Shiny new shoes

April 22, 2014 at 11:47 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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new shoesIt’s been a bit over three years since I bought my last pair of shoes. How long are cycling shoes supposed to last, I wonder? The old ones were getting really tatty and starting to stink. And, most ominous of all, the little clip things that do up the ratchet fastener seemed to be on their last legs, slipping and not working unless held in position.

I realise, if you’ve never used silly clip-clop road shoes, that that last bit might not make much sense. A ratchet fastener? On a pair of shoes? What is this nonsense, and what’s wrong with laces anyway? Well, we shall see…

My new shoes are not white, but black and grey, And very very shiny. They came in a very nice box, packed in a special carry bag (which I can’t see me using; my shoes stink enough when left out to air, goodness knows how they would fester in a waterproof bag) with various bits and bobs to stick on them to ensure a perfect fit to your feet.

This is, of course, very important. This ‘excellence in technology’, together with that ratchet fastener, is what delivers the ‘power, speed and a lot more time on the podium’ promised on the box. Thus I am looking forward to more podium finishes along Mowbray Road, or perhaps even a stage win over Gladesville Bridge. So out of my way, you mere mortals with your lace-up shoes. I am coming through, and I have shiny new shoes…

Tim Tam Salted Caramel

April 19, 2014 at 20:13 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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salted caramel tim tam packThe innovation labs at Arnott’s must be in overdrive at the moment, with so many new Tim Tam varieties coming onto the market. Hot on the heels of the Strawberry flavour, we now have new ones inspired by Adriano Zumbo.

Adriano Zumbo, for those of you who are not familiar with the name, is a Sydney patissier who has been wowing the crowds with his combination of bizarre macaroon flavours and high-energy dance routines. People queue outside his bakery just to get a hint of ‘vanilla and sardine’ biscuit and to lose a few kilos with some coordinated star-jumps. I have to say, I have never visited his shop, despite it being quite close to where I live. As you would expect, being a paid-up curmudgeon, I am resolutely Not Impressed with such new-age tomfoolery.

Arnott’s seem to have jumped on the bandwagon, however, releasing three new varieties ‘by Adriano Zumbo’. Whether this means Adriano himself is actually baking them, or he was merely paid to put his name on the packet I will leave for you to decide.

caramel tim tam biscuitThe ones I tried first were the ‘salted caramel’ variety. These look and smell pretty much like regular caramel Tim Tams, and indeed taste a lot like them too – albeit with quite a significant salt hit. Actually, really quite a lot of salt. So I guess if you wanted to try these without forking out the exorbitant amount Arnott’s now charge for those little snack packs which seem to be the packet-du-jour,  you could simply buy a regular pack of caramel Tim Tams and sprinkle them with Saxa.

They are actually quite good, I have to say. Generally speaking things that are even more bad for you do taste better. However, I would say that crediting this whole innovation to some patissier is clearly misplaced. Arnott’s have had a far superior, salted sweet biscuit on the market for many, many years – Zumbo is just a Jonny-come-lately to this whole thing, and his effort lacks the poise, charm and addictiveness of the original.

For all that, they are pretty good though. I’m going to give them an eight out of ten.

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