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I was given a box of these, Fudges Biscuits for Cheese, as a present from a visiting relative who had bought me some speciality cheeses and wanted to bring some crackers to go with the cheese.
This product comes in a cardboard box that has a brushed rough feeling so it feels like an organic product. The front of the box has a photo on of the crackers in the box and the rest of the box is a sort of yellowy green colour with white writing. The best before date indicated the product has a decent shelf life of 3-4 months.
Inside the box there are four individually wrapped square black plastic containers each containing a different type of cracker.
In this selection you get:
Round Rosemary Biscuits
Malted Wheat Biscuits
Harvester Seeded Half Flatbreads
As I have limited cupboard space, I emptied all the crackers into a cracker tin I have already for crackers and proceeded to try all four varieties both plain, with margarine and with cheese. All four of the biscuits taste very oaty/ sort of earthy (not plain like a cream cracker- these have texture!). The two paler biscuits look and taste a bit like shortbread (but very thin!) and the hexagonal malted wheat biscuits and the flatbreads taste more bran-like. The flatbreads are the smallest crackers and have sesame and other seeds on the top.
I love these crackers. They are different to any of the normal crackers you would find in a supermarket (Ryvitta, cream crackers, water biscuits etc.). The closest thing I can think of that I have bought from a supermarket and eaten are oat cakes- but these Fudge's biscuits have much more flavour than oat cakes as they have seeds and rosemary etc added. The Fudge's biscuits are very rich tasting and they are quite small- sort of Ritz cracker sized, maybe a little larger. I can manage 5 at a time with cheese/ butter for a substantial snack.
These biscuits are savoury. The word "biscuit" would lead me to think they might be sweet- as I class a biscuit as something like a Rich Tea Biscuit and crackers are anything savoury- but despite the fact these are sold as "a selection of biscuits for cheese" they are a lovely savoury cracker assortment.
The ingredients for each type of biscuit are printed clearly on the back of the box. I am not going to copy down every ingredient for each cracker, but the main ingredients are:
oats, wheatflour, wholemeal flour, butter and salt.
The nutritional information for each type of cracker is also given per 100g. These range from 467 calories to 500 calories per 100g and 22.5g to 32.7g fat per 100g!
So, looking at the nutritional values, I think these should be viewed like shortbread or fudge!. As a rare treat and not something you want to eat too much of! Especially as they are designed to go with cheese which is around 400 calories and 32g fat per 100g itself- then add in the butter or margarine! Eek.
One box is 300g so if you did eat the whole box, you would intake around 1500 calories and 60-90g fat! Without the toppings...
This product is made in a bakery- by Dorset Village Bakery Ltd and their address is printed in large letters on one side of the box. There is also a history of the product printed on the side of the box- telling you in 1926 Percy Fudge opened a bakery. So this seems to be a long running family bakery.
One box will set you back around £3.50 so these are much more expensive than your average pack of cream crackers- but they really evoke a country tea shop feel. They look and feel like a quality/ luxury food. Each little tub contains around 15 crackers all stood up on their end and wrapped by cracker type.
The pack warnings are given per type of cracker- so for example the Rosemary crackers contain cow's milk, gluten and wheat. But the flatbreads contain: cow's milk, wheat, gluten, sesame, soya and may contain traces of nuts (no peanuts).
Overall, I would say, if you are lucky enough to find a gift shop or a fine food shop or even a supermarket (maybe one of the higher end ones like Waitrose?) selling these biscuits and you are partial to biscuits and cheese, then do try them. They are rich, filling and lovely!
I purchased the Fudges Biscuits for Cheese selection as part of an offer when I visited the Taste of Christmas show in London in December. I had bought them with the intention of eating them over the festive season but for some reason we never got around to it. The Christmas cheesboard is long gone and so its time for these to go too now...yum!
These are made by 'Fudges' opened in 1929, the family bakery is still going and the third generation continue making tasty sweet and savoury biscuits at their place in Dorset. The particular product I am reviewing today won the Gold Great Taste award in 2007.
You get the box pictured above - it is primarily green and shows the picture of the biscuits on the front. They look like posh crackers to me! Open up the box and there are 4 varieties. Each variety is in its own plastic tray and wrapped separately. I think this is a great idea incase you only want one type at a time, saves you chucking out the rest after they have gone soft. The box gives you advice on which cheese works best with each biscuit but we only have English mature cheddar at the time of writing so thats what I have had with them all. There is about 15 of each variety.
Malted Wheat Biscuits - These are hexagon shaped but sorry I cannot review this particular variety - they didn't survive till February like the others! All I remember is that they were delicious!
Rosemary rounds - small round biscuits with a scalloped edge - As soon as you open this packet you can instantly smell the Rosemary and you can see little flecks of it throughout. On first bite these biscuits appear to be softer than usual. They don't have the loud crunch you would get with a cracker although they are quite crumbly. Goats cheese or Brie shoudl work well with these and a glass of port apparently but our cheddar works fine.
Oat Crackers - another hexagonal shaped biccie here. - they look like cardboard and you can definately thaste the oats in them. They are also slightly buttery with a very slight sweet after taste. Very nice. These definately go well with cheddar cheese and I imagine some pate would be lovely on them too. These are pretty crunchy and nowhere near as soft as the rosemary biscuits.
The last variety in this selection is the oat and seeded half flatbread. Tastes pretty similar to the oat crackers but with the addition of linseed, sesame seed, sunflower seed, millet seed and poppy seed. Again, delicious. Each bite of these has a different taste depending on what seeds you get. These are ideal teamed with melting camembert.
None of these are particularly good for you (particularly when you've addedyour chunk of cheese) but then its unlikely that you would have them as anything more than a treat. They each have their own nutritional values but they are all pretty similar. 100g will provide you with around 470 calories, 25g of fat 15g of which is saturated.
All of these biscuits were very tasty but they are pretty expensive. THis box costs around £3.95 and I have not seen any on sale locally to me although they are available in selected Tescos, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Waitrose as well as independant farm shops. Although they were very nice I don't think I'd pay £4 for a box of crackers.