Biscuit news
July 29, 2020 6:03 AM   Subscribe

["The UK according to cakes and biscuits"] Wrong! Right! Take a close look; despite the dangers of 1 more biscuit a day (71 more?), and figuring out oddly contradictory advice, Brits choose to splurge and dunk or "suck the melting chocolate" instead. M&S launch the Extremely Chocolatey All-Butter Milk Chocolate, McVitie's the Luscious Blood Orange, and Lotus Biscoff Cream Sandwiches are a thing, as are dispensers and retro ice lolly alikes. And for this Christmas, or those wanting their 5-a-day (related: Jammy Dodgers are also vegan). Questions remain! Who is biscuit man? How do you pronounce Nice? Or this? Is Boris in the pocket of Big Tim Tam and were Penguins involved? Or make your own pinwheel cookies. Other options are available.
posted by Wordshore (50 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wanted to like those Biscoff cookies but they're too sweet and don't have enough Biscoff taste. The ice creams though are, as Guy Fieri would say are "Off the hook."
posted by treblekicker at 6:09 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


There is a "British" food section at our local Publix, and my daughter and I once spotted a package of Jammie Dodgers. We bought a package purely for the purpose of recreating this scene.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:11 AM on July 29 [5 favorites]


Stephen Fry explains posh biscuits on QI. (After an obligatory reference to cock rings.)
posted by Paul Slade at 6:29 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


I've discovered that the biscuits I really like always tend to have desiccated coconut as an ingredient, usually in a supporting role. Many of Fox's biscuits tend to be rather nice in that regard.
posted by pipeski at 6:36 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Very important British biscuit news: the Tunnock's factory has reopened (scroll down to the end of this timeline) after shutting down in March to protect the staff. Tunnock's Teacakes and Caramel Wafers are back on the supermarket shelves! (Although I see Amazon will still happily charge you a fiver for a box of six teacakes. Don't fall for it.)
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 6:46 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


So I had forgotten that you can get Tim Tams here in the US at Cost Plus World Market. I had an apologizing owing to Mrs Inflatablekiwi the other day, and as I was walking past I grabbed her a packet. The fact she was still in her pajamas when I got home was a bonus as I got to use the “eating Tim Tams in your Jim Jams” line perfectly.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:49 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


Questions remain! Who is biscuit man?

Guys, I am right here. You could just ask.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:54 AM on July 29 [14 favorites]


Great, now I want a chocolate Hobnob (Who am I kidding, I never eat just one)
posted by Automocar at 6:55 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Best moment of the day so far: when I clicked the first link in the post ("The UK According To Cakes and Biscuits"), there's a pop-up at the bottom of the page that declares "We Use Cookies".
posted by briank at 6:58 AM on July 29 [15 favorites]


I came into the comments before actually RingTFA to say just that, briank.
posted by Four Ds at 7:08 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Dammit, now I’m really jonesing for a HobNob.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:34 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


The UK remains a land of wonders.

Wordshore remains a prophet of biscuits to come.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:44 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


I'm just simply not bothered enough about chocolate to buy a packet of anything choccie, but plain Digestives, that's another story.

When I first left home to go to university over 30 years ago my idea of freedom was to buy a big pack of Digestives, make 2 cups of coffee, take it all down to my room and dunk & eat the fucking lot, whilst listening to Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane or EPMD.

About 2 months later Madchester took off and I discovered weed and mushrooms and left my Digestive-dunking sessions behind me.
posted by jontyjago at 7:59 AM on July 29 [13 favorites]


The Penguin/TimTam division sent me into a short research session of comparing Australian and UK/Ireland biscuits, and contemplating the differences between an Iced VoVo and a Mikado. Marshmallow seems a little excessive, but further hands-on research is probably required for a definitive answer.
posted by zamboni at 8:09 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


There is a "British" food section at our local Publix, and my daughter and I once spotted a package of Jammie Dodgers. We bought a package purely for the purpose of recreating this scene.

