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||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
Just recently stumbled across your inspirational website (where have I been for the last 3 years?)
I have a long affiliation with tea - originally being from Yorkshire it has been a staple part of my diet since I were knee-high to a grasshopper! I also briefly worked at Twinings tea shop in London (no PG Tips there though)
Although the subject of dunking is covered in magnificent depth on your site, I can find absolutely no refernce to the actual biscuits named "Dunkers" (I have no idea if they are still in production and can't remember which company manufactured them)
They were almond-shaped, roughly 10cm long and and 5cm at their widest mid-point. Obviously some research types decided that these are the ideal dunking dimensions and indeed, they fitted neatly into one's mug. They also managed to retain an unsurpassable amount of tea without crumbling.
I vaguely remember a rather dodgy TV ad for them involving a car with steamed up windows...
However, their fundamental flaw was that they tasted minging. The dominating flavour was malt - in fact it was basically Horlicks disguised as a biscuit and who in their right mind would pollute their cuppa with a hefty teaspoon of Horlicks? I'm sure even the custard cream-in-port lady dunker would have difficulty in stomaching aforementioned.
However, on the subject of bizarre dunking, the strangest by far - and not altogether unpleasant - that I have sampled is cheese.
Let me explain - as there are extenuating circumstances. It was many years ago before my tastebuds developed the refinement they now posess. I was on an aeroplane, so not a particularly nice sit down and also an environment not wholly familiar with the nuances of tea preparation. In fact, let's face it, aeroplane tea is absolutely diabolical (Although not quite as appalling as that which I encountered on a GNER train last summer - in First Class no less!).
Anyhow, we encountered a spot of turbulence during which I was unfortunate enough to drop a piece of cheese in my cuppa. Now I forget why, but instead of quickly retrieving said solid dairy mass, I let it lie. Then, (once again, inexplicably - although in my defence I was very young) I continued to sup my beverage. And then - yes, you guessed it folks - I ate the cheese (I was quite a piggy-jack porker of a kid). And you know what - it was surprisingly palatable.
Can I blame altitude sickness?
|Nicey replies: Fiona,
First congratulations on getting the dunking, cheese and airplane icons altogether, well done. Yes, those Dunkers have been mentioned to me once before, I never had them and as you elude to it doesn't appear that they are sorely missed. As for melting cheese in your tea, that is something that you have obviously come to terms with, and if by sharing it with the world it helps you work through it then we are glad to help.
As we are now officially in book plugging mode, I would like to point out that I discuss trains and planes in our sitdown section.