Orange Slice and Assorted Creams

January 1, 2011 at 16:05 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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The assorted cream selection pack consists of the Monte Carlo, Shortbread Cream, Kingston, Delta Creams and Orange Slice. ‘Five of your favourites’, as the pack proclaims, although I’m less sure. The Delta Cream, for example, isn’t a great biscuit. The Lemon Crisp would be a much more worthy contender; however I suspect that its lemony goodness might taint the other biscuits in the pack. Such are the difficulties of putting together a selection like this.

The real excitement of a selection is, of course, the ability to move from biscuit to biscuit as fancy takes you. It always feels a bit rude to not sample at least one of each biscuit at each sitting, but this is somewhat complicated by the fact there are a different number of each in the pack. There are a full eight Shortbread Creams, for example, but only four Kingstons. I’d like to think this imbalance is the result of endless research into the optimal ratios for maximum satisfaction, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s to do with the fact that Kingstons are more expensive to manufacture.

As Orange Slices are the only biscuit not already covered elsewhere, I thought it would be worthwhile taking a good look at this biscuit. I am assured that you can buy whole packets of Orange Slices, although I’ve never seen them anywhere. In any case, who would buy a whole pack of them? For some reason a biscuit called ‘Orange Slice’ just starts out behind the eight ball. It’s a bit like the coffee creme in a chocolate selection; you just have this gut feeling that it’s going to be a disappointment.

There is supporting evidence for this too, as in general it’s the Orange Slices that are left at the end of the Assorted Creams. The Kingsons are the first to go, then the Monte Carlos and the Shortbread Creams. Sometimes a solitary Delta is left until the end, but usually it’s the poor Orange Slice that has to endure this ignominy. Indeed, I’ve even seem packs where all five of the Orange Slices have been left when all the other biscuits have been finished.

The biscuits are patterned with an elaborate design which hints at orange blossom and ripe fruit; it also has a dividing line that looks a little as if the biscuit is designed to be divided into two and shared. This is a purely decorative effect, however, and indeed the dividing lines on either side of the biscuit do not line up. Needless to say any attempt to break an Orange Slice in two will result in a lot of crumbs and several uneven pieces.

So what is the Orange Slice like? Well, the biscuit has quite a high bake making it a bit harder then you expect (this is also what makes it impossible to break neatly in half). It actually crunches quite satisfactorily to the bite, and is more substantial in terms of mouth-feel than you might expect. The orange-flavoured filling is quite tangy, and not too sweet. It does have a slight hint of that strange ‘dirty’ taste that for some reason seems to bedevil orange flavoured confections, but it’s not at all pronounced and only a minor fault. For the most part the tangy orange flavours come through quite nicely.

In summary, the Orange Slice is a much nicer biscuit than you expect. It’s like the slightly geeky looking guy at the party that you try to avoid, but when you get to know is actually rather good company, but just a bit shy. So next time there is a pack of Assorted Creams on offer, why not jump straight on in there and go for the Orange Slice? You might be pleasantly surprised. I’m going to give this a seven-and-a-half out of ten.

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