View Full Version : Tea and Biscuit trivia

29th Nov 2006, 16:29
I got a birthday present through the post.
A book. It's called 'Nice Cup of tea and a sit down.'
It is an history of tea making etiquette, and what biscuits are best for dunking.
Do you use one bag per person, can you dunk a chocolate biscuit. Why is shortbread called bread. All butter, well it's not, it's a biscuit. Why do people who like dark chocolate digestives consider themselves superior. The guy's done Venn diagrams and stuff, what's bread, what's a cracker, what's chocolate and what's cake. It's hilarious.
I just like ginger nuts for dunking, farm made oatmeal stuff for munching, and make my own tea.
Any preferences?
Fosvery sad I know

29th Nov 2006, 16:38
Weak Darjeeling.
Never taken to Earl Grey (too perfumed).
I've got some of HM's 'Afternoon Tea' as served on RY Britannia. Too strong for my liking - seems HM liked to stand the spoon in the cup.

tony draper
29th Nov 2006, 16:55
There is no shadow of doubt in one's mind that dark chocolate is superior in every way to its milky insipid cousin, stands to reason those with the good taste to prefer same with a cuppa are indeed superior.
Any tiz one's opinion that the only biscuit that should be dunked in polite society is the ginger snap, or nut as it is known in some quarters.

Tricky Woo
29th Nov 2006, 17:54
One lost the pleasure of dunking biscuits in tea after I gave up milk and sugar. The milk turn off was in response to an unfortunate accident involving a trayful of nightshift tea (you, young un, your turn to make the fcuking teas), a bottle of milk, and a period of about two weeks since the bottle had been placed in the restroom fridge. Half the nightshift were puking after a mere mouthful. One was more prudent in those days, and waited until my guineapigs had tested the tea before putting lips to china. Thank god. Still shudder to think about it.

Anyways, tea without milk does not lend itself to dunking, and that's that. So choccy biscuits were taken neat.

One misses Cadbury's milk chocolate biccies dreadfully. It's so ubiquitous in the UK that yer can't imagine life without it. But these Swiss are soooooo bloody certain of the superiority of their own choc industry that you'll never find so much as a crumb of Cadbury's anything here. Granted there's loads of superb chocolate here, but a childhood of milk chocolate addiction means that they just taste different.


The coffee's about 1000% better, mind you. Various relatives coming out here for weddings, christenings and freeby holidays invariable return to Blighty with serious Swiss coffee withdrawal symptoms. The thin watery sh1te that passes for coffee in Britain is justifiably pushed aside, and an Nespresso machine ordered. Costs a bloody fortune for machine and coffee, but it's as close to a perfect cup of coffee as it's possible to have on the wet side of the Channel. The candle that burns blightly, and all that.

While we're talking about candles, these continentals are less imaginative than the Brits. Brit candles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and colours, so it's very likely that (a) Brits are amongst the most discerning candle burners in the world and (b) most of mainland Europe skipped the whole three day week and electricity cuts of the 1970s. There're whole shops in the UK devoted solely to candles. Amazing. The rest of Europe make do with tea-lights, which are lit and placed into a bewildering variety of recepticals. But then again, Swiss floors are far too expensive (wooden parkett, dontcha know) to suffer dripping wax.

Which is strange, because yer Swiss christmas tree is the usual affair, with baubles and trinkets and tinsel and stuff. But the swiss steer away from twinkly electric lights that chime christmas carols, and instead go for real candles, a bit like bigger versions of a birthday cake candle. This sits in a little cup with a weighted end so that it'll (in theory) bob upright even if nudged. Very very romatic lighting up the christmas tree candles in Switzerland, compared to watching yer parents switch on the lights, then swear 'fcuk fcuk fcuk' because one of the bloody bulb've gone and god knows which one (or three) it is that's stopping the bloody lot from coming on.Very very romantic indeed, but here's where I feel it's only fair to remind you that many Swiss houses are built of wood, with wooden floors.

Nuff said on that matter.

Also romantic is the Swiss "santa visit" to yer house in eraly December. The Swiss Sant Niklaus turns up looking like a normal Santa you'd find outside any London store. Said Santa has a book, and in that book is a list of everything good the waiting kids have done that year. The Santa goes through the list nodding benevolently at the kids. Then there's another list that's read by Santa's accomplice, the name of which I simply don't know. This bloke looks like a chimney sweep, 'cos he's black from head to toe, and his face is blackened like a black and white minstrel. Most kids edge behind the sofa when this bloke stands up and starts reading about how many windows they've broken, cars stolen, momma's purses raided, nuclear materials sold, etc etc. Scared the bejesus out of wee Rafael (two years old then) last year just to look at this bloke. Yep, Santa's visit is an emotionally shattering event for Swiss kids. Personally, I think it's an efficient Swiss money-saving method: lowers yer kids crimble pressie expectations.

