Imperfect 1: Nice Biscuits

26 December, 2020

ON HIATUS

To me the Nice Biscuit isn’t nice. Let me tell you why…

Transcript available
[Music] Most people can look past imperfections of everyday things in the world. For those that can't, this is for you. Nothing is perfect. Let me tell you why. Imperfect is entirely listener-supported. If you'd like to support the show, you can by becoming a patron or by listening via a Lightning-compatible podcast player. Visit engineer.network/imperfect for more information. Thank you. Neice Biscuits. So, I want to talk a little bit about Neice Biscuits. And the funny thing about a Neice Biscuit, and Neice is actually pronounced like the name of the city in France, not nice. Although, when you read it, you wouldn't know that. You'd say it's a nice biscuit. But of course, you know, saying something is a nice biscuit is different from saying that it is a nice biscuit. So, it's actually correctly pronounced Neice. Some people would say that a Neis Biscuit is nice, but I'm going to dispute that. I'll tell you why in a minute. The problem is, I'll start with the Wikipedia definition. So a Neis Biscuit is a plain or coconut-flavored biscuit. It is thin, rectangular in shape with rounded bumps on the edges, and it's lightly covered with a scattering of large sugar crystals, often with the word "Neis" imprinted on top in sans-serif capital letters. It is often served as an accompaniment to hot drinks such as tea. So says Wikipedia. There you go. It's a pretty apt description, I have to say. So here's the thing, right? Sugar is something that we use as ingredient. Sugar on its own is not really considered to be a food. I mean, they say in Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Well, that's nice. I mean, it doesn't really. In fact, I actually find that if I had medicine with sugar afterwards, that'd make it even harder for it to go down, but never mind. That's not the point. Not this time anyway. So sugar is something that we mix. We mix with different ingredients like flours and eggs and water. And you mix it together and you roll it flat and you cook it in an oven and you get a biscuit, you get a cake, you get something, but you don't take granulated sugar, like large granulated sugar crystals, and put them on the top of like anything. You don't put that on a cake, you don't put it on bread, you don't put it on a biscuit. And yet they did. The thing is, when you bite into a Nees biscuit, on the bottom side is one texture, the top side is a different texture because of the granulated sugar, and it grates against your teeth, it scratches against your teeth. When you're chewing, it's like, why on earth would you put granulated sugar on top? We invented icing sugar. Icing sugar is this white, puffy, floury sort of stuff. It's like it's ground down really fine. Mix it with water, mix it with a little bit of butter, making a buttercream or a mock cream or something like that. It's like I don't understand. Who thought it's like, "Hey, I've got a bag of sugar over here. Let's just pour some on top, chuck it in the oven, and we're going to call it a niece biscuit." I mean, seriously, they're kind of like the reject of all biscuits that come from Arnott's. In Australia, Arnott's make all sorts of different biscuits, right? The niece is just one of them, and there's milk arrowroot. That doesn't have granulated sugar on top. A scotch finger biscuit, which is like a shortbread biscuit, that doesn't have granulated sugar on top. In fact, I've been thinking, how many other biscuits are there in the world that actually have large, big, fat grains of sugar on top? Like it's some kind of... it somehow makes it better? I don't get it. I guess if you're dunking it in the tea and it all dissolves, maybe that's something. But if I wanted to have more sugar in my tea, I'd add sugar to my tea, not to my biscuit. I mean, seriously, it doesn't make any sense. And the fact is that they are called Nees Makes It Worse because you could read and "Oh, that's a nice biscuit." But there is nothing nice about a niece biscuit. Like I said, they're a reject biscuit. The only time that I've seen these, like you'll buy the box of Arnott's Assorted and all of the other biscuits will go and the niece will be left because no one wants them. And then they go in the two packs, a little pre-packed two packs. So I get one of a Scotch Finger and one of a niece biscuit. And the two of them are in a little, you know, like a clear plastic sealed packet. And you go and get these from like in an office building, for example, and they'll be like the communal biscuit bin and you go and grab one of those things and I have seen people eat the scotch finger and throw away the Nees Biscuit and all they had to do just that's the only thing they had to do was not put granulated sugar on one side and it would have remained edible enjoyable edible it would have been fine but I don't get it anyway so yeah Nees Biscuits do not want a big thank you to all of our patrons a special thank you our Silver Producers Mitch Bilger, John Whitlow, Kevin Koch, Oliver Steele, Leslie, Law Chan, Hafthor and Shane O'Neill. And an extra special thank you to our Gold Producer, known only as R. I'm John Tidgey. Thanks so much for listening. [Music]

Show Notes

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Episode Gold Producer: 'r'.
Episode Silver Producers: Mitch Biegler, John Whitlow, Kevin Koch, Oliver Steele, Lesley Law Chan, Hafthor and Shane O'Neill.
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John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.