Friday, 10 May 2013

10/05/13 - Biscuits

Biscuits. They’re good, aren’t they? All biscuity and that. Here are some particularly good ones:

Chocolate Hob Nobs
It sounds mental on paper, like some sort of horror biscuit – chocolate mixed with salt and oaty things? That can’t be good, can it?
It bloody is though. Chocolate Hob Nobs are among the greatest things ever, and not just in the biscuit world – they’re as good as bank holidays, smiles, oxygen and sunflowers.
They contain whatever it is that can also be found in Pringles – heroin, probably - that makes them staggeringly moreish. With a steady supply of tea, you can easily polish off a whole packet in one go. And then you realise that you’ve just ingested your entire calorific intake for the next three days. Oops.
It’s a widely-believed fact that Chocolate Hob Nobs are the preferred biscuits of the Queen, James Bond and Jesus. They’re that good.

Much underrated biscuit, the Bourbon. Often passed over for jazzier, more fashionable biscuits, the hardy old Bourbon is a dependable stalwart of the teatime scene. Like the Hob Nob, they’ve got an intriguing savoury note to complement the sweetness, and they’re the perfect size for nibbling. (This is dependent on the size of your mouth, naturally.)
Unfortunately, despite the racy promise of the name, they don’t contain any bourbon. But you could always dunk the biccy in your whisky. Y’know, if you want.

‘If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit, join our club!’
That sounds like a shit club, to be honest. Oh, wait, no, they’re referencing the name of the biscuit! I get it.
I haven’t had a Club for years, so I can’t say with any certainty whether they’re any good or not. They used to be quite an exciting addition to a school lunchbox though, they had a good chocolate-to-biscuit ratio. But it’s probably best to leave them in the past along with the Rocky, the Viscount, the old-school two-finger Kit Kat and the Twix. Don’t want to be disappointed.

Jaffa Cakes
Bloody hell, I’m not getting into this controversy again. Is it a biscuit, is it a cake? Who cares? They’re yummy, leave it at that.

Custard Cream
Basically an albino bourbon. Bit squarer. They don’t really taste like custard (god, imagine a biscuit that tasted like custard, phwoar), but they’ve got a cheeky vanilla quality that makes for a refreshing summer biscuit.
Best enjoyed on a sun-bathed terrace, perhaps beneath some fragrant wysteria, alongside a sizeable gin and tonic with plenty of lime.

Poor Digestive. It’s never been the most exciting biscuit, has it? Sure, it’s earned its stripes as King Biscuit, being the image that jumps to mind when people mention the subject of tea-accompanying snacks, but it’s the first choice of very few. And given the dullness of its name, the original intended purpose of it was never particularly glamorous either.
But it’s a dependable thing. It’ll be there when you need it. And when you’ve had one of those days – dumped, demoted, spat at on the bus, persecuted by waterfowl – you know that the humble Digestive will be there, ready to crumble reassuringly into your tea.

The Boaster is a real slag of a biscuit. It’s been around the block a few times, and then some. It’s an American-style cookie, all chunky and robust, with hunks of Belgian chocolate studding the chewiness with little nuggets of brown gold, with the good ol’ British hazelnut offering a homegrown counterpoint. (If indeed, they are British hazelnuts – they could just as easily be from Turkey, Italy or Greece. None would be a surprise with this whoreish snack.)
They’re quite buttery, more than a little cheeky, and have a despicable name. Glorious, gorgeous little sluts.

Tunnock’s Teacake
Yes, it’s got ‘cake’ in the name, but it’s really a biscuit. (This is different to the Jaffa Cake situation. Again, let’s just move past that and get on with our lives.)
Now, the premise behind the Tunnock’s Teacake is a barking mad one: take one slightly salty, slightly stale biscuit, plop a blob of marshmallow on top, then encase the whole sorry mess in a super-thin layer of bland, insipid chocolate. Sounds awful. But actually, they’re delicious. Much like the Wagon Wheel, all of the ingredients are wrong but the end result is a masterstroke.

Oh, it’s years since I had a Penguin. I could really go for one now, actually…
It sits in the same corner as the Club as a cheery lunchbox staple of yore – chocolatey, a bit naughty, and with a joke on the wrapper (sometimes). It’s basically a slightly softer Bourbon, covered in chocolate. Occasionally your mum would treat you to a pack of flavoured Penguins, throwing a welcome infusion of mint or orange into the mix. Ah, halcyon days. I miss you, Penguin.

These were never available in Britain when I was a kid, but we saw them in films. And boy, are we making up for it now…
Oreos are just brilliant, and only a fool would disagree. Like the Chocolate Hob Nob, they clearly contain some kind of habit-forming class-A drug, as it’s impossible to have an opened pack about the house without devouring the lot in a shower of crumbs and blackened teeth.
Oh, and you can get Oreo milkshakes in Gourmet Burger Kitchen. They’re amazing. But once you’ve had one, it’s physically impossible to move and your heart might fall out. Still, you’ve got to die someday.

BN Biscuits
My god, the French know how to make a biscuit. BN (Biscuiterie Nantaise) biscuits are available in a wide variety of flavours, all around the two-biscuits-with-a-filling-gluing-them-together theme. Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, apricot… they’re sublime, crumbly little delights.
The brand’s existed since 1897, and it’s taken this long for the bloody things to go on sale in the UK. Still, at least now you don’t have to make a special effort to go to Calais for the day to stock up.

Fox’s Party Rings
The world’s campest biscuit. Not actually particularly nice (well, not unpleasant, just not a biscuit you’d ever choose to buy), they seem to crop up at parties, looking all nervous and unloved, so you’re obliged to eat them to make them feel involved. And then you get a taste for them – not so much as a tasty biscuit in itself, but more a validation of your own pseudo-philanthropy. A very confusing biscuit indeed.

Cadbury’s Fingers
Heh. ‘Fingers’.
Forget all your fancy biscuits – sometimes all you need is a little biscuit stick with a bit of yummy chocolate on it. The Cadbury’s Finger has it all – deliciousness, moreishness, versatility, potential for comedy (both in punnery and application [shoving one up someone’s nose, etc]), and nostalgia. A true all-rounder.

Go on then, what’s your favourite biscuit? Taxi? Jammie Dodger? Blue Riband?
Actually, I don’t care, I’m off to the shops. Jonesing for Hob Nobs.


  1. Its all about the plain chocolate digestive for me with packet biscuits. However Sainsburys taste the difference triple chocolate cookies, if you buy em when they're mega reduced to 10p, then leave them somewhere slightly warm for a day are the best ever. Soggy chocolatey awesomeness.

  2. That sounds like a winning idea right there.

  3. Jaffa Cakes - definitely cakes, they go hard when stale, whereas biscuits go soft when stale. McVities even proved this to HMRC, as chocolate biscuits attract Duty because of their 'luxury item' status, whereas cakes do not.