Good thing about wee toddlers: they prefer to play with the pressie paper more than the contents. Luis has just turned one, and he played with the box his Fisher Price doorway came in for hours. Rafael (nearly 3 years) played with the doorway (perfect for all children from 1 to 2 years old). Quite. Still, Rafael more than make up for Luis's indifference to content. He starts ripping the paper off pressies before you've managed to take yer shoes off from coming through the door. "It's a present, son... oh fcuk it, he knows (under my breath)". And then "What do you think..." as he comes flying past yer using the Burago scale model Ferrari, you've just spent an hour choosing at the toy shop, as a skateboard. Said Ferrari will have it's decals ripped off and placed back on all crinkly (and upside down) within the hour. And the rubber wheels will be invariably pulled off, swallowed or otherwise lost, within the day.

There, I think I've just shattered the JB digression record. I think I've kept to the traditional rules of digression, as there's most definitely a chain up there. Herr D, can you please confirm, as I'd like a definitive ruling as soon as possible. Authorities have to be notified in good time.


29th Nov 2006, 18:00
I'm just glad you got that off your chest, like, how long did it take to type that. :ok:
Have a cup of tea.

Tricky Woo
29th Nov 2006, 18:03
About 10 minutes. One has the gift of the written gab. The nonsense just falls from my fingers, pitter patter pitter patter. The only one to compare with me is the great Davaar himself; he's perfected the uninterrupted stream of consciousness. Still, the buggah's not in my league when it comes to digression. One is a giant of the digression, even if one does toot one's own horn.


29th Nov 2006, 18:05
Blimey Tricky, that's...well, digressive to say the least!

Just to throw my 2 pennies' worth in - dark chocolate digestives, as already suggested, are most definitely better than the alternative filth purporting to be chocolate. And FTR, anyone who eats ginger nut biscuits is in need of a sanity check, nasty 'orrible things! Especially for dunking...why ruin a good tea??

Tea-wise - English breakfast tea for the mornings, enough tannins to get yer tastebuds going properly. Slow afternoon would be Earl Grey (do people have this with or without milk? I am all for with). Extremely slow afternoons with nothing else to do can bear waiting 5-6 minutes for a lovely Lapsang Souchong to brew. Delicious!

29th Nov 2006, 18:08
Haven't drunk tea in decades, hardly ever eat any milk chocolate.

So, plain choc digestives immersed in coffee for me.

(Mildly nauseated to see MILK chocolate After Eights in the shop)

tony draper
29th Nov 2006, 19:02
One would sooner saw off one's left leg than give up one's milk and four sugars in one's cuppa.
Especialy if one planned to live halfway up a Alp.

29th Nov 2006, 19:11
FOUR sugars??!!

It's a wonder you can taste the tea.:}

tony draper
29th Nov 2006, 19:24
Listen, the headwaters of the Nile were discovered by chaps who took four sugars,the Heights of Abraham scaled and the Frenchies put to the sword likewise, Gordon of Khartoum had a last hot sweet cuppa before he went out fired the last few rounds from the gattling then faced the Mad Mhadis chaps with cuppa in one hand Webley int tother,indeed our Empire three quarters of the world at one time was conquered and run on hot sweet tea,and admitedly the odd bottle of Gordons Gin as well.

29th Nov 2006, 21:01
But who put the 't' in Scun*horpe?

30th Nov 2006, 07:17
Milk chocs digestives in hot sweet tea (cannot stand plain choc in any form)
Good timing is essential to avoid structural failure of bisquit though.

Custard creams dunked are less likely to splashdown on account of the cream acting like mortar between the bisquit layers.

Ace Rimmer
30th Nov 2006, 08:54
TW: He's called Black Peter:ok: they do a similar thing in Cloggieland where the Children put clogs out on the 6th and hopefully the clogs get filed with sweets and chocolate...

Ref tea: hot strong & sweet of the like that built the empire preferably with a dark chocolate hob nob...

30th Nov 2006, 09:34
I hate to ruin the belief of all those kiddies in Cloggyland, but I have disturbing news. The Cloggy santa, or Sinterklaas as hes known, arrives in a boat (not a sleigh) from Madrid (not the North Pole).