Oh, those are what those are called! But I thought they were the same as the Canadian Fruit Crème cookies (which are kind of enh) but apparently they are quite different (scroll down in the link for comparison under "Jammie Dodgers").
posted by jb at 8:14 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I'll admit to a certain degree of fondness for Rich Tea and plain Digestives...they were staples of my emergency food stash whilst studying abroad at Exeter (swapped for shortbread when I went back for graduate school at Strathclyde Uni). But dark (plain) chocolate Digestives were a game changer and, courtesy of a local grocer that stocks them, there is always a pack in my cupboard.
posted by Preserver at 8:16 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Two decades ago, I made the mistake of relying on digestives my go-to food whenever I'm sick in a foreign country. It's one of the few things you can find nearly everywhere on Earth, in recognizable packaging. Now they always make me feel a little bit better when I'm sick. But, they also make me feel a little bit sick when I'm fine. Even the chocolate ones, which I loved as a kid. *sigh*

(Dunking is a thing I will never understand. It seems designed to ruin all the things I like about about both the biscuit and the drink. But, I glad it exists for the benefit of those who like it.)
posted by eotvos at 8:34 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Every single time I eat a Tunnock's teacake I expect it to have jam in and am flabbergasted anew to find only sticky fluff and biscuit. Yet whenever I see them in Aldi I just hone on in?

Tunnock's Caramel Wafers are the only dunkable biscuit in my book. Gets that caramel softening most appealingly.

Lately my go to biscuit (as I see, in company with Preserver!) is a dark chocolate digestive. Perfect balance of bitter and sweet; and in fact the Aldi own brand ones are much preferable to McVitie's... this may change the game once I venture on to biscuit pastures new, having always been a brand loyalist.

A simple unadorned digestive spread thickly with salted butter will always remind me of my mum and is a surprisingly delicious treat.

One of only two reasons to ever go in an M&S is their dutch shortcake. The other is their Apple and Raspberry juice drink, perfect for a summer's picnic.
posted by Balthamos at 8:44 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Is it bad that all I needed to do was read the post title to know this was a Wordshore offering?

Since just over two years ago until the end of time this will be the only thing in my mind when I think about jammy dodgers. (Thank you, Wordshore.)

For all your biscuit-related podcasting needs: The International Worldwide Global Biscuit Review

Hot take: McVitie’s Caramel Digestives FTW
posted by myotahapea at 8:59 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Very relieved that I have been pronouncing Nice in my head correctly.
posted by JanetLand at 9:11 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Who is the Half Man Half Biscuit?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:41 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


It's probably heresy, but I'd take a Fox's Jam 'n' Cream Ring over a Jammie Dodger any day. It's like a custard cream with a jammy bit! Perfection.

Jammie Dodgers definitely win on the name front though.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:49 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


It is a shame that nicecupofteaandasitdown.com is effectively in maintenance mode, for today would have been its day.

I work downwind of the Peek Freans in Bermondsey (the one in Toronto, named after the one in Southwark). Today they are making Birthday Cake Oreos, which seems slightly unfair. The most unfair is when they make Maple Crème Filled Cookies 'cos that brings lingering hunger pangs to all of East York and SW Scarborough. And yes, we're a bit shit about making up our own names for places in Toronto.

Minor biscuitry claim to fame: I met old man McDonald — the inventor of the Penguin biscuit — when I was very tiny. But coming from Scotland, most Canadian biscuits are underwhelming (except for maple cookies). While I could eat chocolate, I used to inhale Breakaways: a simple digestive slabbed in chocolate. Twice in my life I've had a solid chocolate Breakaway: exciting yet slightly sickening, because biscuit couverture isn't really made for scranning on its own. Bulk broken Tunnock's Caramel Wafers from Henry Healey's grocers were also good stuff.

Shortbread's mostly responsible for making me the (large) person I am today. Walker's is still the gold standard, but damn if Paterson's Scottish Cream Shortbread is not the bomb, om nom nom.

