What is it with biscuits these days? I mean I just want plain ordinary savoury biscuits – you know, the little ones, which you can use for dips, and cheese, and pate, and so on. Just perfectly plain ones, if you don’t mind.
Every second one I pick off the supermarket shelves these days is flavoured – seaweed, bbq chicken, cheese and chives, or even more exotic seaweed with a splash of sea salt, or rosemary, or something. Why? They take up miles of shelf space too, have you noticed? There are so many varieties that it takes ten minutes just to trawl along looking, reading the labels, let alone make a choice.
And the packaging blurb is getting more verbose – ‘Hummus and Lemon, with just a touch of Wasabi’. Yes, I can hear it now, the guest who can always be relied on to make a comment about what you serve - not only ‘Mmmmm, sauvignon blanc from California I do believe,’ but also ‘And do I detect a small hint of wasabi with the hummus?’
And, some of the flavours – what is it with these people? – some sort of a competition to work out the strangest flavour combinations? Beetroot and walnut! I kid you not! And now there are seasonal ones – Not only Christmas tree shapes, but Christmas flavours. I for one will not be surprised when Reindeer and Holly Berries appears. And, God forbid, for Easter – Rabbit and a dash of Chocolate, perhaps. Don’t worry – you’ll see it soon, they usually put out the Easter stuff one day after News Years Holiday.
All I want is some perfectly plain little bickie so as not to overwhelm the flavour of the aforesaid cheese/dip/pate I’m serving it with.
And the same goes for chips. What has happened there, I ask you? Where are the good old plain salted chips that everyone ate without complaint? Now its ‘lite’ and ‘extra lite’, and ‘baked not fried’, and ‘gourmet salt’ or ‘sea salt’, and ‘crinkled’ or ‘flat’, ‘small’ or ‘large’, and ‘supreme’ – what on God’s great earth is a ‘supreme’ flavoured potato chip? And now they’re in tins as well as bags, or even a bag of bags. And then the bag – ‘large’, ‘extra large’ and ‘jumbo’, which is as big as the pillow I sleep on. And notice that they start at ‘large’? What happened to ‘medium’ and ‘small’.
Once salt and vinegar was as exotic as it got. Now there are ‘cheddar cheese’, ‘supreme cheese’, ‘extra cheese’ and ‘bitey cheese’ flavoured chips – not just cheese, see, but salsa, and chilli, and lemon grass, and Thai, and would you believe bolognaise!
I’m all for new things, new tastes, new experiences, but please, please, Mr Savoury Biscuit and Mr Chip Maker, can I just have good ol’ plain ones somewhere in the range.
I wonder if one day the plain ones will re-appear, and we’ll all rush to buy them again as something quite different and we’ll be able to serve them to that guest who we can rely on to say ‘Mmmmm, sauvignon blanc from California I do believe, and is that a perfectly plain unflavoured little biscuit – my, what a hostess you are, my dear – always up with the latest!’