• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

  • Biscuit Encounters on Twitter

  • The Synod of Biscuitry

    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

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Ice and easy

Lunchboxes languish without them. Parties perish in their absence. Friday simply becomes Sunday if your cupboard is devoid of them. They may be small in size but their unreserved magnificence continues to charm children and adults alike. Yes folks, I’m talking about the magical bite size delights that are Iced Gems.

The Iced Gem appears somewhat controversial in the biscuit world. It seems that they are loved and hated in similar numbers. Whether they unnerve us or allure us, there is no doubt that they utterly demand our attention. They either evoke a burning fury or a sparkling sense of glee. We discuss them, bicker about them and reflect on how they have affected our lives. They get themselves talked about.

In school, along with salmon paste, oblong sandwiches, a humble packet of Chipsticks crisps and a soulless carton of Just Juice, I was often greeted with the sad sight of the Kwik Save’s ‘no frills’ cheap imitation version of the Kit Kat. In all honesty, this particular biscuit itself did not taste as shabby as the dismal and soul destroying packet suggested, but I digress. Of course I had seen the bright and wondrous advert for Iced Gems complete with Iced Gem theme park, white Iced Gem stars and a large bear who looked as if he had eaten far too many already despite the fact that the tagline was ‘The snack you share with the bear’.

(The advertisement in question begins 0.50 seconds in: just before that is a Macdonalds advert with the grating voice of Timmy Mallett. You have been warned.)

Yet, this advert aside, I don’t think I ever actually truly believed that something so magical could really exist. My dear mother certainly managed to dodge her way past them on every shopping trip. Imagine then, my utter amazement when, one bleak and lifeless winter lunchtime, a classmate pulled out a bag of loveliness from his Snoopy lunchbox. I remember it to this day, complete with slow motion effects and the gleaming light which accompanies a holy ‘aaaaaaa’ sound. They were real! All at once my heart opened up to countless possibilities. Maybe all these things did exist. Maybe there wasn’t a real man inside of Mr Blobby. Maybe you could find a nessie in the zoo. All my hopes and dreams were built up and destroyed in the same five minutes as I never got my hands on one of them.

My mother’s love of the ‘no frills’ brand didn’t help with my hopes and dreams of ever being in the presence of the divine Iced Gem, so I carried on as normal eating demoralizing biscuits and being somewhat uninspired by the biscuit world as a whole. Sure, they were out there somewhere but when would I ever be in the sugary goodness of their company? Well to cut a long story short, my wish was granted at an otherwise dire school disco. I will forever hold the celestial memory of the dazzling, seemingly endless tray of beauty whilst Scatman John blurred out across the school hall. I noticed some boys were disrespectfully eating just the icing and then throwing the biscuits at each other. Yet I suppose these kids were so used to Iced Gems and were probably the ones who were lucky enough to enjoy them every day and they weren’t aware of my journey so I forgave them and continued to scoff the tray.

Iced Gems have since restored my faith in biscuits and I religiously partake in a fun cup of tea every Friday which of course includes a 25g bag of their heavenly existence. So what do Iced Gems mean to me? The answer is in the name. Gems. And that’s exactly what they are.

by @Scotch_Eggs

3 Responses

  1. I know this is heresy, but I can’t stand Iced Gems. Shite base, shite topping. And, worst of all, there was no sport in trying to separate the two – a Bourbon or Custard Cream gives you almost no chance of nibbling the biscuit to leave only the cream – you only have to look at an Iced Gem and it falls into its constituent parts.

    I can’t be doing with them

  2. I’m going to have to agree with Mark on this one – not a big fan of them. As a child of the 80’s, I was there. But a little like Party Rings, after the age of 10, you just move on….

    Unfortunately the lyrics sing true – you will never find a Nessie in the zoo. Believe me. I’ve looked.

  3. I love Iced Gems! The mere mention transports me back to Saturday morning grocery shopping with my dad, with a mini can of diet coke and a packet of Iced Gems for the way home. Love the icing, love the base. Magic.

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