Now, as some among you may know, I have been lving here in Madrid for the last 3 years and have never seen hide nor hair of him. And whilst I am not doubting he has a boat, the tide definitely has a long way to come in before he can set sail......

Whilst I am partial to plain chocolate digestives, or a nice oatmeal, I am not a dunker. I like a nice crisp crumbly bite of a biscuit before a slurp of tea to wash it down. Tea? Yorkshire. (http://www.yorkshiretea.co.uk/teas.asp?PrevPage=&PrevID=&FromPage=Story&FromID=%7B5D8F491C%2D6CE7%2D40EA%2DAE65%2DBB57BA2E0174%7D&storyid=%7BA42DABD8%2DE2FE%2D46BA%2DA232%2D7A93BBEB2DEF%7D)

John Prescott
30th Nov 2006, 09:39
I personally consider the humble Garibaldi to be the most superior biscuit.It should only be 'dunked' in good English tea.

I consider the Jaffa cake to be somewhat of a renegade in the biscuit world-is it a biscuit or a cake?I am untrusting of any baked product which cannot decide upon it's own identity.

30th Nov 2006, 09:43
I´ve always felt there was something, well, unbritish about Garibaldi biscuits.

Me dad was always partial to fig rolls. But then, he had no teeth, and liked to eat gooseberries as well....

tony draper
30th Nov 2006, 09:45
Agree,Yorshire tea is very good and more importantly it is consistant,we still have a tea door to door delivery service up here,Ringtons,although they no longer come in horse and carts,some times their tea is very good,but next time one buys it it like cats wee, however they do redeem themselves by also delivering their own make of ginger snaps which are superior to the standard makes and models and about twice as big.

John Prescott
30th Nov 2006, 09:45
Whats the verdict on brandy snaps?

I personally think they should be shot at dawn.

Yet another imposter in the biscuit world.For true Britishness look no further than the sacred jammy dodger.

Tricky Woo
30th Nov 2006, 10:00
Garibaldi biscuits are most definitely not British, being named after some Italian. However, it but may be eaten by the English gentleman without fear of ridicule to mark the eventual success of the British WWII campaign against Italy.

Ditto spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, pizza and prawn cocktails. We won, so it's ok to eat Italian food and drink chianti. And shag their women. And this is now a hereditary right, 'cos history is history. The right does not extand back to the Italians 'cos Julius Caesar never finished the job of conquering the Brits, so if you ever see an Italian tucking into a bag of fish 'n' chips, knock 'em out of his hands (he'll probably thank you).

In fact numerous foreign foods can be justified in this way: curry, billtong, all french food, frankfurter sausages, paella, couscous with a lickle chicken on the top, the list goes on, 'cos we stuffed the lot of 'em in some war or other.


John Prescott
30th Nov 2006, 10:02
Poetic wisdom!


tony draper
30th Nov 2006, 10:25
Interestingly Garibaldi lived in Gateshead for a while at a place called the Bensham Settlement (furriners were not allowed to just wander about or live where they liked in those days) one does not know if he invented his biscuit here though,however the electric light bulb was invented here and that was a cut above some dammed bicky.

John Prescott
30th Nov 2006, 10:29
however the electric light bulb was invented here and that was a cut above some dammed bicky.

Are you suggesting that 'electricity' has been far more benficial to mankind than the chocolate hobnob??

30th Nov 2006, 10:35
One uses Mr Twining's English Breakfast Tea.

No biscuits, they are effeminate. Dunking chip butties is the upcoming thing.

John Prescott
30th Nov 2006, 10:37
I bow tou your superior northernness Gainsey!

I must ask though-are the chips cooked in lard or shake 'n dry?

30th Nov 2006, 10:50
Beef Drippin Mr P.

Isn't shake n' dry summat yer put on carpets?

Horrid Spam spelling anyway, so would not entertain its use in any capacity.:E

30th Nov 2006, 11:07
Did Oliver live in Bath, or is it necessary to soak them therein before consuming same?
I think they taste tacky.

Loose rivets
30th Nov 2006, 11:25
however the electric light bulb was invented here and that was a cut above some dammed bicky.

Yes, but bloody difficult to dunk.:}

30th Nov 2006, 12:00
What monster have I created, anyway...
Crackers, what to spread the fragile cheese holders with.
Margarine, keep them intact, but they taste horrible, or butter and turn the crackers into crumbs then just put them into the dog's dish.
It's like a flipping science project.
'Knife please, thank you, butter, OK we're going in, c r a c k.'
'How are you meant to put butter on these bl00dy things, that's just crumbs now.'
Fos ham fisted and crackerless

30th Nov 2006, 12:15

the guaranteed way not to crack crackers while spreading is to place said cracker on a slice of bread (while spreading, not while eating). Allows just sufficient "give" to avoid fracture. Providing of course the butter ain't straight out of the freezer......

