre having eaten our way through seven packets. Suffice to say we are all Rich Tea'd out.

So it was with some trepidation that I dipped into our Fox's review box and pulled out a pack of their Butter Tea biscuits. And it was with a certain amount of delight that I found they were nothing like Rich Tea. In fact they are nearer to an all butter biscuit that has been crossed with a slightly corse shortbread, featuring as they do 11.2 % butter content. Altogether a nice session biscuit, with several being seen off in short succession, and this is not entirely due just to their taste as we shall see.

All was not completely rosy in the garden. The first sign of trouble was the small plastic tray slipped inside the pack and holding the biscuits in one continuous stack. Such devices are there to protect frail and easily damaged biscuits and indeed many of the pack contents were split in two. This can make it difficult to judge your biscuit intake as polishing off half biscuits seems more like an act of compassion putting the poor demi biccies out of their misery. One soon looses count, in the rush to bring order and wholeness to the biscuits. And this is where the second problem arises, Butter Teas appear to stick to one another, and when you try to unstick them they break in two, and off you go again trying to eat all the broken ones.

So before you open a pack of Butter Tea be prepared for it all getting away from you, one way or another.