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I am writing to ask you, as a nationally renowned expert on the matter, your views on a certain teatime consumable. Is the 'Penguin' bar a chocolate bar, a biscuit bar, or a biscuit? Of course,I initially assumed it would fall in to the category of chocolate bar, however I than realised that the biscuit/chocolate ratio is actually higher than one imagines (due to the chocolate flavoured biscuit), and that the penguin has a tremendous biscuit heritage as something to be found in the biscuit tin, in among other biscuits, and certainly not a conventional chocolate bar (despite obvious resemblance). I know you are are very busy, but any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
|Nicey replies: George,
I will indeed take some time out of my hectic Sunday morning schedule to help you out on this one. This is precisely the sort of trouble one can get into if you think overly hard about the classification of biscuits. The simple answer is that the Penguin is of course a biscuit, technically a member of the chocolate covered count line. So called because when they were first introduced biscuits were sold loose by weight, and these new premium biscuits were sold by number or count.
A few other factors for you to consider, they are mostly made from biscuit, by United Biscuits who call them biscuits and they are sold in the biscuit aisle with all the other biscuits, plus they are very good with a cuppa.
This is a polite but firm request for you to remove the foul and fematatory language regarding Pink Wafers which I have just read in the FAQ's of the Biscuit bit of your otherwise excellent website.
Although nowadays I have to buy 'Pink Panther Biscuits' out of Somerfield to get my fix, I can still happily eat an entire packet dunked in tea and still feel that I could go another one without too much bother.
Each to their own of course, you're entitled to your opinion, but they certainly aren't "unpleasant at best," and are amongst my favourite biscuits of all time.
(P.S. I discovered Penguin-Tea-Straws through your website, and am eternally grateful...)
|Nicey replies: You won't be keen on what I said about them in our book then.|
|Your point about the jokes being a recent innovation is quite true. The issue was certainly the colour of the foil wrapper which caused major arguments between me and my two bothers. Blue was without a doubt the best, followed by green. Red was not to be seen with. The taste of the biscuit was secondary to this.|
Paul Williams, Abingdon
|Nicey replies: Really, Green is usually bottom of the list as green things are made from washing up liquid, such as green fruit gums.|
Once I heard about the Tim-Tam Slam I instantly saw the potential of this phenomenom to add itself to our biscuit munching habits here in the UK. I endeavored to discover the suitability and technique for several of our British wrapped biscuits.
Report 1: The Penguin
This was an obvious first choice because of its similarity to the Tim-Tam. I bit the biscuit at either end to allow for tea passage. As the biscuit gets melty if held, I recommend this is done without hands, simply holding the biscuit carefully in your mouth and dipping the end into the tea. I sucked until the chocolate on the outside began to melt slightly, then withdrew the biscuit from the tea and, using slight incline of the head, flicked the biscuit into my mouth.
Result: The Penguin may be a denser biscuit than the Tim Tam, but it is still eminently suitable for Slamming. The technique is tricky and could get messy for beginners, so using a finger to usher the biscuit in and using a shorter length of biscuit are both acceptable and often recommended. Caution must be advised to avoid risk of choking.
Report 2: The Rocky Bar
Next I tried the Rocky Bar, a sweet light golden biscuit topped with a small layer of caramel and coated with a strange chocolate that tastes milky and not as smooth as Cadbury's chocolate. I tried exactly the same technique as with the Penguin.
Result: An excellent success. Although the chocolate seems cheaper there is more of it. The biscuit is lighter and absorbs tea very well,and the caramel adds a soft chewy egde that was most agreeable. The same cautions as for the Penguin must be applied.
Report 3: The Kit-Kat
Here I was taking a risk. Would wafer be suitable for tea-sucking purposes? Would the thin fingers remain stable, or would it be a cardboard soggy mess? I bit the ends off the single finger of Kit-Kat, and was drawn between whether to bite the finger in half for two shorter slams or whether I should do it in one. In the end I tried both, and proceeded with the Penguin Method.
Result: Fairly good, considering that I am not a wafer fan. The Kit-Kat remained stable but the full length test required me to use hands and bite it twice to get it all in my mouth, definitely a messy endeavor. I would recommend the two-halves method, which gave a smaller, hotter Slam but one that can be done hands free without risk of too much mess.
The preliminary tests have gone very well, and suggest that these British wrapped biscuits are indeed suitable for Slamming. More tests must be done on a wider range of our biscuits forthwith! Well done to the Australians for pioneering the technique.
|Dear biscuit lovers,|
When was the last time you had a penguin? Although the flavour is the same that is not my concern. They have removed the joke from the wrapper! This is an outrage, this is part of the tradition of eating a penguin- reading out the crap joke. Yes I said crap, of course the jokes are crap, they are below the level of Christmas cracker jokes! but they are one of the things in life we thought was sacred,reliable,dependable-not any more. They have replaced the "joke" with gems like this"Make your penguin last longer .......use only your tongue to eat it" What is that? I refuse to eat another penguin until this matter is rectified. I have banned penguins from the house....yes that is how strongly I feel about it. I am thinking about starting a campaign on this subject and I know that everybody out! there who has any of that old "we shall stand and fight for your rights" rebelious streak left in them, will join me in this cause. We will storm the gates of Mcvities and demand to see the King penguin. Resistance will be futile. The penguin "joke will be returned at all costs, Governments may fall, country,s may crumble but we will succeed. So come on stand up and make yourself heard shout from the rooftops "Mcvitie return our ditty even although they were shitty"
Jeff the pengiun protecter.
|Nicey replies: Actually I thought the jokes were a fairly recent innovation. I remember Penguins when they came in proper foil paper wrappers red, green or blue, that was it. The entertainment lay in choosing the colour you liked most.|