But for me, the absolute ne-plus-ultra of biscuitry, the koning van koekjes are Vandelft/McVities Café Noir ( ncotaasd writeup from 2004). Super-hard high-baked base with a thick lacquer of coffee icing on top, there's nothing to compare. They're also completely unavailable here, dammit.

I'm intrigued by the concept of dunking, as I can't understand how someone can pick up a biscuit and detour from the sacred path of deliciousness by involving a tea cup. It's just … no, I can't even. I'm like a reverse Pez dispenser when biccies are around.
posted by scruss at 10:06 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


World Market is definitely a great source for British biscuits. I needed some as props (and snacks) for a character in an RPG I was playing at a convention, and there were digestives, Jammy Dodgers, and so much more.
posted by tavella at 10:35 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


At my second job in England, a colleague bought me some Nice biscuits, so I asked him how they were pronounced. I was so happy to learn a few weeks ago that our pronunciation was correct!

Happy to see Tunnock's back, although I don't have teacakes so I didn't know they went missing.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 10:50 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Tablet is a wonderful, wonderful thing, but it is neither cake nor biscuit. It'll be including fudge next, and that way madness lies.

And you can keep your posh pronunciation of Nice biscuits.
posted by Vortisaur at 11:03 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


it's quite interesting, you know, the number of biscuits that are named after revolutionaries. You've got your Garibaldi, of course, you've got your Bourbons, then of course you've got your Peek Freans Trotsky Assortment.

Revolutionary biscuits of Italy / Rise up out of your box! / You have nothing to lose but your wafers / Yum yum yum yum yum!


Alexei Sayle on The Young Ones
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:25 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


Here to announce that Tunnock's also produce the Caramel Log, which is no idle product of mere biscuitry. It's a regular caramel wafer ***enhanced*** with toasted coconut superpowers and it soars beyond.

Legend tells also of coconut snowballs besides, but these may be mere hearsay and the whisperings of toothless nibblers, addled by too many digestive biscuit-sludge contaminated cup of tea...

But lo! The legend is fulfilled! http://www.tunnock.co.uk/products/snowballs/
Now say that Scottish biscuits are underwhelming. Harumph.
posted by aesop at 11:27 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


It may be because I watched too many TikToks, but the posh South of France pronunciation has been overtaken by the 'into the mouth, (lip smack), Noice' version. It's hard to carry a vocoder around though.
posted by bartleby at 11:36 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I find it telling the source for the 'dangers of 1 more biscuit' also a YT recommendation for the Climate Denier proflie in this post.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:23 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Oh Wordshore, I needed this today. Thank you. Are you getting in enough walks? Bake sales and parish fetes must be shut down for the duration, I hope you are managing. I like digestive biscuits, fig newtons, and ginger nuts because they are not toothachingly sweet and they're comforting.
posted by theora55 at 12:40 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


I feel compelled to link the Jaffa Cakes-themed dessert I had in the UK pavilion at EPCOT. (The tiny Union Jack was stenciled onto the plate with cocoa powder.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:46 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Now say that Scottish biscuits are underwhelming. Harumph

I didn't. I said that Canadian biscuits are (mostly) underwhelming. I do find Maritime biscuits pleasantly hardcore, though.

 Tablet is a wonderful, wonderful thing

Yes, check my profile …
posted by scruss at 1:23 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Mikado. Marshmallow seems a little excessive, but further hands-on research is probably required

Mikados are the *best*. I have never knowling had an iced VoVo, but I am still entirely convinced that they are vastly inferior to a Mikado.

(And now I have the Jacobs ad jingle in my head, Kimberley, Mikado and Coconut Creams...)
posted by scorbet at 1:30 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Reading this thread is like watching the British game show Pointless for me: The vast majority of the comments go completely over my head but they are great fun nonetheless. They make me want cookies that I never knew existed until now.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:47 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


When I first left home to go to university over 30 years ago my idea of freedom was to buy a big pack of Digestives, make 2 cups of coffee, take it all down to my room and dunk & eat the fucking lot, whilst listening to Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane or EPMD.

