Sunday, 13 January 2013

Naughty but nice

Those that know me know that I have a tremendous weakness for all things biscuit. For those who don't know me, the background image of this blog should provide a bit of an indication that there's something biscuity afoot.
This affliction began back when I was very young, when there wasn't anywhere near the variety of biscuits available as there are now, but it's interesting to see that most of those around at that time are still on the supermarket shelves to this day. The old mainstays like Bourbons, malted milk (or 'cow biscuits' as the toddler me called them), ginger nuts, fig rolls, rich tea (god help us), Jammie Dodgers and of course custard creams are still made and it would seem that despite the onslaught of the young and overpriced pretenders, they're just as popular as ever.
As a kid the desperation to fuel the biscuit-monster knew no bounds and when supplies were exhausted I could often be found raiding the dog's box of Bonios and gnawing away in the happy knowledge that at least I too could have healthy teeth and gums. The teeth could easily have broken, but at least the fragments would have been healthy ones.
The one thing that has always bewildered me with the biscuit world is the issue of dunking them in your tea. Now I like tea and I find it deeply upsetting to get to the bottom of the cup to find blobs of soggy biscuit. That said, perhaps I can understand the need to dunk Rich Tea biscuits in your cuppa because 1: it's the only biscuit I absolutely cannot stand, and 2: they're only bought by little old ladies with no teeth so making them soggy and sucking them to death is about the only way for them to obtain even the slightest biscuit satisfaction.
For anything else I consider it sacrilege to directly combine a biscuit with any beverage. I like biscuits to taste like biscuits and tea to taste like tea. Simples.
The amazing array of different biscuits out there now is mindblowing and it would take supreme dedication for even the most avid biscuit anorak to make their way through all the possibilities. The overwhelming amount of choice leaves me in a quandary if I happen to decide to deviate from my regular custard creams and have something else for a change. Not to mention the issue of value for money - I can buy many packets of custard creams or ginger nuts for the price of half a dozen luxury cookies. And whilst the luxury ones are superior to the basic biscuits in so many ways I know that when I feel that urge to munch through an entire packet in one sitting I'd be really pissed off if a whole packet meant just five minutes and a dozen mouthfuls, because the last thing you want is to be left high and dry in the midst of a biccy bender. When that happens with custard creams there's invariably another packet in the cupboard to refill the biscuit barrel, but the luxury items are just too costly to keep a (un)healthy stash.
The supermarkets are canny buggers though and it's only a matter of time before they catch on to the idea that they could make more money if they stopped selling the cheap ranges of the old favourites, forcing the country's bicaholics to fork out for the premium range items.
When that day comes I shall have to go over to the dark side and become a convert to the dunker's faction, because these days it's the only way I'll be able to make my way through the Bonios.