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Your Biscuit reviews

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Alfajor Havanna
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Dare Maple Leaf Cream Cookies
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Pete Biggs's Dare Maple Leaf Cream Cookies review

Our boss (who's Canadian) recently returned from Canada. As she knows of our love of biscuits she brought back some Canadian biscuits for us - Maple Leaf Cream Cookies. I would have to disagree with this classification as they are clearly biscuits, but that's inherent linguistic variation for you. Rather appropriately they are maple leaf shaped, which is quite novel. They are also decorated with the veins of the leaf, which means that they do a rather good impression of a maple leaf, at least, good for a biscuit. They also have the word 'DARE' written on them. Rather than being some sort of confidence building imperative for biscuit consumption, this is the name of the people who make them.

For those of you not in the know, maple syrup does actually come from trees. Having spent most of my childhood being told that 'these things don't grow on trees' (especially money) I found this quite surprising. Apparently the maple sap (a clear liquid containing around 2% sugar) is drained from the tree, then boiled down. If the tree is properly tapped (this is what the process is called) it will not hurt the tree, so it seems that sugar maple tapping is rather like milking a cow, or goat. However, it can take up to 75 gallons of maple sap to produce a gallon of maple syrup, so the trees local to the biscuit factory are probably feeling somewhat drained by now. They are probably in need of nice cup of tea and a sit down themselves, although of course they couldn't eat one of these biscuits, that would be cannibalism.

The first thing I immediately noticed about this biscuit is the smell. It is possibly the smelliest biscuit I have encountered fortunately it is a good smell, as it smells of maple syrup. A large amount of maple syrup seems to have been used in it's manufacture the exterior shell of the biscuit has a unique smoothness to it, far smoother than a custard cream, for example. This interesting texture is highlighted on the packet, where a large photo of a maple cream has "COOKIE ENLARGED TO SHOW TEXTURE" written underneath. The syrup also seems to make the biscuit less prone to the crumbling or breakage suffered by conventional creams in high impact biscuit barrel situations. Each piece of biscuit on either side of the cream also has three drainage holes, which seem to have been placed evenly across the surface of the biscuit with dunking in mind. The cream inside also seems to have been produced using a large amount of sugary Canadian tree by-product. This means that it has a rather sugary and rich taste for a cream based biscuit.

Two taste tests were conducted, one 'dry' and one with a cup of Sainsbury's 'Red Label' tea. Dry the biscuit is rather nice, it tastes sugary and you can definitely pick up a strong taste of maple. Scientists reckon that our sense of taste is largely based on our sense of smell, so the strong maple smell probably helps in this respect. However, this biscuit really comes into it's own when dunked.

Dunking it in a nice cup of tea really seems to bring out this biscuits best qualities - due to it's high structural integrity it does not crumble into the beverage and the sugary taste and good texture are really brought out by the extra liquid. You can taste the individual sugary bits and the cream and biscuit seem to work together for an overall taste sensation that is extremely pleasant. I would imagine these biscuits are also a great source of energy, which would be useful if you were climbing up mountains and riding horses all day, which is what I imagine Canadian's spend their time doing, unless they are civil servants in London of course.