Tricky Woo
30th Nov 2006, 12:17
Water biscuits, dear chap, water biscuits.

And anyway, they're effette. Real men wouldn't be seen dead eating one.


tony draper
30th Nov 2006, 12:22
One is quite fond of Jackobs cream crackers thickly spread with proper salty butter of course,go quite well with a cuppa they do.
Mind you nowt goes better with afternoon tea than a thick slice of fruit cake,one means proper fruit cake not the stuff that passes forrit now with a a couple of raisins every cubic foot if yer lucky.

Tricky Woo
30th Nov 2006, 12:34
Cream crackers? Fruit cake? Raisins? You'll get caught if you keep using gay slang, Herr D.


Mr Lexx
30th Nov 2006, 12:36
Cream crackers spread with room temp salted butter (butter is like cheese, gets more flavourful the closer to RT it gets), and some RT crumbly cheshire cheese, with some mature cheddar, some lancashire and some boirsin on the side for later bickies.

Lexxity and myself occassionally forego traditional evening meal in favour of lots of cheese and lots of biscuits!

Ace Rimmer
30th Nov 2006, 12:43
ORAC :And whilst I am not doubting he has a boat, the tide definitely has a long way to come in before he can set sail......

He's probably got a Pronto Combi for the boat...that'll be the answer....nind you the bloke up north has got flying reindeer so why can't St Klass have a Flying Boat? Possibly a Sandringham...no?

Back to biscuits Garibaldis...Bourbouns...Peek Freens Trotsky Assortment it' s amazing how many revolutionaries ended up as biscuits
(apologies to A. Sayle)

tony draper
30th Nov 2006, 12:44
Yer,nowt gay about cream crackers, lifeboats always carried sealed tins of Cream Crackers,keep a boatload of adrift sailors alive for weeks they would especialy spread wi a bit Galley boy liver patte'

30th Nov 2006, 12:59
Lexxity and myself occassionally forego traditional evening meal in favour of lots of cheese and lots of biscuits!

And some interesting dreams to follow?

30th Nov 2006, 13:34
lifeboats always carried sealed tins of Cream Crackers,keep a boatload of adrift sailors alive for weeks they would especialy spread wi a bit Galley boy liver patte'
Would've thought they'd have packed water biscuits . . .

Lon More
30th Nov 2006, 14:20
TW ref tea & coffee in UK; it's in the water. I make regular trips back now and always take bottled water as the water in Folkestone has a very strong chlorine taste (with the shortages and hosepipe ban of last summer are they concentrating it?) In the past I tried taking coffee, pot and filters from here but even that was not enough.
BTW These are great for dunking. You hold them by the milk choccy at the end which doesn't melt so easily Saves washing up as you can stir the tea/coffee with them. Available in various flavours.

30th Nov 2006, 15:27
Wagon wheels
Who on God's green Earth invented those things, they are disgusting.
Back to the butter spreading thing, a friend butters one side of those discs from hell, then sticks another on top, to make a sandwhich.
I can't even watch him eat it :yuk: :yuk: :yuk:

I won't be dunking them, maybe try how they do as frisbees.

30th Nov 2006, 15:33
Used to love Wagon Wheels when I was a kid - just 3d each when they first appeared,

tony draper
30th Nov 2006, 17:24
Hmmm, wonder what happened to those Lyons Individual Fruit Pies,they used to come in a wee cardboard box,think they was a tanner.

The Nr Fairy
30th Nov 2006, 17:35
Three pages and no mention of the TimTam straw ?

Loose rivets
30th Nov 2006, 18:07
Mind you nowt goes better with afternoon tea than a thick slice of fruit cake,one means proper fruit cake not the stuff that passes forrit now with a a couple of raisins every cubic foot if yer lucky.

If you want to know what SOoL means, try getting some o that here. Go to a wedding and the great moment comes when they cut the cake. Fluff!

I had to be restrained from doing a Basil Fawlty and delving into the cake to look for the good ol black stuff.

Standard Noise
30th Nov 2006, 18:46
Twinings finest Assam fer me, unless I make a little trip home, in which case I stock up on Punjana. I share the Queen's taste as I come from a 'shipyard family' who all like the tea so strong that the spoon floats on top. As for biccies, I make ginger ones at home and can make them as strong as I like (some kind soul on here gave I the recipe), but they are too precious to dunk. Also partial to the odd Tunnock's Chocolate Wafer, mmm.

