Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Biscuit Blog: Lotus Speculoos biscuits

Given the bad reviews of my books with people feeling that English is not my first language; that I focus on the wrong aspects of history, my stories are too long/too short/not even stories and that my history essay collections are 'BORING' (to quote feedback), I have been advised to stop writing fiction and instead focus on other activities.  It has also been pointed out to me that with the bookshops filled with books written by vloggers, e.g. 'The Pointless Book: Started by Alfie Deyes, Finished by You' by Alfie Dyes [there is a sequel too], 'A Work in Progress' by Connor Franta, 'The Amazing Book is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phil' by Dan Howell and Phil Lester, 'Girl Online - Girl Online 1' by Zoe Sugg [a.k.a. Zoella - there is a book 2 as well], 'Life with a Sprinkle of Glitter' by Louise Pentland, 'Binge' by Tyler Oakley, 'Hello Life!' by Marcus Butler, 'All I Know Now' by Carrie Hope Fletcher and 'This Book Loves You' by Felix Kjellberg [writing as PewDiePie],  if I want to stand a chance of getting a book contract I would be better off starting online wittering on about stuff first.  The person suggesting that seemed to neglect the fact that I am not young, ditzy or glamorous enough to appear on the cover.

The suggestion was that I move my blog to being about biscuits.  These have an appeal right across the age range and you can express opinions on them without being attacked as a bigot or not 'understanding the real world'.  In addition, I lack the skills to cook food or make handicrafts, so sampling and reviewing biscuits made by others.  I am not sponsored by any company for this.  All the biscuits featured have been bought at my own expense and photographed by me.  This is not advertising because I am sure many of my reviews will be ambivalent, some even hostile.  However, given the range of biscuits out there, I hope I will enable customers to make the choices which are appropriate to them.

Lotus Biscoff Speculoos Biscuits

Given the time of year, it seemed sensible to start with a Speculoos biscuit.  I used the bastardised French term for them as is common in the UK.  They are know as Speculaas in Dutch/Flemish.  They are associated with the feast of St. Nicholas in early December.  However, you may be familiar with these biscuits from getting them on the side of your saucer in coffee shops.  They are medium-hard biscuits with a crystalised, 'sandy' texture.  They are lightly spiced though sweet and make a tasty counterpoint to coffee.

This particular brand came from Lidl.  You will find I buy quite a lot of my biscuits from Lidl as well as Asda, Co-op and Tescos.  In part this is because Lidl is cheap, but also because unlike the other three stores, they tend to stock a lot of products from continental Europe especially in the period around Christmas, which means you can break away from the standard British biscuit types common throughout the year.

These biscuits seem to fit the requirement for Speculoos biscuits perfectly.  They were not too sweet or too spicy.  They did not go soft too quickly and yet they were not overly sharp in terms of the sugar crystals.  Maybe it is beginner's luck, but I felt I had got off to an excellent start with my biscuit selection and had something that was ideal for the Christmas season.


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