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What is it about this time of year – post-Christmas, cold, dark days etc etc? I seem to have been going through a nostalgic phase recently. Fortunately – or not, from the diet angle – it has mainly surfaced in relation to food products. Honestly, it could have been a lot more expensive otherwise!
My latest fad – I think craving is a bit too strong, and I always associate it with pregnancy – was ‘for one of those biscuits we used to be able to get, you know, a bit like Cheddars but the shape was more rectangular & there was a kind of cheesy filling between the two biscuits, sandwiching them together!’ [This is me, reminiscing with my other half] He remembered them, too, but we couldn’t find them locally. Then one day we did our shopping in our nearest city. I’d forgotten all about them, but he, bless him, suddenly said ‘aren’t those the cheese things you were looking for?’ For a minute I couldn’t understand why there would be cheese in that part of the store, but there they were, an orangey pack of TUC biscuits, looking pretty much as I recalled. I was quite restrained, I only bought the one packet, knowing deep in my heart that they probably weren’t very good for me, and I really should start that diet as soon as the weather warms up! Excuses, excuses! It was in Morrisons and I paid £1.31.
~~ Presentation ~~ These biscuits are actually made by Jacobs in Hungary. I’ll resist a silly joke. The packaging promotes them as ‘Two savoury TUC biscuits sandwiched with a delicious cheese filling.’ The pack weighs 150g and for that you get more than 12 pairs of biscuits, I estimate. I can only estimate because this is a second pack and my son has eaten half of them while I’ve been away! They’re hard to miss if you know what you’re looking for, as they have ‘TUC’ in white letters on a blue background, on the front of the orange packet. There’s also a picture of a stack of sandwiched biscuits. You get all the usual information about who to contact if you’re dissatisfied. The nutritional information is on one side.
~~ Ingredients ~~~ The list of ingredients is quite lengthy, starting with wheat flour, vegetable oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, glucose syrup. The cheese seems to come from milk products, powdered cheese[5%], salt, which is listed about in the middle, and so on. It’s suitable for vegetarians but contains milk, eggs, gluten and sulphite, and the factory in which it is made handles nuts, sesame seeds and soya, so people with allergies need to be aware of this.
~~ Nutrition ~~ The nutritional information states that the calorie count is 72kcal per biscuit – I take it that means per double biscuit, although you could split each pair, but I’m not 100% sure. The fat levels are 4.3g each, of which 2.1g is saturated, and the sodium level is 0.1g So maybe these biscuits aren’t quite as unhealthy to eat as I first thought, if you can control yourself [!] although I didn’t see these amounts expressed as percentage of a recommended daily diet, which would have been useful.
~~ The Product ~~ Opening the package is quite easy, as there is an ‘open here’ tag clearly indicated, although my biscuit thief didn’t use this! Once they are opened they should be placed in an airtight container in theory, although I haven’t found this necessary as they don’t seem to hang around very long!
So, it’s down to the all-important taste! In size, they are about 6.5 cm x 4.5 cm and 1 cm deep. The shape is rectangular with the corners ‘rounded off’, so probably it would be more accurate to say they’re octagonal. They have small indentations across the surface, rather like the ones on Ritz crackers. When you pick them up there’s an ever-so-slightly greasy feel, and a sense of a lightly salted coating. They are a bit fragile, so occasionally you find a cracked one when you take it out of the packet. I don’t usually go around sniffing biscuits, but I did for this review, and there was just the slightest aroma of cheese. As you bite into them, the biscuits may crumble, a bit like dry flaky pastry but quite not to that extent, though they can be a bit messy. The biscuits themselves, to me, taste more of being simply savoury than particularly cheesy. The cheesy filling doesn’t extend right to the ends so that flavour doesn’t necessarily hit you on the first bite, but to me it’s the factor that makes these biscuits live up to their description. I find they work together really well with the filling, which is cheesy enough and has a tang without being overpowering.
~~ Evaluation ~~ I find them a satisfying snack, and although I do really like them, often choosing savoury to sweet from personal preference, one is usually enough for me and I’m not tempted to scoff the lot, which is just as well! I would rate them as good but not exceptional. To be honest they are not in the price range of something I would rate like that; you get what you pay for, to some extent. By that I mean that I see them more as a family treat than something for a special event. To be fair, they are not claiming to be something they are not. You will have gathered already that I’m not the only one in our household to try these, and it looks like we shall be buying them when we can find them. As I mentioned earlier, we’re on a second packet, having now found them in a more local store, so I don’t know whether we just missed them before or if they are regaining popularity. If you’re like me and appreciate savoury treats, or you fancy trying something different, I recommend you giving these a try. I don’t suppose everyone will like them but there’s not a lot to lose! Five stars from me!
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