30th Nov 2006, 18:50
Biscuit good manners. Either eat or don't. Don't nibble. It's particuarly annoying.
Jam Dodgers.
Please, please don't dismantle them in front of me and lick the jelly bit.
It's almost always girls who do that.
Cafe Cake survival.
'Listen my darling, you said you didn't want cake.'
'Just a taste.'
'No, go away.'
Short of stabbing Dearest with a fork, that cake is MIA.
'If you want cake, or biscuits BUY SOME, my darling, my love.'
I'm away to smash up some crackers with a butter knife.

Standard Noise
30th Nov 2006, 18:55
I started eating things she won't eat when in Starbucks or wherever. Only way I can enjoy my cake/cheesecake etc.

Lon More
30th Nov 2006, 19:08
wonder what happened to those Lyons Individual Fruit Pies

Any one remember the original Kunzle Cakes; chocolate cups filled with sponge cake and topped with cream; came in a box of six IIRC

Googled and found this (http://www.bringbackshowboats.co.uk/)

30th Nov 2006, 21:21
Probably cost a Fiver, sorry, 4.99 a box if they did come back.

tony draper
30th Nov 2006, 21:26
Come to think one hasn't seen any Wallnutwhips about for a while,although one does lead a bit of a sheltered life now.

Lon More
30th Nov 2006, 22:37
Can't remember eating it, but there was something that looked like a Walnut Whip in the pan this morning

30th Nov 2006, 23:04
Come to think one hasn't seen any Wallnutwhips about for a while,although one does lead a bit of a sheltered life now.

We're straying into sweets now, but those things were horrible too.

Tunnock tea cake test
It's almost Christmas, so you might be able to do this soon.
1. Get a Tunnock tea cake.
2. Insert a miniature sausage roll in the top.
3. On a count, eat very quickly competing against someone.
That's the Tunnock teacake test.
It make's you feel remarkably ill.

Standard Noise
1st Dec 2006, 13:48
Can't remember eating it, but there was something that looked like a Walnut Whip in the pan this morning
Shoulda tried it Lon, couldn't have been any worse than the originals.:yuk:

Tunnock's Tea Cakes - more fun trying to get the squidgy bit out through the smallest hole possible. Still, til the shopping's done I'll have to console myself with Mrs N's homemade mince pies, mmmm.

tony draper
1st Dec 2006, 14:02
One has a box of Tunnocks tea cakes sitting in ones fridge as we speak,only three left so no feckin good asking me for one.
As for the aspect of yer Wallnut whip, that is rich coming from folks who prolly relish snails oysters and other fare resembling week old snot.

Standard Noise
1st Dec 2006, 14:09
that is rich coming from folks who prolly relish snails oysters
Think I'd rather have week old snot myself.

1st Dec 2006, 14:14
After various dabbles in variousother biscuits one always comes back to choccie bourbons for dunking in tea.

BTW - Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys do a lovely box of assorted bickies which I totally recommend.


1st Dec 2006, 14:18
Malted Milk - best ever!

tony draper
1st Dec 2006, 14:22
Kit Kats are also spiffing with a cuppa, the protocol is to bite off half a segment chew same then take a swig of tea,rather in the manner of the salt, slice of lemon, then the Tequila ritual, one should never dunk em though,although there is some dispute as to whether yer Kit Kat is actually a biscuit or a sort of chocolate bar,one comes down on the side of biscuit because one doesn't actually like em much as a stand alone snack sans tea.

1st Dec 2006, 14:40
dark chocolate digestives
Just had some, and got covered in chocolate like a toddler. How are you meant to eat them, use tongs? Even the Times has chocolate on it.
Fos sticky but sated

1st Dec 2006, 14:54
Just opened a new box of Sainsburys Assorted Biscuits. This thread is making me FAT!


1st Dec 2006, 15:29
Best way to butter a cream cracker is to hold it in the palm of your left hand while buttering it with your right.

If you're left-handed - sorry, can't help.

1st Dec 2006, 16:03
This is really sad, and worthless
The chocolate digestive was invented by McVities in 1925 in Edinburgh.
They are now made at Europes biggest biscuit factory, in London, where they make
4,860,000 a day
How many bloody biscuits do you need.
If anyone remembers Bagpuss, apparently the mice from the Marvellous Mechanical Mice Mill made a chocolate biscuit every day, with breadcrumbs and butter beans.
Not bad for wooden mice.
If I keep reading this out to darling dearest there's a fair chance of being assaulted.