Oh wow, jontyjago, I was your counterpart over on this side of the pond. Slightly younger, so 30 years ago I was in high school and it was a big pack of Oreos with 2 cups of milk to accompany me listening to Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, and EPMD.

A couple Quonsmases ago, my Quonsar was in the UK and sent me a big pack of various snacks. Sadly, my kids ate *all* of the biscuits before I could have any, but I've been wanting to order some more ever since. This post points me at what to choose. Thanks, Wordshore!
posted by lord_wolf at 1:49 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


While I’m still on the subject of Jacobs, they had a really long ad campaign starting in the 1960s asking "How do Jacob's get the figs into the Fig Rolls?". Some of the ads are available on YouTube like the News Report mentioned in the article.
posted by scorbet at 2:09 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


When I was two the family spent a summer near Dublin. We won an 18 lb box of Jacobs Fig Rolls at a local fair. I suppose you could call it a regular summer.
posted by scruss at 4:45 PM on July 29 [7 favorites]


The vast majority of the comments go completely over my head but they are great fun nonetheless. They make me want cookies that I never knew existed until now.

Yes, this. Just the thought of wandering down the “cookies” aisle at most supermarkets here in the States leaves me depressed after reading this thread. It’s like living in the Plato’s Cave of confection.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 7:35 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


M & S, eh? Marks and Spencer. I want to try some of that Extremely Chocolatey. Once had the pleasure of visiting one of their shops, in Vancouver. Do y'all ever really call it Marks and Sparks, or is that only in the song?
posted by Rash at 8:27 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Reading this thread is like watching the British game show Pointless for me

And that’s Numberwang!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:15 PM on July 29 [6 favorites]


The last time I went to the supermarket I noticed they had a selection of Biscoff-related ice cream flavors. We tried the vanilla, as it seemed the most appropriate somehow. Many thumbs up from my household.
posted by 41swans at 10:14 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Oh, God, Wordshore. This is delightful. I needed this tonight.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 12:10 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Rash- in my family it is exclusively called M&S, apart from when it’s called Marks n Sparks. Never the name in full!
posted by Balthamos at 2:42 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


it is exclusively called M&S

Or indeed (if you are my Colombian wife), "Mas Expensive". She just couldn't get over why they would call a shop that - I mean why advertise the fact?
posted by jontyjago at 4:24 AM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Here's one. When you're in that weird mood that makes you pronounce things oddly...
Biss-Kwee, a la francaise?
Or Bye-Skoo-It?
posted by bartleby at 11:27 PM on August 1


Dark choc digestives in cost plus yesterday, win. And they had dandelion and burdock. Granted it isn't a dunking drink, and in most of the world it probably isn't a drink at all, but I grabbed a handful to relive my childhood.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 1:02 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Bartleby- biskwit, as a German acquaintance of mine adorably used to, or bikkit like a lisping Edwardian infant, or bikkim in the highly highly colloquial language that is only intelligible within my immediate family.
posted by Balthamos at 1:34 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I am lying in a hot bath (it's long, as am I, and Victorian, as I feel I am some days) and slowly working my way through a box of these. A neighbour bought it me after I rescued her strange cat (it smells of marmite) from a tall and unsettlingly shaky tree (why did cats never evolve some kind of reverse gear?). Thought a while, then gratefully accepted it though I've given some to the children next door as they are having a hard time since their hamster disappeared in unusual circumstances.

The bathroom window is open and I can hear a cat, possibly the same one, distantly and repeatedly meowing. If it's ... surely not again ... this may become a regular source of expensively chocolated biscuits.
posted by Wordshore at 6:28 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


I hope the marmite cat isn’t involved in the hamster disappearance!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:26 PM on August 4


« Older 6m24s of something walking. A something that...   |   shades of nature Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.